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The Book Launch For A Virtual Love

A photo of a copy of A Virtual Love and On The Holloway Road, Andrew Blackman's two books

Wednesday night saw the launch of, as the title says, A Virtual Love by Andrew Blackman. As well as writing books, Andrew is a book blogger in his own right; likely quite a few of you read his blog. There seems a slight tendency with bloggers to forget to take photographs at events, and I have to join those ranks for a third period. Hopefully my write-up and photograph of the book will suffice this time.

My boyfriend and I were late getting into London but we managed to catch a good portion of Andrew’s reading. The extract chosen gave a basic introduction to the book by way of its content (discussing being a blogger) – the story is about how multiple identities on the Internet can cause issues.

The launch was held at The Bowler in central London, a pub with a space for functions that leads directly into the main area. This effectively meant that anyone going to the pub for a drink could easily join those of us at the launch, and indeed I heard a couple of people asking about it, interested in what was going on. Having no knowledge of book launches previously, I believed they took place at a publisher’s HQ. Whilst I think this idea may not be wrong, this particular book launch was informal, a very good evening to attend.

After the reading, Andrew signed books, and also on sale was his previous release, On The Holloway Road. It feels odd going to get a book signed when you are not a “fan” as such.

Having met Andrew and leaving the line of people, it was time for drinks and greeting the authors who I recognised. And had reviewed – this is where you do a double check in your mind that you did give good ratings to their books, even though you already know you liked them a great deal. Book Blogger Anxiety.

So I met Roelof Bakker, the photographer and editor of Still, a book I reviewed last year that I know a few of you have, too. I also greeted J R Crook, writer of a book that made both my ‘best of’ lists last year, Sleeping Patterns. And of course there was conversation with Andrew and his wife.

There weren’t many books left on the table by the end. The premise of A Virtual Love, taken from the back of the book, is thus:

For Jeff Brennan, juggling multiple identities is a way of life. Online he has dozens of different personalities and switches easily between them. Offline, he shows different faces to different people: the caring grandson, the angry eco-protester, the bored IT consultant.

So when the beautiful Marie mistakes him for a famous blogger, he thinks nothing of adding this new identity to his repertoire. But as they fall in love and start building a life together, Jeff is gradually forced into more and more desperate measures to maintain his new identity, and the boundaries between his carefully segregated personas begin to fray.

In a world where truth is a matter of perspective and identities are interchangeable, Jeff finds himself trapped in his own web of lies. How far will he go to maintain his secrets? And even if he wanted to turn back, would he be able to?

I think in our world today, we can all relate to that somewhat. And most appealing it is when you consider that Andrew is in a fair position to bring such a story to life.

It’s safe to assume I’ll be reviewing it soon, but what about you – does the premise pique your interest?

Please note: I was invited to this launch, but the decision to write about it was entirely my own.



March 29, 2013, 8:13 am

Nice post, Charlie! So jealous that you could attend the book launch of Andrew’s new book! The plot outline of the book looks quite fascinating. I can’t wait to read it. Hope you had been able to take a pic alongwith Andrew. Nice to know that Jamie Crook was also there at the book launch. Happy reading!

Laurie C

March 29, 2013, 11:13 am

Sounds good! You have definitely piqued my interest with your post!


March 29, 2013, 4:37 pm

I’ve never been able to attend a book launch, I bet it’s a great time!


March 29, 2013, 5:58 pm

It sounds like you had a good night. I’m not familiar with Andrew Blackman’s books or his blog, but the premise of A Virtual Love sounds intriguing and I’ll look forward to reading your review.


March 29, 2013, 11:09 pm

How fun! I always feel shy meeting authors, but I would love to attend a book launch. A Virtual Love sounds really interesting – and exhausting!


April 1, 2013, 4:36 pm

Sounds like a wonderful evening. Actually, the book sounds really interesting, something I’d like to read.

I’ve been invited to a book launch which was held in a book shop, but I couldn’t attend, unfortunately.

Fancy you meeting Roelof Bakker and other authors, what fun!

Rebecca @ Love at First Book

April 2, 2013, 1:32 am

I think that even if you’re not a huge fan of an author, author readings can still be fun and educational. . . you can find out if you might want to read the author’s books!


April 2, 2013, 6:50 pm

Ooo, tricky! Yes, I recognise you because I stalked you on internet. :-)


April 2, 2013, 7:02 pm

Vishy: Thanks, Vishy! No, I completely forgot, no photos at all. It’s getting to be a bad habit! It’d be great to hear your thoughts once you’ve read it :)

Laurie: Yay!

Jennifer: It is. I haven’t a clue about others, but if this event was a reflection of all/most book launches then they are pretty awesome :)

Helen: I’m hoping to have the review up soon (it’s next on my reading list).

Anbolyn: In reference to your first sentence, I was quite grateful for it being in a pub ;) Yes, it does sound exhausting, good point!

Judith: Yes, it was strange meeting Bakker because of course I had to explain how I’d known what he looked like (as you’ll know Still doesn’t have his photograph, but I found it in an article). Here’s hoping you can get to the next book launch! This is the first I’ve been invited to but there have been other events I haven’t been able to make, either.

Rebecca: Yes, definitely. You get to meet the author in person and therefore you’ve a better idea about their books and knowing their voice helps, too. There was a book I read once that I loved, it was fun and somewhat sarcastic, but if I hadn’t met the writer I’d probably have found it pompous.

Judith: That’s it exactly. I found the article through a post on his or Andrew’s site after I’d read the book, but it sounds really strange trying to say that on the spot out loud!



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