Monday, October 07, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: Lyn Miller-Lachmann on the Best Book Launch Party Ever

By Lyn Miller-Lachmann
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

Six weeks before my novel Rogue (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 2013) came out, I attended a friend’s launch party and thought, “I could never pull this off.”

Her apartment building’s party room was jam-packed with guests, everyone had a good time, and all her books sold out.

I have Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, which makes it difficult for me to connect with people and organize big events. I also don’t like noisy, crowded parties.

But I wanted my book to be noticed on its launch day, and I wanted to feel like this—the arrival of my first novel from a major publisher—was a special day for me.

Rogue is about a young teenager who, like me, is on the autism spectrum. She is obsessed with the X-Men, mutant superheroes who have been excluded from society but who have unusual special powers that can save society. She sees herself as a mutant, but one who has not yet found her special power.

As Rogue’s launch day approached, I thought about my own obsessions and my own special power. Over the past several years, I have built an entire Lego city and created various story lines with minifigures. I thought, “Why not use my minifigures to celebrate my book?”

I’d recently bought a Lego picture frame that I could use as a billboard, and I had barriers to block off streets and plenty of Lego people to show up to an all-day block party.

In the morning, I set up and photographed the billboard and the start of the celebration, complete with the BMX bikers and skateboarders who play a major role in Rogue. I posted the photo on Facebook and tweeted it to my followers.


Many wrote in their congratulations, and I sent them additional photos of my Lego city, Little Brick Township, in appreciation of their support.


The big event happened at night, when one of Little Brick Township’s popular bands, SlikMoovs, played at the huge party and dance.


Social communication is one of the greatest challenges of persons on the autism spectrum, but as Temple Grandin has pointed out, there are many ways to communicate.

In creating my launch party, I played with two-dimensional images, three-dimensional figures, light and shadow, and narrative to convey an imaginary community’s celebration via social media. I had fun, and I believe that I brought joy to others through my art. Above all, I found a creative solution to what was for me a seemingly insurmountable problem.

Teachers know that not every student is an academic star. Not every student is a leader who can gather people around him or her and get things done. Not every student comes with an entourage of friends.

Students possess a wide range of abilities and challenges, and teachers have the tough task of bringing out the best in each student, and giving everyone a chance to shine.

I hope my book launch party gives you ideas for your classroom or library and serves as inspiration to help each of your students find his or her special power.

Cynsational Notes & Giveaway

LEGOctober: Lyn's reflections on what the Little Brick Township has taught her about writing.

Enter to win a signed hardcover copy of Rogue by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 2013). The first person in the comments to identify the language of the green and white sign just above and to the left of the billboard in the first Lego photo will win. Be sure to include a link to your contact information/Twitter account. Author sponsored. Eligibility: international.

10 comments:

LinWash said...

Hi. I'm just commenting. I already have a signed copy of Rogue. Thanks for this great post. Way to go, Lyn!!

Donna said...

Love your launch party. The language is Catalan, isn't it? Makes me want to go to Barcelona again. Best of luck with ROGUE!
donnaweidner.com

Amy Goldman Koss said...

That's great! Love it!!!

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

Felicitats, Donna! Barcelona is one of my favorite cities as well, and the last time I was there, I saw an exhibit of El Paral-lel's development as Barcelona's entertainment district from the end of the nineteenth century to the Spanish Civil War. The exhibit at the CCCB gave me ideas for my town, for an area away from the main area where I placed the newly released Palace Cinema.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

Thank you for commenting, Linda and Amy! I think it's important to use what talents we have to get around places where we may have weaknesses. I also put a Lego scene together for my VCFA advisor Jane Kurtz when her middle grade novel ANNA WAS HERE came out.

Laurina said...

Such a wonderful, creative idea!

Sandra Nickel said...

How could I have missed that SlikMoovs played at the launch party?!? I agree with Laurina--such a creative idea for a celebration. Blending talent, innovation, and passion to create a one-of-a-kind world premier. That's fabulous.

Lisa Potocar said...

A tremendously creative idea, Lyn! That's what it's all about--finding ways to connect with your readers: those with autism who could benefit from your story and other people that matter in your work. Because we adults, especially, are mired in the everyday concerns of work and raising families, it's always a bonus to be presented with some play that brings us back to our childhood, you've done that very nicely for us through your Lego city. I wish you great success with Rogue--can't wait to read it!!!!

Anita Sanchez said...

What a great idea! It connects not only with adults but with kids, who are drawn to Legos like a magnet.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

Thank you, Laurina, Sandra, Lisa, and Anita! And Sandra, there's soon going to be a Battle of the Bands between SlikMoovs and Mumfield & Daughters. My Facebook friends like M & D, while my Instagram followers favor SlikMoovs. These little plastic guys are an endless source of stories.

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