Monday, May 05, 2008

Mad about Madapple

I have been to a lot of nice book parties. The one with the best food was thrown by Nancy Oakes and Pamela Mazzola for the release of their cookbook, Boulevard, named after the well-regarded restaurant. That’s the only book release party I have attended where I was served tuna tartare in ceramic spoons, prawns in saffron rice, and buttermilk fried chicken. More than 600 people showed up to sample the food and ogle over the glossy cookbook.

Julie Flynn Siler had a great party, too, at a beautiful estate in Ross, the wealthy enclave in Marin County that is home to Sean Penn and Robin Wright. The caterer set up food in a rustic barn and the guests spilled out onto a lawn facing the house and pool. There were shade trees everywhere, creating a cool green canopy. And since the book, The House of Mondavi, was about wine, there was plenty to drink.

My writing group, North 24th, threw a really fun party in November for the release of Susan Freinkel’s book American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree. We all brought dishes to share and hung out in a beautiful house in Sea Cliff. I knew a lot of the people there, so it was a really intimate and fun affair.

But I have a feeling I am about to see the best party yet.

Last week, I went to my mailbox and pulled out a large format envelope. It was so big and fancy I thought it was a wedding invitation. I opened it to find an invitation on thick green cardstock mounted on black velvet. It was a request to attend a May 17 party for the release of Christina Meldrum’s book, Madapple.

Underneath the invitation was a 5 x 6 replica of the book. It had Madapple’s glossy cover and a few chapters of the book. The invitation screamed “important” and “noteworthy” and “fun” from every page.

Now Christina is a class act and one of the most beautiful women I know. But this small sampler is not just her creation. Her publisher, Knopf, helped pay for the invitation and reprint, which is highly unusual in this day of penny pinching and declining profits. It’s all part of the publisher's concerted push behind Madapple. A few weeks ago, Knopf hosted a party in San Francisco to introduce Northern California booksellers to Christina. The company wined and dined the store owners and made sure they knew that Madapple was going to be big.

There is already great buzz about the book, which will be released May 13. It’s a book about a teenager girl that is part thriller and courtroom drama, sprinkled with lessons on botany and spirituality. Madapple is being marketed to the young adult market, but is really a cross over that appeals to adults as well. It got starred reviews in Kirkus and Booklist.

It's going to be great fun to watch this ride.

Christina Meldrum

1 comment:

Lenore said...

WOW! That sounds really cool. Can't wait to hear all about it - and read the book too, of course!