An evening with Paul Larkin

I love book launches.

Perhaps because I know what it takes to turn out a book then for me honouring an author on the big day is non-negotiable.

I always feel mean with myself when I’m invited to one and I can’t make it.

When I was a reviews editor of a national title here in Ireland I would sometimes be deluged with invites to launches.

Some of them were quite fancy.

I had to work out which book launch I would attend and this was the worst part of the job as I usually wanted to go to all of them!

Last night I was at a book launch that only a medical emergency would have stopped me from attending.

Paul Larkin’s new book was out.

Enough said.

I believe that the man dubbed “the green and white writer” has the talent to become something special.

So far his works have had a somewhat hurried fanzine feel to them and that fits in well with the expectations and perspective of his niche market.

That said with the guidance of a seasoned book editor he has the talent to become the Celtic family’s Nick Hornby.

Suitably mentored  and appropriately presented his work deserves to reach a much wider audience.

Like the big hearted man he is a percentage of the proceeds to his latest work will be divided between three charities.

One of the beneficiaries of the book will be an NGO helping famine victims in the Sudan, another charity work with disadvantaged kids in Scotland and finally the Tommy Burns skin cancer charity will also financially benefit from the sales of the book.

The venue was a bar in central Glasgow a few hours after Celtic had secured the SPL title at Rugby Park.

The crowd were in party mood.

I was chuffed to be asked to say a few words to introduce Paul onto the stage to talk about his book.

I saw a few faces in the crowd that I knew well and I also had the strange experience of finally meeting people who follow my every key stroke on social media.

However the night was all about the guy we had come to honour.

His work marks him out as someone who won’t sit at the back of the bus, and if you need another reason to buy the book then you probably didn’t enjoy the result from Rugby Park.

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