On January 15th, Bookmarks, the independent bookstore in downtown Winston-Salem, hosted a book launch event to celebrate the release of author Roshani Chokshi’s latest novel, “The Gilded Wolves.”
Bookmarks is a literary non-profit organization that uses community outreach to connect people with books and authors through the annual Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors. Chokshi, the New York Times best selling author of “Aru Shah and the End of Time,” “The Star-Touched Queen,” and “A Crown of Wishes” chose the organization to promote and celebrate her latest novel on its release day, give a talk with a fellow YA author, and sign copies of her book for fans.
The free event was hosted by Salem College alum Caitlyn Vanorder, who heads Bookmarks’ Teen Advisory Council (TAC). “Here at Bookmarks, any event with Roshani Chokshi is a delight to host!” commented Caitlyn on how special the event was for Bookmarks. “The Gilded Wolves’ launch party was particularly special because we had S. Jae-Jones along for the ride and because our Teen Advisory Council team planned it all out.”
Also a bestselling author, S. Jae-Jones, also known as JJ, attended the event and acted as master of ceremonies during Chokshi’s discussion of her book. JJ is best known for her young adult novels “Wintersong” and its sequel “Shadowsong.”
The two authors are close friends who playfully referred to one another as “work wifey” during the event, which added a fun element to their discussions. JJ and Roshani sat in front of the audience of around eighty in the Bookmarks downtown store and had a laid-back talk about Chokshi’s novel, writing processes, research for writing and advice for the young writers in attendance. They also took questions from the audience at the end of the talk.
Chokshi described her novel, which takes place in a fantastical version of late nineteenth-century Paris, as “National Treasure, but with hotter people.” She also stated that it had an underlying commentary on imperialism in Europe during that time. Chokshi gave the audience insight into how she came up with the riddles throughout the novel, most of which came from an interesting boredom-fueled one-sided conversation with her dog; some interesting facts she learned while researching for the book; and her hopes for the future of her writing.
The event was a huge hit. There was standing room only for Chokshi’s talk, and the signing line stretched all the way around the Bookmarks store.
Bookmarks also partnered with the adjoining bar and coffee house Footnote for the event, whose bartenders created a special cocktail just for the night of the book launch. The drink was a variation on a classic mule with elements that reflected “The Gilded Wolves.” Footnote even made a “virgin” version for guests under 21.
Bookmarks will be hosting similar events in the future. After “The Gilded Wolves” party, Caitlyn Vanorder teased some upcoming events. “I’m very much looking forward to our next two events organized by TAC in March. One is with author Brendan Reichs for his upcoming book ‘Chrysalis’ on March 5th, accompanied by Scott Reintgen. The other is an open-mic night on March 15th inspired by ‘On The Come Up’ by Angie Thomas!”
“The Gilded Wolves” is now available in hardcover at Bookmarks in downtown Winston-Salem or from any bookstore or bookseller.