On 1 December 2011 we held a launch party for our two latest books: West of Arabia by Gary Heath, and A Victorian Cyclist by Stephen & Shirley Channing. Despite the awful weather, a wide variety of people came - historians, cyclists, book enthusiasts, friends & family… Two people from the “Rough Stuff Fellowship" travelled from as far as Essex for the event, and we were honoured to have it opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of Margate.
In her speech, the Mayor commented on Margate’s ongoing revitalization thanks to the visual arts (Turner Contemporary) and performing arts (Theatre Royal), and voiced a wish that literary arts also form a part of the town’s new cultural focus. Ozaru Books is certainly well placed to contribute on that side.
The one downside - quite surprising in a sense, given the free booze on offer - was that the hacks from the local press were noticeable by their absence. Rumours that the Isle of Thanet Gazette may close (as some sister papers have in recent weeks) seem little more than that at present, but they are very dependent on goodwill and in the past have generally been quite good at covering such events. Perhaps the new energy in Thanet has yet to reach them, and resources are still limited.
Even with limited resources, though, Marine Studios (the venue for the launch) manages to put on some quite ambitious shows, making use of its fantastic location overlooking the bay. We aim to have another couple of books out by the summer, and look forward to holding another launch there, this time with a Turner sunset.