John Coxon (johncoxon) wrote in zz9,
John Coxon


So, the evening that Penguin planned has been and has gone. During the evening, I met several people - a wonderful young woman at Penguin who is a massive fan of the Guide, two of the people involved in the marketing side of things, three of the women in sales, Maggie Phillips (who works for Ed Victor, the agency who represented Douglas whilst he was still alive), Eoin Colfer's agent and editor, a chap called Colin who writes Penguin's blurbs, and Eoin Colfer himself (it's pronounced Owen, by the way).

Of note are the costumes that certain people were wearing during the night (I counted two or three dressing gowns and a Disaster Area groupie!), and the general ambience of the room was very authentic - it felt like something straight out of the set of the BBC TV series and there is no higher authenticity than that! Pink and blue lights combined with a smoke machine gave a very other-worldly feel to an extremely good setup for the reception, and the exotic looking cocktails being served just added to the effect.

I talked to some people throughout the night who have had the luck to read Part 6 of 3, and I was struck by how positive they all seemed about the novel - not just people connected to Eoin, but also Maggie Phillips, who has been involved with Douglas' works since he was connected to Ed Victor, if I recall correctly. This has really boosted my hopes for the novel, and although I'm still being cautious in my optimism, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Three speeches were made during the evening - one was by Eoin Colfer, and the other two by execs at Penguin. The first exec talked about this being 'the most important sequel in publishing history', citing figures that put Douglas Adams' total sales at 16m books and Eoin Colfer's total sales at 18m. The second exec talked about the dustjacket for the new novel (to be found at the end of this story!) and also talked about a collaboration with Pan Macmillan, the company responsible for publishing the first five novels in the series. They will be relaunching each of those books, one per month, in the months leading up to the launch of the sixth novel, and the first of these novels will have a sheet of stickers in the front. I kid you not!

In terms of the contents of book #6, Eoin described his experiences of the Guide throughout his younger years (more details can be found in my Twittering on the subject) and also talked about how the sixth novel will start. If ZZ9 are allowed to report on that, more detail will be found in our magazine next issue, along with competitions to win one of the exclusive goody bags given out during the evening signed by Eoin Colfer himself!

To end this news story, I would like to provide our members and readers with some very exciting news - the cover for the sixth novel in the increasingly inaccurately named trilogy. Enjoy!

Hitchhiker's Guide news brought to you by ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha.
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