Launch Party of Trespassers: Hometown Style

Remember November 2014? Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? Six months!

Where has the time gone?

I cannot believe I am just now posting about my launch party in Maryland. I have no excuse. Unless you think Thanksgiving, Christmas, homeschooling three boys, transportation of said boys to TKD, Bible study, music class, etc, feeding those three bottomless pit of boys (which actually may take up most of my time if I really thought about it!), three birthdays, and working on my next [three] book(s) are all valid excuses. Even at this very moment, all three kids are attempting to distract me with requests to:

  1. help count money from his wallet (my youngest)
  2. build a robot out of recyclables (my middle son)
  3. untangle power cords (my oldest), which is really helping his father.

No wonder I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts! Of course I’m not only tardy with blog posts. Birthday cards, thank you cards, any time I need to get to the post office to mail something can all be expected late!

DSC_2122But really I have no excuse because the hometown launch party, held at the library I cherished as a kid,  went so very well!

Don’t get me wrong. I was nervous. As in so nervous, I went and hid in the meeting room of the library. I thought I knew what I was going to say, that I was prepared. It all sounded so good when I envisioned it in my head as I drove to Maryland from Alabama. But then I was there at the library. And people were arriving. And suddenly, I was hiding out and wondering how in the world I was going to do this.

I think I was more nervous then than I was for the launch party in Birmingham. Which is weird I think because the Birmingham party was my first appearance as an author. Ever.

Side note: How cool is it that I just typed “my first appearance as an author!” I’m still over the moon about that and a little disbelieving, if you must know.

And we could discuss the possible reasons for this increase in nerves – B’ham had a smaller number of people; the people in Maryland have known me if not all of my life, then close to it…Maybe we shouldn’t dwell on the reasons.

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Cheryl introducing me

Then it was time. My dear Cheryl, the polished public speaker that she is, who I’ve known just about my entire life, introduced me. And my first thought as I stood and looked at the crowd was how grateful I was that the library had a podium!

You know how celebrities are rumored to have specific requests for their handlers as they travel from town to town, specific things they demand from the brand of bottled water to snack food to … well, you name it. For my handler…in the future…my request is going to be a podium. I think I really need it!

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Cheryl & I at the signing table!

But then I started talking and I realized that I was surrounded by people who all wanted me to succeed. And so I relaxed and enjoyed myself. Now, was I polished? Eloquent? Did I sound intellectual and literary (whatever that means)? Was my posture perfect? No. But I was completely me and I’m happy about that.

So to my dearest friends and family who came out, who helped by bringing snacks and refreshments, who helped in setting up and cleaning up, who came out on a Saturday morning and bought a copy of my book, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I could not have pursued this dream of mine without your support and encouragement.

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A family shot

And now for my version of the fine print/legal mumbo jumbo/disclaimers: For anyone who’d like to support/encourage me, the following are some ideas:

  1. Buy my book! If you already have a print version, forgo a couple of pricey coffees one week and instead buy the ebook! Just for kicks. You don’t actually have to reread it.
  2. Tell your friends to buy it! Even those thousand friends you don’t really know on FB and Twitter.
  3. Post reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads. I probably don’t need to mention these should be (ahem) positive reviews. Remember what your mother taught you: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything! 🙂
  4. Like my Author Page. Sign up for my newsletter. (You can probably guess based on the tardiness of this post that I don’t send one out very often!)
  5. And finally, just be encouraging when I lament about how awful my current WIP is going (the reason I’m currently working on three) and when I allow my gift of procrastination to interfere with finishing aforementioned WIPs!

The Launch Party of Trespassers – 11.1.14

About the time I first learned to read is about the time I knew I wanted to be a writer. But if I’d known at the age of five that to be a writer I can’t just write books, but I must also promote myself and speak in public, I might have looked a little further into alternate potential career choices.

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The sign!

So it was with much trepidation that I approached my launch party for Trespassers. It didn’t matter that the majority of people there would be people who love me and wish me to be successful. I was still nervous. And then I discovered Barnes & Noble had not yet received my books. Funnily enough, that little bit of news was much less stressful than one would expect because my publisher had drilled into our heads that we must always have books on hand. Of course in the scenario she painted, the bookstores sold out of books, not that they had zero books to sell! Nevertheless, I had a box of books sitting in my closet just waiting to save the day.

Amanda and Robyn, the folks at Barnes & Noble, felt pretty awful for not having the books. But they were extremely kind and encouraging, assuring me I would be great. Amanda even told me that she’d read my book the day before and liked it! Now, if she was lying, I don’t want to know about it. It was exactly the kind of encouragement I needed. They also had placed a paper rose on every seat and filled a mug full of them for display on the signing table. In my book there are paper roses that are pretty important to the main character so I was really touched that they did that for me. Of course they didn’t know how to actually make paper roses so they put out a call over the loudspeaker asking if anyone in the store knew how to make them. One gentleman came up and offered his help. He ended up making a bunch of them and got a B&N gift card for his efforts!

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The signing table with books displayed and a mug full of paper roses!

There was a good crowd that turned out: my dad, who was in town visiting; my husband and kids of course; my dearest friends who have supported and encouraged me through this process; many of my friends from the book club I participate in; and quite a few of my husband’s employees, too! (You may think they were trying to earn brownie points from their boss; I appreciated their kindness and was so touched that they came.)

My captive audience!

My captive audience!

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My dad, me, my husband, my three sons. The mustache on my 7 yr old was in anticipation of the toast he intended to make.

Members of the Mt. Laurel book club

Members of the Mt. Laurel book club

But the rest of the details are completely fuzzy. My friend Julie introduced me (she was also my photographer for the day) and I remember being so touched with what she said, but I couldn’t have repeated it. I talked, but I have no idea what I talked about. Was I loud enough? I don’t know. Did my answers to the Q&A make any sense? I couldn’t tell you. Mary helped me at the signing table, which was a good thing because who knows what I would’ve signed without her post-its. I don’t remember what I signed. I hope I spelled everything right.

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Here is Julie introducing me.

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Here I am with Mary who is helping to ensure I get everyone’s names right!

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Reading from TRESPASSERS

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Wouldn’t you like to know what was said here? I sure do! 🙂

All in all I think it went well. I have asked my friends, my husband and they all said I did great. And I must rely on their word because I really have no idea.

Here are my two favorite pictures from the day:

He found a dollar bill on one of the bookshelves!

My 4 yr old found a dollar bill on one of the bookshelves!

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I love this picture. I don’t look nervous at all, but as if I’ve autographed books for years.