Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Launch Party!

When I first became a published children's book author several decades ago, there was no such thing as a "launch party" for a book, or at least I had never heard of one. Books entered the world on a certain official "pub date," but I never knew or cared what the date actually was. A carton of my personal author copies would arrive at the house, and that's how I knew the book had come to exist as a tangible, physical object.

Now all my author friends host launch parties for their new books, at a local bookstore or library, and we all go to each other's parties. It's a wonderful opportunity both  to support fellow authors and to get together to socialize. It's rare in life that we get the chance to celebrate our achievements, or rather, that we take the chance and make the time and effort to do so. But why not celebrate whenever we have something worth celebrating? I just read this line from the inimitable Oprah Winfrey: "The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

Last night the Boulder Bookstore, our community's treasured independent bookstore, hosted the celebration for my most recent book, Write This Down.
It was a magical evening for me in every way. The small presentation space was crammed full to overflowing; my assistant for the evening (provided by the store) counted some 64 people in attendance.

Who were these people who joined me in this joyous christening of my newest book child?

My fellow authors: members of my "old" writing group, members of my "new" writing group, and authors I've met at various "write-ins" at each other's houses and, of course, at each other's launch parties.

My beloved church family: St. Paul's United Methodist Church turned out in force!

My nephew Terry, who must have brought ten other family members, neighbors, co-workers, and friends.

Former philosophy department colleagues and graduate students.

Neighbors and friends both old and new.

Even some strangers! The store managed to get me some terrific publicity in both the Boulder Daily Camera and the Denver Post.

I think my talk went well. Heck, why should I be so modest? My talk was one of my minor triumphs. The heroine of my book, Autumn, is an aspiring seventh-grade writer who scribbles love poems for her secret crush, Cameron. Fifty years ago (!) I was an aspiring seventh-grade writer who scribbled love poems for multiple crushes. I saved them all and was able to share some of the most extravagant ones last night. My best advice to young writers: save everything you write! you will be glad you did!

I even had book-themed snacks. Autumn adores Nutella, so my daughter-in-law, Ashley, found me a recipe for Nutella brownies on Pinterest, and I must say they were extremely delicious. (I have a huge quantity left over if you want to stop by my house today for brownies and more seventh-grade love poems.)

Thank you, Boulder Bookstore, for hosting me so well and so warmly. Thank you, beloved friends, for showing up en masse to fete the arrival into the world of this newest book. Thank you to all those who would have come if they could and who sent congratulatory emails and texts.

Yesterday all I felt like doing was preparing for this celebration. Today all I feel like doing is thanking anyone and everyone who was a part of it.

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