I say "unofficial" book launch review because I'm still jazzed and think I need some time to process. Plus, I'm spending all day prepping for a class I'm teaching tomorrow and don't have the time to sit down and write the blow-by-blow entry I really want to. I'll save that for when the pictures come in. (My friend Michael Cable took a ton and he's a semi-professional photographer so I can't wait to see them).
First thing: the food was marvelous. The cake was a wonder. They iced the top of the cake in my book cover, putting tiny paw prints around the edges. I'm so happy with it I wrote a thank-you note to the Harris Teeter Bakery that did it. They need to be congratulated on a job well done.
My worries about not having enough food were groundless. I was shoving subway sandwiches, cheese, and cake at strangers in the Green Bean by the end of the night.
Pam Cable did my intro and did a fabulous job. She had ordered a beer beforehand and I was teasing her that didn't she want to do my intro before she started drinking so she wouldn't be all weepy? (She had all of 3 sips before she introduced me, I'm sure). Then at the end of her intro she did tear up a little,which was so sweet, and a little funny too.
I honestly don't know how my book reading went. I'm going to have to find an honest friend to tell me. My voice was so loud in my own ears I really couldn't hear if people were talking, listening, laughing, etc. I read "Dibbs!" and it seemed to take a loooong time to get through it. Blair taped it though, so when I gather my courage I'll view it and see what I think. (I dislike watching myself on video or TV).
The rough book count is 31 books sold, one over goal, so I'm extremely pleased. One misstep I didn't foresee was that I'm not set up to take credit cards. Two people needed that option and though I sent them to my website, it's always better to get the sale while it's there vs. hoping it will come back. With a little foresight, I'm sure I could have arranged something with the Green Bean so they could take credit card sales for me. Next launch, maybe. =)
The most fun of the evening were the people who turned out. I am so touched by friends who stopped by when I know it was out of their way, or a bad time. My former supervisor Larry S. was there with his wife and members of her family. My dear friends Dean & Mariela arrivedwith a bundle of pink roses and hugs for me. Mariela and I used to write together 4 years ago and I would talk about my cat book and she would talk about her memoir. My book is out and Mariela is completing her MFA and her book will be done within the year, so it's wonderful to watch our dreams come to life.
Many friends were there from the Women's Resource Center (special thanks to Dale Jaques for passing out raffle tickets), our new next door neighbor drove 45 minutes into town to say hello and buy a book, which I thought was amazing, and many friends from former jobs, classes, and life were there. Melody Watson who designed my Lessons In Stalking web site was there, as was my illustrator, Linda Santell. Lots of WGOT members too, which meant a lot to me.
My good friend Rachel who lives in Seattle was also there--via phone. She had Mariela call her when I started my reading so she could "be there" for me and I spoke with her almost as soon as I got off the stage. Very fun.
Gregory Alan, the guitarist, was amazing. Exactly the right blend of mellow undertones that relaxed everyone yet still gave an energy to the room. I bought his CD and heard a lot of people buzzing about him throughout the night.
And the cats. Two of the most beautiful cats to walk the earth came with Allyson, a volunteer, from Happy Hills. These were cats that were given up and it shows because they are the most calm, loving creatures. They didn't get adopted, which broke my heart. One was all black named Jordan and one was a pastel gray and white named Spooky (this picture doesn't do him justice).
Spooky was a lover. Linda held him and he had his arms wrapped around her neck as if hugging her. Toward the end of the night, I was by his cage petting him, and he leaned in toward me and we nuzzled noses, and then he gave my nose several soft, sandpapery licks. (Was I dying inside? Yes, I was). Then he brought his little paw up and tapped my face several times - on my nose, on my cheek, and on the chin. This is a cat just begging to be brought home and loved. He is made for sofa living. And honestly, if I wasn't married, this cat would be home with me right now. No doubt in my mind. Probably Jordan too. I love Lucy and Olivia to pieces but neither of them are "lap cats." Both of these cats were, in a big, furry, lovable way. Oh--my heart. It hurt to watch them leave in cages.
And that's the book launch at a glance. Again, I had a ball and am so grateful for everyone's love and support. And I still hold hope that maybe the kitties will be adopted soon.