Here we are! sarah_prineas and me (actually, that’s me on the left and Sarah on the right) standing outside Prairie Lights…and our books are in the window (in the top row)! If you write for grown-ups and you do a reading at Prairie Lights, they will absolutely put your books in the window…not necessarily if you write for children. So we had to document this moment.
Sarah and I had our joint launch party last Thursday night (yeah, I’m a little behind…it was a crazy week last week what with my husband being out of town, a radio interview, kid getting braces, kid having one problem after another with the braces, and college graduation to get ready for!). The party was FABULOUS! Between the two of us, Sarah and I had enough friends to fill the whole upstairs at Prairie Lights (yeah, they even let us do our thing upstairs…usually they put the children’s writers in the basement for their events). It is even remotely possible there were people there that neither of us knew.
What a difference from the signing I did at Barnes & Noble a number of years ago where nobody came! (Okay, TWO people came, but that was it…just two people.) Of course, I didn’t actually tell anyone I was doing that event at B & N…it’s only been recently that I’ve started doing that. I just don’t like people to feel obligated to come. But people came this time. My life is so compartmentalized that it was really fun to look out in the audience and see my writer friends (and of course they’re all Sarah’s friends, too), Toastmaster friends, book club friends, Friends of the library friends and music friends all together in one place. (Some of them even bought books!) Even my younger son was there. I don’t normally make my family go to these things…and I didn’t make Andy come; he ASKED if he could come (it is possible he was trying to get out of some work that needed to get done before the extended family came for the graduation…but I warned him he was going to have to do it when we got home and he still wanted to come). And my older son was there briefly, too…I had marked up (i.e. rewritten) the scene I wanted to read in one of my copies of the book, but then I forgot the book (and this fan letter that I wanted to bring along and read during my presentation) at home. Ben didn’t even complain when I had Andy call him and tell him to drop everything and drive that book and letter to Prairie Lights NOW.
I don’t normally get nervous at these things, but when I got up to speak I was a little nervous this time…I think because I knew so many of the people there. Any other person is probably less nervous speaking to people they know…I get MORE nervous. It’s actually easier for me to speak to complete strangers. But I’m glad there were people I knew there…and the whole event was really fun.
Sarah and I have very different books and we’ve had very different publishing experiences, so our presentations really complemented each other. We got interesting questions from the audience…Andy told me afterward that every time we both answered a question, Sarah adjusted the microphone for me, then she adjusted it for herself…I hadn’t even noticed (microphone? what microphone?). Andy said, “Wow, you’re a lot shorter than she is!” Hey, I’m shorter than just about everyone. I’m used to it.
I should think about doing future bookstore events with friends…if they all went like this one, I’d probably do more of them.