Don’t get me wrong; I adore this little book of mine. I may have even toted around the first physical proof for a day or two, hardly able to put it down or stop grinning. But, talking about it is still hard for me (stupid anxiety) and I kind of balk at the idea of putting myself out there right beside it. Its not that I don’t want to celebrate the fruits of my hard labor or share it with others–quite the opposite! I just have a hard time engaging with people outside of the written word and feel I much better express myself in a medium like this blog. In person? I turn beet red and get tongue tied like whoa.
However, I have wonderful friends who love and support me, and some of them insisted on throwing me a book launch party–and how could I say no to that honor?
We had a wonderful little book display table set up right by the door, showing off the paperback of Iron in all its glory, along with some promotional bookmarks and whatnot. (All the credit for that table’s snazzy set-up goes to my husband, the former Barnes and Noble merchandiser. Thank you honey!)
Everyone got a good look at the book right off the bat, which was important since–ya know–that was the point of the shindig.
The theme of the prize was “Writer Fuel” and was chock-full of some of my favorite goodies, as well as some exclusive Iron merchandise: a paperback copy of Iron, an exclusive Iron notebook, a Kate Spade Short List notebook, an Iron pen, an exclusive Iron coffee mug, three of my favorite coffee k-cups (Cafe Bustello Espresso Style, Tim Horton’s Original blend, and Green Mountain Southern Pecan), and a bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate.
Competition to win that bad boy was fierce! There might have been some ballot stuffing going on when I wasn’t looking…
There were also little treat bags for everyone who attended, which I forgot to take a picture of. (sorry!) In a damask printed bag were some promo materials and extra goodies that went with the theme “curl up and get cozy with a good book”: an Iron bookmark, an Iron magnet, a bookmark promoting my friend Alice Kasey’s YA fantasy novel Faerie Born, a yummy Nonni’s biscotti, and a packet of Starbuck’s hot cocoa mix in one of four flavors (Double Chocolate, Peppermint, Vanilla Brulee, and Toasted Marshmallow).
(And, yes, I’m big on themes.)
If any of you followed my previous blogging years, you probably are familiar with my Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking posts and know that I’m something of a foodie. (Unashamedly so, really. I just love good food!) So, I was thrilled by the smorgasbord of delicious food we had for our guests, which included things like antipasto platters, brie and raspberry in puff pastry, stuffed mushroom puffs, Caprase salad, and bourbon-brown sugar candied bacon…
Amazing. Every bite was amazing. Hell–every single thing that touched that buffet table was amazing! I think I gained five pounds and have no regrets about it. Now I’m drooling just remembering it all.
Ahem. Sorry; got a bit side tracked there. Moving right along…
We had some fun planned for the attendees. Now, I’m a terrible public speaker. Like–utterly abysmal. Try as I might, I get tongue tied when trying to answer hard questions like, “What is the book about?” (My husband–always my hero and coming to my rescue–actually stepped in and coined a handy little log-line I might be stealing from now on: “A pre-midlife crisis fairytale.”)
So, while I am a bit ashamed to admit it (and promise to try to overcome my shyness in the future), the thought of reading a section of Iron myself was pretty much out of the question (lest I turn into a deer in the headlights). Lucky for me, a long time writing buddy and all around amazing friend was in attendance. Despite being very close to due with baby number two, she stepped up and offered to do a short reading from Iron in my stead (which saved the crowd from having to listen to a lot of painful stammering).
We chose the last few pages of Chapter Two, which gave our listeners a tiny taste of Caitlin’s world and the trouble she lands herself in…
…and then Caitlin Moore herself joined us for some pictures!
It felt pretty great to see my heroine come to life right before our eyes. And; come on–how awesomely bad-ass are those boots, people? And those pants! (A huge thank you to our own Cat, whose awesome cosplay brought my Cat to life!)
After the festivities, we got down to the part that was the most fun for me, as a writer: book signings!
This is one of those things I dreamed of doing, ever since I was a geeky little girl reading her big Dragonlance novels at the fifth grade lunch table. Taking the indie publishing path might have done away with one of my long-held writer dreams (of seeing my book stocked on the shelves of B&N), but this? This I still have been looking forward to.
Being able to sign my book and place it in the hands of someone eager to delve into it… There are no words for that. It was pure awesome. (Well, okay; there are four words for it.) I loved being able to chat with each and every person as they came up for a book (because that kind of public speaking is okay. I say again: stupid anxiety). I loved getting to write a little something special in each one, making it different from all others…
Okay; I’m getting sappy now. You get the idea–it was awesome. I had a blast and can’t wait to do it again.
All in all, it was an amazing day. I was touched by how many people turned out to celebrate my achievement and to check out this new little brain child of mine. I continued to be floored each and every day by how well Iron is doing, and how many lives it is touching already.
I hope everyone out there enjoys reading about the beginning of Caitlin’s adventure as much as I did writing it. I’m hard at work on the next installment of her journey (Faster). Keep an eye out for it in late 2016!