Hello everyone. This incredible and delicious cake with umbrella attached was made by my hosts in celebration of my first reading. I cannot thank them enough. Wow.
Here is where my book sits on the Chapter One Bookstore shelves. I love being next to Bohjalian and Boyle. Unglaublich!
I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog of late. No stories about writing, the writing life, other authors, Zippy and Kipling, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n news forthcoming. Until now.
I finally get to catch up on my first book tour events in Ketchum, Idaho—the town at the base of Baldy, the ski and snowboarding mountain, where Sun Valley Resort came into being many long decades ago. Several writers called Sun Valley home, and Ernest Hemingway was the most famous. He is buried there and people make pilgrimages to visit his grave.
I lived in Sun Valley from 1993-2005, before the long winters took their toll and forced a contemplative move to the San Juan Islands, where it may snow once a year and melt three days later, which is the norm—a temperate place 90 minutes north of Seattle.
As most people know, Green Darner Press, a fantastic boutique publisher of beautiful and thoughtful books, recently published the paperback version of Sandcastle and Other Stories, and reset the initial opening release back to week one, giving the original eBook title a new birth, a catchy and wondrous form. I immediately called my former boss at Chapter One Bookstore, where I worked for the management team over a decade and told her the news. She said: “You must have your first author event here.” Then we worked out the details and I hopped in my car and drove back to the valley to give my very first reading, followed by a signing. So many friends attended this event . . . people I had not seen or heard from in over seven years showed up to support the event, and I’ll never forget that. I chose to read the title story, nerves almost rising up and visible, but I soon began to breathe slowly between paragraphs, to make sure all the twists and turns in the tale could be clearly understood. After I read the last word, the audience did not know when to begin applauding; the twist at the end had taken them to a different world, introduced them to Brenda, a soul who does not act in the most rational manner.
A few people in the audience couldn’t believe where Brenda’s chosen path led, and a fun half hour or more of questions and answers about writing, the process I go through when creating a story, where ideas come from, commenced. I loved this part and it felt natural. Afterwards, I sat down to sign some books.
In the last photo, my books found a home at Iconoclast Books in Ketchum, Idaho—hello to Judy, someone I worked with at Ex Libris Bookstore back in 1994.
Three nights later I attended Chapter One Bookstore’s book signing party. There were cookies with icing mimicking the red-and-white umbrella motif and champagne. The room was filled with well-wishers and I signed more books. I left the valley without any books, and I returned to my home fully filled with energy and gratitude—the kindness and generosity of my hosts cannot be matched.
I am planning several more book signing events around the Pacific Northwest. If you live close by, please stop by the Fidalgo Pool from 8am-1pm on March 13th to get a signed copy of Sandcastle and Other Stories. I will also be signing books at the Cannon Beach Book Company on March 30th in Cannon Beach, Oregon. A reading at the Anacortes Public Library and more book signings are being planned for April locally, and I will keep you informed.
If you have a terrific independent bookstore in your area, please let them know about Sandcastle and Other Stories—it’s the kind of book that needs the love and hand-selling expertise from a great bookstore staff.
These next two photos were taken from my hometown bookstore Watermark Book Company here in Anacortes—a dream come true.
Thank you so much for accompanying me on this wonderful curious journey,
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