My launch party took place at the awesome Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia — the place which is, more or less, my hometown. I wasn’t born there, but it’s where I spent my formative years, where my parents still live, and where I recently returned after leaving Roanoke. If you’re ever in the Richmond area, definitely stop by — it’s my favorite kind of indie store, quirky and charming and absolutely stuffed with books.
My publicist set the event up, but I had really no idea what to expect. What would I need to do? Who would show up? Would anyone show up? I knew few of my friends would be able to make it. The people I love are far-flung, and it’s hard for grown-ups to make it anywhere on a Tuesday night. Would I be sad and alone?
Then the owner of the venue messaged me on Twitter: Would you mind if we got a cake?
Mind? Who minds cake??
So I knew, at least, that there would be cake.
I put on my best dress, curled my hair, and donned my pearls, like any proper Southern girl does when making her debut. I can’t praise Fountain Bookstore highly enough for how welcome and celebrated they made me feel. It was a proper Event, with signage and stacks of books — and cake.
And people came! A fair number were my mother’s colleagues, present because of her wrangling, but many were total strangers — regulars of the bookstore, I assume. And one completely unexpected friend of mine showed up! I hadn’t seen her since our grad school days, but she came up to Williamsburg, much to my delight.
The event itself was super-easy. For me, at least — but I’m an extrovert who has never in her life experienced a moment’s fear about public speaking. I read a few pages of From Unseen Fire. Some online research suggested 10-15 minutes would be the right length, so I timed out 12 minutes from my favorite chapter. Then we did a Q&A, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Some of the questions were about the book itself, others were about the publishing process and the whole world of books I’m now a part of. I love talking about writing, and I’m vain, so I like talking about myself, so that all went smoothly!
(If you’re interested in seeing any of that, I broadcast it to Facebook Live, and the video is available here!)
And… I ate cake.
From Unseen Fire is available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook from many fine retailers — including indie bookstores like Fountain Books!