Wow, what a great night last Friday! Thanks to everyone who came to my book release party and made it so fun. Alex Green, the owner of Back Pages Books, and his staff Robin and Sean were amazing hosts. I was delighted to have so many friends and family there, and it was great to meet a couple of blog readers I'd never met before, reunite with some old friends, and meet some new ones. There should be wine and dessert parties at bookstores every night!
I'm happy to report that my bowels behaved themselves that evening. The speaking part was over quickly because I decided halfway through my talk to skip the rest of it since I already knew practically everyone there. Then I did a reading from my blog. I realize that authors normally read from their new book, not their blog, but we're talking about a cookbook here. Ingredient lists aren't very compelling when read aloud, unless you're James Earl Jones and I can't afford him (cue Husband's uncanny impression of the more affordable Gilbert Gottfried: "Grams? Who uses grams?"). But, anyway, reading from my blog meant the book's apple cliffhangers and pear plot twists remain intact. No squash spoilers on my watch!
Then we ate. I made a ridiculous amount of food. Five different local cheeses paired with homemade jams (Concord grape, quince paste, and apple butter), four different kinds of cookies, four kinds of cake, two pies, and a big bowl of maple caramel corn. There was coffee and apple cider and wine. Lots of wine. My mom arrived early to help me set up all the desserts on trays and that's when I realized that I'd made way, WAY too much food. I'm well on my way to becoming an Italian grandmother. (I learned from the best!)
There was a piano in the back corner of the store, so I signed books while my mom played in the background. It was lovely. One unforeseeable consequence of having so many people from different aspects of my life all in one room was that I kept forgetting people's names. People I know pretty well. But there I'd be with a book to sign, pen poised over paper, my mind suddenly a complete blank. Concentrate, Tammy . . . CONCENTRATE!!! Is it Tom? Jerry? Blanche? Gilligan? Rather than ask, I just made up a name and hoped for the best. Next time, I'll be smart and tactfully ask the person to remind me how to "spell" their name. There will be far fewer apologies that way. Unless the answer happens to be D-A-D. Then I'll have some 'splainin' to do.
At some point, the neighborhood kids arrived in costume from our school's Halloween party. One little boy, a first grader, was hugging a copy of my book to his chest. His mom, a friend of mine, explained that if he gave me the book, I'd sign it and give it right back. I assured him that this was true. He refused. "Nooooo," he said, clutching the book even tighter. "I just want to hold it!"
He just wanted to hold it!!
As it turns out, most of the food got eaten somehow and the rest went to the artists in the lofts upstairs. No starving artists on my watch!
You only get one first book launch (if you even get that many), so thanks to everyone for making it truly memorable. There are still eight or nine autographed books at Back Pages if anyone wants them. Also, preorders have been signed and are shipping out shortly if they haven't already. My next appearance will be at Waltham Fields Community Farm on Thursday, November 7. Details to come.