Friday, April 06, 2012

Last Night at The Bookcase

photo courtesy The Bookcase

Last night was my book reading and signing at the beautiful and historic independent bookshop The Bookcase, which is situated on the main street of shops in downtown Wayzata, overlooking huge Lake Minnetonka, in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. It was a perfect night, with the sun shining and the lake already studded with sailboats.

I love this place; Christopher and I lived around there for a few years long ago when I landed my first post-graduate-school job at a clinic in the area, and we used to drive around the lake to get to Wayzata and get coffees at the Caribou that connects to the store, then browse the bookshelves. I remember sitting at that Caribou with a writing journal, trying to pen something--anything!--that I could one day turn into something publishable. If you had told me then that in ten years I'd be at that same bookstore, but this time as a published author doing a reading of my new book and signing copies, I would have stared at you in disbelief. Isn't life amazing?

The entire evening was completely lovely; one of my closest friends from my own town, who grew up in the Twin Cities western suburbs, drove up with me a few hours early so we could meet some friends of hers for drinks and dinner at a restaurant across the street from the bookstore, overlooking the lake, before the reading. (Although I was tempted, I refrained from ordering a cocktail or glass of wine, and stuck with Diet Coke.)

The bookstore manager, Jane, was wonderfully welcoming and sweet, totally prepared, and nice as can be. Love her. I should have gotten a picture with her. I also wish I had snapped a photo of the bookstore door, which sported a poster of my author photo and book cover, but when you're the author coming to do the reading, you tend to be focused on other things and those things don't occur to you at the time. At least I got the picture of the flyer for my reading and a stack of my books on the store shelf.

Crazily enough, I ended up knowing almost everyone in the audience, because the turnout was, shall we say, less than stellar. My friend and her sister-in-law were there with me, and four good friends and former co-workers from that long-ago job came to see me again. (Suuuuper fun. Hadn't seen most of them for the entire decade since. I swear I am telling the truth when I say everyone looked exactly the same. Seriously.)

For a sizable chunk of the reading, a bookstore patron or two sat at the back and listened, but it was clear neither of them came specifically for the event. (Not a problem! Very happy to have them!) And lovely Jane joined the audience as well. To tell you the truth, I was just relieved that anyone besides my Northfield friend was there at all. I have heard horror stories of authors traveling to unknown bookstores only to have the audience peopled by three listeners, two of whom are bookstore staff.

Huge thanks to my buddies for turning out, to my friend Kathy for accompanying me, organizing dinner, and making the entire evening even more fun, and to The Bookcase for hosting my reading. I still have to pinch myself when I stop and consider that I'm actually the published author of a real book, doing readings at bookstores and signing books for readers. Amazing.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, those of you who celebrate the holiday, and as always, a million thanks for being here, reading what I have to say, and being a part of my tribe.


Rita said...

This is all so amazing! A reading! A poster of YOUR FACE on the door. So cool!!

Also? I'm in love with the collar on your shirt. So pretty!

Shannon said...

@Rita: Yes! And it is a blouse! Susan would be so proud! ;)