Oh, my nerves! I was a minor wreck leading up to this event. Plenty of reasons for it: I'd be standing where so many of my author heroes had stood before; I'd be talking to a very small group of people, probably, which would mean nobody noticed the book launch, or cared; the cough I'd been trying to shake for weeks would render me unable to speak without sputtering; I'd say the wrong things, all the wrong things. Writing the book had taken so many years, and it all seemed to culminate in a single week, with the book's publication on Tuesday, and the Powell's appearance Thursday. What a mess! What was I going to do?
Except it all went really, really well. People were kind enough to tell me that they didn't notice my nerves at all, or that it was the best author event they'd ever been to, or that I was extremely relaxed/funny/at home up there. I was utterly stunned by the turnout. I'd expected a few people to come, maybe twenty or thirty. But people kept wandering in, and the Powell's staff started adding extra rows of chairs. I didn't count heads, but there were people standing in the back and along the sides.
I've had a few truly exceptional days in my life, like my first date with Felicia, or the day we married, or the day Squish arrived. Reading at Powell's doesn't soar anywhere near the heights of those deeply personal memories. But it was one of the greatest moments of my creative life, and I felt nothing but warmth and goodwill and love from everyone who came out to share it with me.
Now on to some photos!
This particular night really felt earned after such a long journey. I'll never have another first like this one, and I am grateful to everyone at Powell's and every reader and friend and coworker and acquaintance who came out to make the night special. A huge success!