Just, wow. I don’t know if I have the words to describe how amazing this past weekend was. The book release party was better than I ever DREAMED it could be–and that’s saying something. I still have a GIANT smile on my face that probably won’t come off for a good long while. Just thinking back on the whole thing makes me do a happy dance all over again.
We drove down to Brainerd on Friday night to spend the evening with family and friends that drove in from out of state. My first order of business was taking everyone to Rafferty’s Pizza (the BEST pizza I’ve ever eaten) followed by a long soak in the hot tub. Just talking, laughing, and hugging all of my family and friends was awesome enough. But the best was yet to come!
Saturday morning began with the official breaking in of my Published Author mug (here’s the picture you asked for, Sheila! In the style of Morning Meanderings, of course!). So many milestones that day!
After breakfast, I got a fancy new author haircut (short and sassy). I have to laugh because I was so excited that I gave all the hair stylists business cards and told them ALL about my debut novel. Whether they were just being nice or not, they seemed interested in the book. 🙂 After the haircut, I also got a manicure with my mom and two of my best friends from high school. Finally, it was time to go back to the hotel, put on my dress and make-up, and go through my talk one last time (insert panicked hyperventilating here).
To say I was a little nervous about the speaking part is an understatement. I spent a lot of time planning what I would say and practicing my reading to get it just right. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about! I had a BLAST! I just talked to a room packed with my friends and family, and got asked some great questions during the Q & A. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
After practicing, Shane drove me over to Prairie Bay. Now, anyone who knows me also knows that when I’m nervous, I tend to show up early. Really early. We were the first ones there, and I got to survey the empty room, imagining how it would look full, praying that people would be sitting in those seats.
It wasn’t before long that people started showing up, filled up the seats AND THEN SOME! We had a FULL HOUSE, and had the wonderful problem of needing to grab more chairs. I can’t tell you how wonderful it made me feel or how my heart swelled to see so many people who loved and believed in me. Somehow, I managed not to cry during my talk!
After a bit of mingling (I tried to give each and every person who came a BIG hug!), Chip and Jean did a fantastic job introducing me. By the time I got up to speak, my nerves were all but gone. The more I talked, the more comfortable I became. It was great–the part I was nervous about the most ended up being the most fun. 🙂
Then, came my favorite part of being a PUBLISHED AUTHOR: signing the books. My friend Katie and I used to practice our “author signatures” during English class. I could not get over the fact that I was actually signing MY books for REAL! AND THERE WERE SO MANY TO SIGN! I could not BELIEVE how long the line was! It was AMAZING (I’m running out of adjectives to describe how happy I am and how incredible the night was)!
People kept asking me if I was getting tired of signing books.
NEVER! I was so pumped to be signing books–and I couldn’t believe how many people bought copies! I loved every signature and every second of it.
After the last book was signed, I ate a lovely celebratory dinner and spent a LONG time in the hot tub. One final night of games and fun with friends and family, and I am back in Bemidji. And I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll probably never stop saying it: THANK YOU. Thank you to everyone who came out to show support, or bought a copy online if they could not attend the book release. I can’t wait to hear what you think of my book! Spread the word! 🙂
Love, from the happiest author in the world!