"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
So last night I had the time of life...proving that the "local author" draw will always have the most power when you're doing a book signing.
My fifth grade teacher, to whom I dedicated One Night in Boston, invited me to speak to her book club. They hold their meetings in the most charming former one-room schoolhouse, on one of the Finger Lakes. 30 people showed up for the book discussion...most of them, people I knew. Former teachers, parents of former friends, even a guy I went to school with who still lives in the area. It was humbling, in a way, to know that all these people came just because they knew me when I was young :)
The discussion itself was a rousing success, with some good comments about the book and the characters. One woman even read me a sentence she'd underlined because she liked it so well. And most of them really, really got the message I was trying to convey and the characters' journeys.
One neat marketing/networking opportunity: a woman/parent of former friend had gone to the local Borders and asked if the book was in stock (it wasn't, but they ordered it). But the inventory manager said I should contact her, since they like to stock local authors' books, and this woman brought me the manager's card. Cool! I also sold 16 books, between both One Night in Boston and Lost in Paradise, but honestly that wasn't the highlight of the evening. It really was wonderful to go back to the place that started it all, to the town that raised me and have all these local people there to help me celebrate my success :)