Last night, 11 days after Or Not to Be was published, we had the book launch celebration and it was a blast! More than a full deck of friends and neighbors and colleagues showed up in droves. They brought cards and flowers and wine and champagne and hugs and hugs. The party was planned from 6-8 pm, and the last guests left after 11 pm, after we had juggled a little and played Stack-the-Cups, because Aunt Judy said to.
We could’ve used Steve Martin from Father of the Bride to help with parking. Guests made a parking lot out of the cul de sac.
We ate and drank and laughed, and everyone left with a free paperback copy of my debut. Scary and exciting to watch those books cradled in arms going out the door. Today was a cold rainy day–perfect for snuggling under a blanket with tea and a book. The odds are increasing that somewhere, someone is holding my book, and I am reminded why I published.
Here are some pics of the food and people, and of me reading pages 24 and 25, the scene of Eddie and Anna’s first date and kiss, remembered by Anna.
I made a short presentation and toast. Here is a bit of what I told my friends:
“When I was little, my dad worked two jobs in retail. He was smart and organized and hardworking. But neither was the job he was meant to do. He was meant to be a writer. In his rare spare moments, we’d hear him pounding on his typewriter, and we knew to be quiet. No yelling. No fighting. Daddy was typing.
Daddy spent a lot of time thinking about what he would write before he sat down at that typewriter. He had to get it right the first time for two reasons: who knew when he’d have time to write again? and the word processor hadn’t been invented yet, so editing was a nightmare.
I never read much of Daddy’s work. He didn’t publish; he kept it close. Now that I’m a writer, I understand his hesitation: it is terrifying the first (and hundredth) time a writer shares his work.
Writing wasn’t a serious hobby for me until 2005. Before then, I wrote some short stories, but nothing significant.
In the summer nine years ago, in a bit of boredom and needing a challenge, a goal, some accomplishment to come out of my summer break from teaching, my left brain met up with my right and I did an experiment on myself to answer the question: could I sustain the process of writing a novel?
It was a grueling two months. I wrote every day and tried for 1500 words per day. After a week, I began printing the pages and the growing heft of the pile kept me going.
I didn’t plan what I would write about. All I knew when I began was that all of the books I love have memorable characters. Characters who are imperfect–yet I miss them after the story ends. So, memorable, quirky characters were my only objective that first summer while I wrote the first draft of Or Not to Be. I didn’t plan the plot. I just wrote. And once the characters were developed, I followed them and, I am not kidding, they told me the story.
I decided to publish this story with some high hopes:
I hope Anna and Eddie’s funny sad story touches your heart and mind and funny bone.
I hope it makes you think. And laugh. And cry a little.
If you like it, I hope you’ll review it in public on Amazon or Goodreads or Facebook or your blog.
If you don’t like it, I hope you keep that a secret.”