I'm still floating from my debut reading and signing for THE BLESSINGS OF THE ANIMALS on Friday night. Wow. There's nothing like a hometown crowd! A book release wouldn't be a book release without a stop at Dayton's wonderful Books & Co. (this time at The Greene). A decade ago, the "old" Books & Co. (which was the only Dayton Books & Co. at the time) hosted my very first ever book signing...and they've been the first stop on book tour for the subsequent three books. I thank them all so much—especially wonderful Director of Public Relations Sharon Kelly Roth—for all their support and encouragement on this crazy journey!
Friday night was surreal. The store was packed! Standing room only! I was so thrilled that I actually took photos from the podium of the crowd, so I could remember what it looked like. The photos here are in order: Looking out straight from the podium (there's my sister and nephew in the very front row, thanks to my friend Rajeev who gave up his seat to them), then looking to my left (people lined up against both balcony railings), to my right, then finally further to my right where some writer friends sat on the floor (can you spot Kristina McBride, author of the fabulous YA novel, THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES?) and some former students stood in the stacks! Oh, and there's my mom and dad in the back row!
Everywhere I looked were people from every single aspect of my life: former students, former bosses, relatives, friends from near and far, neighbors, book clubs I've visited, writing buddies, actor friends, dancer friends, former teachers, high school classmates, people I've never met (hooray!) and on and on. It felt like "This is Your Life"!
We actually ran out of books! How cool is that? I signed books for an hour and a half...and couldn't have been happier to do it. I thank every single person who attended. As corny as it sounds, I felt very blessed indeed.