This will be my second post of the day, but I simply have to tell you all about my weekend in Denison. It was incredible. Absolutely one of the best experiences of my life.
It started out on Friday night with a book reading at Devolli’s Italian Restaurant and Homestead Winery.
Simply being at a winery and Italian restaurant, I knew it was going to be a great evening. Fettuccine Alfredo might be the best dish ever created by man and come on, I’m Episcopalian. We love wine. We’d probably baptize with wine if we could.
It just so happens that this Homestead Winery has the absolute best wine I’ve ever tasted in my life.
Move over, California. Texas wine is officially where it’s at. This particular bottle is called Rose of Ivanhoe, and oh my goodness, it is delicious. It’s a sweet red, even sweeter than Merlot. I know some people might not like very sweet wine, but I love it. My friend and I had originally intended to go and order food, but of course, we both ended up with bottles of wine instead. Hey, I needed a souvenir from my first public reading, right?
After making my purchase, we ordered our food and the book readings began. I was so, so nervous. Despite my history in musical theater, I’m not a very good public speaker, especially when I’m reading words that I’ve written. Fortunately, I had Fettuccine to help calm my nerves.
I actually ended up doing pretty okay. I used my “theater voice.” It’s a lot lower and calmer than my usual tone, which pretty much sounds like a Southern version of a Valley Girl. I’m not kidding, I have the dumbest sounding voice.
Right were I belong… amidst all the wine barrels.
After everyone had read, we had the opportunity to meet with readers and even sell a book or two. I also did a book swap with one of my friends, James Peercy (also the organizer of the event) for a copy of his third book and the sequel to The Wall Outside.
You can find James on GoodReads here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5822062.James_William_Peercy?from_search=true
More pictures of inside Devolli’s :
And the evening outside :
The next day was a bit busier. We all met at 8 AM at James’ office before splitting up. AuthorFest coincided with Free Comic Book Day and an event called Bark and Paws, for all the dogs of Denison.
My first destination was a sports ticket store called Box Seats, also a participant in Free Comic Book Day.
I was partnered up with Debbie Reece author of the incredible children’s story, The Christmas Pumpkin, so we each set up our books and waited for customers!
I’m thrilled to announce that I sold all my books for that designated area. Two of my friends, however, stopped by to help me. My dear former co-workers and friends, Terri and Shannon, stopped by, not only to buy a copy of the book, but to bring me flowers and lavender bath soap! How sweet is that?
Love these ladies.
After our time at Box Seats, we packed up and walked over the the Book Rack, and independent used bookstore, where I actually dropped off ten copies of my book for the wonderful ladies who work there to sell.
The Local Authors section of the Book Rack.
Linda and Carol, two of the ladies who work/volunteer there, are just two of the kindest and sweetest souls I’ve ever met. I feel like I’ve known both of them for ages, and I hope that Cemetery Tours will bring them some business!
After the Book Rack, Debbie, James, and I headed over to the Denison Library to have our book readings recorded and to donate books to the drawing and the library. That was pretty cool, though I was even more nervous reading for a camera than I was fora live audience. At least if I mess up in front of an audience, they’ll hopefully forget it. Recordings don’t forget! Fortunately, though, I think I did okay. Of course, I didn’t see the footage, but I’m going to hope it turned out alright.
After the reading, I was starving, so I ran down to the local coffee shop for a sandwich, a drink of water, and a strawberry smoothie for my dad who was there helping me out. I am sad to say that that strawberry smoothie never made it back, as I tripped and fell not once, but twice, thanks to the stupid heels I so stupidly chose to wear that day. The sandwich was the only thing that made it back in one piece, but of course, once I sad down, I dropped that too. It was in a plastic container, and when I dropped it, I was surprised to see tan, yellowish mush leaking out of the side. I thought, What the heck did they put on this sandwich?! Fortunately, it turned out to be a side of applesauce. Unfortunately, that applesauce got everywhere, including my shoes, so everyone was running around and handing me napkins and making “spill” jokes for the rest of the day.
But hey, it makes for a good story.
The event really wound down after that, but I ended up selling/donating all but nine of the books that I brought! I also gave away dozens of postcards and business cards, and was even able to spread the word a little about Between Worlds! All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience at a reading/signing event, except perhaps the applesauce on my shoes.
Alan J. Martin, Scott Morgan, Jackie Smith, Amber Norrgard, Debbie Reece, John Morgan and James Peercy. Photograph courtesy of Claudette Peercy.
Thank you all for everything! I can’t wait until next year!