Last night we had the launch party for The Kindling. I have to say that I was terrified. For various reasons, I didn't have a launch party for my first book, so this was my first rodeo, you might say. I didn't know what to expect. My early fear was: what if no one came? Then my next fear was: what if lots of people come and we run out of food? Or, what if it's really lame?
But having a launch party is what one does, and I wanted to do the right thing--observe the right forms and so on. My boss very kindly let me use our school library, which was fun to me since it is a place rife with warm and happy memories. We sent out the evites (incidentally, I found Evite to be more efficient than Facebook, in case anyone wants to know such things) ordered the cake and moved forward.
As we were getting set up, just a few minutes before showtime, it occurred to me that if people did come, I would need to talk. I'm a deeply introverted person, although I've learned to hide that, it remains my nature. And that thought terrified me! Literally, sent hot chills through me. For a moment, I considered hiding. I know some really good hiding places in the school and knew I could hide where no one would find me. But I decided to be brave :)
I needn't have worried. I was so thrilled with the turn-out of people who came--colleagues and students and their parents and friends from church and on and on. I was really touched by the number of kind people who were willing to come stand in line to get a book signed. (you know someone is a true friend when they're willing to buy a book, then stand in line patiently and ask you to sign it). And, since it was just chatting with a few people at a time, it was actually really fun! Even for an introvert.
I was in the signing line most of the night so I didn't have a lot of chances to mingle, but it looked to me like people had a nice time chatting with each other as well.
My sweet wife and her sister (and said sisters's friend), were incredibly helpful in getting everything going and keeping it all running. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were there manning a coloring station to keep small children occupied, which was a huge help. I'm not sure how many people came--I think we had around 100 or so. It seemed like a perfect number--the library seemed full but not crowded, and we had enough food. I wish I had thought to take pictures. Happily, someone with a phone much smarter than mine took a picture of the cake.
The only thing that didn't work out was one tiny thing. I had planned to take a few minutes to publicly thank my wife for her support--not only for the party, but her patience and encouragement with the whole writing journey--the ups and downs and hours and hours and hours. She has been my partner and support in everything, and even though my name is on the cover, she is the expeditor--the one who allowed it to happen, who made some sacrifices along the way and made it possible. I love her deeply and I'm very grateful to her. I had wanted to say that last night, but the traffic was so steady that it didn't work out. I still gave her the flowers I bought, at least.
At any rate, it was a fun evening for me. As with so much else in life--my fears were unfounded and all of that anxiety didn't end up being warranted.
Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with me! I went home feeling a little like George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life.
Oh--don't forget the huge blog hop I'm participating in--see the post below!
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