Well, 10 days post publication date. It's better than I could have imagined. I had no idea. Really. I had no idea that I would fall in love with book readings, that I would fall in love with readers, that at every signing I would find at least 5 people who I wanted to take home with me and talk to and hear their stories. As a kid who suffered stage fright, this is a real turnaround. I mean, a huge coup. And tonight, I am in my hometown, and will be reading to a crowd of about 100. I've never attended a high school reunion in my life but I can't wait to get to Barnes & Noble tonight and see all these people from my past. Did I mention I'm wearing a prom dress? Well, not exactly a prom dress but a blue taffeta dress that my 9-year old daughter picked out (who now thinks she is my literary agent and stylist). Whenever I return home I feel like I'm 17. So, it's either jeans and a t-shirt or a prom dress. I'll warn my crowd in advance. It's good to keep them laughing. Anecdotes are key, I've found. Not that I'm an expert by any stretch but I have learned a few things on the road. Side note: I have never worn taffeta in my life.
The book is doing well. I love the letters I am receiving from people. There are people out there who appreciate lyrical writing and that makes me just so flippin happy. And am starting to ENJOY, maybe even LOVE this part of the process.
So the cool thing is, actually it may just be the coolest thing, is that I've been asked to take part in a humanitarian aid project in Ethiopia by donating some of my copies of THE LANGUAGE OF TREES for an auction--this is something I've been dreaming about as I have 3 children from Ethiopia and am a huge advocate of older child adoption. Have to wonder if the last 10 years spent working on the book were all worth it! Now I can make an even bigger long-term impact on a cause that is so close to my heart. The project will create a new library in a remote part of Ethiopia where there are no books or libraries.
Everything works out for a reason. I am convinced of it. Maybe that's why I love magic realism. It is a language that speaks to me.
Here's a recent article for your perusal: http://www.brightonpittsfordpost.com/fea
Happy reading, Ilie