To celebrate The Lake House arriving in stores my publisher, Gallery/ Simon & Schuster, will be giving away copies next week to She Writes members. So check in next Wednesday for more details.
Last Thursday I did my first reading of, The Lake House, at a winery in California's Sierra Foothills. I sat on a patio with Tahoe's snow-capped mountains and beautiful vineyards as my backdrop. Port and brownies were served as I started to read my first chapter. People shifted and whispered. Noise could be heard from inside the tasting room and I worried that I wouldn't be able to captivate my audience. About two pages in people became still. All I could hear was the sound of my voice mixed with rustling of leaves in the wind and the chirping of birds. Afraid to look up and see boredom I kept my eyes down until I came to the end of the chapter. When I lifted my head there were tears in people's eyes. Hands were placed over hearts and the women stared at me for a moment unable to speak as they remained lost in what the words had created in their minds: memories of childhood and lost loves; fears and regrets; first kisses.
As a debut novelist, it’s hard when your book is finally going to hit the shelves not to get caught up in sales, marketing, and publicity. It’s actually quite terrifying, exhilarating, and you feel a little like Cinderella at the ball. But when it comes down to why I write, it’s the love of my characters, of being able to touch their lives and experience their emotions. I get to fall in love, know heartache, laugh, and cry and now it's my readers turn to be touched by my characters.
In one week my books will be in stores and available online. My friends who'll be flying that day promise to take pictures of my book in the airports. I'll be going to Walmart and the grocery stores, two places I never imagined seeing my book this early in my career, to see The Lake House on the shelves. I've done everything I could, written the best book I knew how, and all that's left is to trust in the product I created.
Last week, I saw a thread on this site where authors asked about launch parties. Many writers don't believe in them and find them a waste of money and time. My launch party is going to be huge. We're now up to 150 confirmed guests with the possibility of over 300 people coming to the event. But this is no usual launch party.
I can be a little shy, so I decided to make my launch about celebrating the local artists in my town. I gathered all the amazing performers I'd seen over the last year: a salsa dancing team called Salsa Requisma; The Comedy Spot (Improv); Stevie Nader, a local musician; Pam Metzger, a local actress who will read my book; a woman who hosts poetry contests; wineries and breweries along with chefs and I'm bringing them all together in the beautiful 2110 Sacramento Art Complex with over twenty-five local artists.
By bringing everyone together, not only does my book get cross-promotion but it becomes one fabulous party where people get to dress up and celebrate the finer things of life. The response has been incredible. If I had to pay for this party out of pocket it would've cost me well over $4,000, but people have offered their services for free, and except for the cake, this party comes at zero cost to me.
I highly recommend when you throw your launch party to get the community involved. It's a wonderful way to celebrate books, life, and your incredible accomplishment.