Monday, June 05, 2006

The Past Five Days

I don’t suppose there’s any other way to put this. The past five days of my life have been undeniably one of the highlights of this country girl’s life. There’s nothing like the first time. The first car, the first boyfriend, the first kiss, the first job, the first time you have sex, the first baby, the first house, and the first book.

I launched SOUTHERN FRIED WOMEN on Thursday evening, June 1st, and I must say, there’s nothing like the first time you sit at a table and sign your name for a line of people wanting to buy your book. I sold 82 books that night. It was more than a success—it was triumphant! I can’t begin to explain the feelings … but I shall try.

May 31st, early in the morning I interviewed with Bill Flynn, DJ for WMAG FM soft rock radio. A ten-minute interview that was reduced to a minute on the air, but nevertheless, an interview by a prominent radio station. I was thrilled and honored to not only meet Bill, but also talk about my launch to virtually thousands that morning. Previously, I had interviewed with Mike Moore on WLOE radio in Rockingham County, and that was great because I could call in from home. But this was in the studio. A little more nerv-wracking.

Later, I spent the day anxiously waiting for my daughter to arrive. I don’t get to see Jillian much, as she lives in Ohio. It’s a crazy, fun time when Jilly comes. Her step-dad loves her to pieces and I can’t get enough of her … I wish I could hog-tie her to the porch, keep her here ... but she's got a life away from me now. I guess I'll have to live with it.

June 1st, Foxx 8 interview with Cindy Farmer … an early morning curtain call. Michael and I headed to the studios early. Ever been in a green room? I always wondered what it looked like. Nothing other than a room with chairs and donuts. Yep, these TV folks love their donuts. Michael opened the Krispy Kreme box with elation … “Want one?”

“How can you eat at time like this?” I said. My stomach in knots, I wanted to get the whole thing over with. Roy the weatherman made chit-chat with us a moment, then I was hooked up to a microphone pack and led like a puppy to the set.

Cindy Farmer is as sweet as she is pretty, but all business. I think those TV-types concentrate from one moment of news to the next, so they’re not into “getting to know their visitors.” But … all in all, I think it went as well as could be expected. She seemed to like the book. Then I watched the recording of it when I got home. Godamighty. I wore black, but those 10 pounds TV adds looked more like 110 on me. I’m not into viewing that again anytime soon.

The launch – what can I say … magnificent. I couldn’t have done it without lots and lots of people who loved me and helped every step of the way. Dena and Blair Harris stood by and greeted guests, Blair sat at the “PAY HERE” station, and Dena introduced me with a speech that people are still talking about. She’s amazing. She set the tone for how the public will view my work for the rest of my career, and you can’t buy that kind of enthusiasm or friendship. Dena Harris, an accomplished writer in her own right, gave freely that evening. I can’t begin to thank her and Blair enough.

Tim and Tina Rich, my dear friends from Ohio, stood behind the wine table and had a ball. They got a little snockered, but loved every minute of shouting my virtues to every guest that came to their table … I had to laugh watching them, but I also teared up trying to thank them … having them there, feeling their support meant the world to me.

I saw so many from writing groups, friends, family, and places I had worked, I can’t name them all … and what really amazed me was all the people who came that I didn’t know. And those who couldn't come, please know I felt your presence and good wishes. I appreciated every prayer on my behalf. Gail Gurley, Beth Hanggeli, Deb Bryant, you RULE!

The High Point Literary League members came and Lois Foscue, past President, spoke about the Scholarship Fund I was donating 50% of the proceeds from the book launch to. I appreciated their support that evening, and hope to someday speak to the members at one of their events.

The evening rain held off, the Bouldin House was the perfect venue, and over 100 guests came and filtered through the garden, meandered over the veranda, and listened to the sounds of guitarist Gregory Allen Young play and sing his soft music that wielded it’s way into the warm evening air.

June 2nd and 3rd, off to Carolina Beach! One night with my friends Tim and Tina, we ate at a great Southern cuisine restaurant on the Cape Fear River, and kicked back for the weekend. A breather for me. Visited a few winery’s, sat with our feet in the ocean, shopped at Southern Pines, and toured Pinehurst Golf Resort on the way home.

June 4th, Sunday … before my entourage departed for home, five of us headed for the winery at Childress in Lexington … ate a great lunch, tasted fine wines, and languished in the low-humidity (for a change) and sunshine.

I can't even begin to thank my husband for his tireless work on this launch. I won't even try. I'm the luckiest woman in the world. The man lives for his family ... he takes my breath away.

Now here it is Monday morning … and I’m in no mood to work. I still feel the need for another few days of R&R, with the past three months of working non-stop days and nights on this book. But, alas, the call of my novel is loud in my ears. I hear my characters whispering among themselves … they want and need my attention. I will pick up that torch this week.

Who knows, maybe this time next year … we may be in the midst of book launch number two. TELEVENGE is just around the corner, begging to be finished. And I know it will be exciting beyond belief to launch that book. But somehow, I don’t think anything will ever take the place of this first book. SOUTHERN FRIED WOMEN has started the ball in motion. For that, I will be ever grateful to the characters that called my name, and to the many friends and family that supported me on the night we launched her.

Blessings to you and yours.

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