Last night (Friday April 8), I launched Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South at Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville. And like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, I could have danced all night, or in my case, talk all night.
I was so gratified with the crowd who came. Some estimated that I had way over hundred people.
Over hundred people who wanted to hear about national parks and oh yes, about my book. People came from Carolina Mountain Club, my Great Smoky Writing Program, my Malaprops book club, Friends of the Smokies hikers, and even my French meet-up group, that I haven’t been to in a year.
I had fixed the date over a year ago, so I had a real drop-dead deadline. And after visiting Andersonville National Historic Site, I knew that a real deadline meant that you’d be shot if you went past that line. Once I got on Malaprops calendar, I could work backwards to all the other deadlines.
Unlike writers that just show up with their book, I come with a laptop, projector, if needed, speakers and on and on to show slides, or in this case a couple of movies. I can talk without showing photos – really – but it’s much more fluid for me if I can show something. Thankfully, Malaprops knows how to do this and now has a projector and a screen.
Virginia introduced me and gave me such a warm welcome. She worked hard to keep finding chairs for people as they came in. With all this equipment to shift, I got to the store before 6:30 pm and several people were already there.
I greeted as many people as possible and encouraged adults with children to stay. They may like the alligator and turtle pictures.
I was so proud and a little intimidated that Dan Brown, retired superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, was sitting in the audience. I hope I got all my facts right. But he was smiling and bought a book, so it’s all good.
This is the launch. So I’ll be going to many other bookstores, hiking clubs, book clubs and even a private soiree in someone’s home.
I’m grateful for every single invitation but I know where I come from.