Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Signings

I went to my first book signing when I was in my early 20s.  I was working as a reporter in a small southeast Colorado town.  I drove over 1 1/2 hours to Colorado Springs to get a book signed by mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark (who I started reading in high school).  That's what started it all.

Authors, like rock stars and movie stars, have to promote their work.  Most don't go on TV talk shows but instead do books tours.  I am extremly lucky to live in a city that has an awesome independent book store, the Tattered Cover, that draws these authors.  In the last 20 years I've been to a variety of book signings that included Craig Ferguson (funny AND gorgeous), Sarah Ferguson (beautiful), Rick Steves (informative - he also runs a tour company and I asked if he was hiring - he wasn't), Jennifer Weiner (ranchy and funny), Jane Green (British delightful), and Jodi Picoult (this woman does her research), just to name a few.

Two book signing made a big impression on me.  The first was Judy Blume.  I don't know any women from my generation who doesn't know who she is and hasn't read one of her books. Back in May 1998 she came to town.  I was #19 in line to get my book signed.  She spoke awhile and read from her new adult novel Summer Sisters.  I got her to sign her new book and also asked her to sign my battered old copy of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, a book I had probably had in my possession for 18 years.  The price on the cover says $1.50.  She signed the book and the entire experience was trilling.

The second signing was Maeve Binchy.  She is the Irish author who wrote Circle of Friends which was made into movie. All her books are filled with wonderful characters.  She also came to Denver in 1998 to promote Tara Road.  During her talk she said she kept a notebook where she wrote down interesting names that helped her name characters, something I do as well.  When my turn came to get my book signed I told her I was an aspiring writer and also keep a book of names.  She asked my name and said she had a character in Circle of Friends named Heather (of course, I knew that because I read the book) and she made me promise that if I ever got published I would include her in the Acknowledgement.  I told her I would.  In my copy of Tara Road she wrote "Heather, I'll be waiting for your book! Maeve Binchy."

Sadly, Maeve Binchy passed away a few months ago at the age of 72.  She will be missed.  But she did leave us one last book to look forward to which will be released in February.  And if I ever get published Maeve Binchy, as well as Judy Blume, will most definitely be listed right there in the Acknowledgements. Until then, thank you Maeve & Judy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book List - October 2012

33. To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carl McD. Wallace.  This was a rather interesting book about real American heiresses who married their British peers.  This book was one of the inspirations for Downton Abbey.