Would people show up? If they did, would they stay through the reading? Would they ask questions?
Yes, yes, and yes.
It was terrific to have friends and neighbors turn out for the reading and book signing at the Queen Anne Book Company on a balmy Thursday night. The bookstore has an outdoor patio which made for an intimate reading space. The staff also did a remarkable job of creating a welcoming atmosphere with a fun book display inside (including leis) and outside a cheese, cracker and wine station that converted into the book signing area after the reading.
Tegan gave an embarrassingly nice intro. Before reading excerpts, I offered a quick ‘how-the-book-came-into- being’ summary. The sections I chose were from the earlier part of the book and, I hoped, would kindle some curiosity about the novel as a whole.
The audience asked probing questions about character development, the level of pre-planning, amount of time spent writing and editing. Since some of the original real blog postings have survived in altered form in the final book version, an audience member wanted to know if any comments made by people reading those postings were in the book. “A few are,” I said, somewhat cryptically.
The neighbor who lives opposite my house on Queen Anne brought her two young sons, who sat in the front row. One of them, Elliott, age 10, asked the question about how long it took to write the book. At the signing segment, he brought his family’s copy forward. I autographed the book and thanked him for coming. I would rate the book at PG-13. He’s younger than that, but he was genuinely interested in the reading and seemed eager to have the book.
A couple of days later I was saying hi to Kim, Elliott’s mom, as we emerged from our houses on a sunny July Sunday. She told me her son was reading the book. I was impressed. “He said he had come across one swear word.” True, I said, but used within context. Then she said, “Elliott says it’s like having the internet inside a book.” That made me stand up straight. Yes, Elliott had gone to the core of the book’s essence.
Next up: A reading at (UW) University Book Store, Friday, July 21, 7 p.m.
See the July 21 entry on their calendar: http://www2.bookstore.washington.edu/_events/events_cal.taf?evmonth=07&evyear=2017&responsive=