What an incredible weekend!
We started on Friday night with the traditional author dinner at Dr Blois’s house. She’s a great cook and loves to entertain, and she made a wonderful meal. Even the starters would have been a great dinner – smoked salmon, dill cream cheese, hot artichoke-and-cheese dip with rye bread and whole-grain crackers. And wine.
Then we got to the table and had the actual meal, which included chicken breasts with a balsamic sauce brushed over them, roasted veggies, scalloped potatoes, salad, cheese, fruit and dark chocolate and a dark, rich chocolate cake topped with orange-flavoured whipped cream. Wines to go with everything. Honestly, the Friday night dinner all by itself is incentive to be a guest author for Stories in the North!
The two classes on Saturday at Zion United were fun and energizing, and I’ve written about them at the Scriptorium. The evening launch is what I want to talk about here.
What can I say? It was a wonderful night! The band, Tradition Continued, played great bluegrass music. I love bluegrass, and I’m so glad we were able to get this group. The evening was set up so that we alternated sets of music with readings – some Shepherd, some Tradition Continued. There was time for lots of both, and I know the evening went on longer than some events that Stories in the North has held.
It was wonderful reading for my hometown people, and I wouldn’t have traded that experience for anything. Just to have folks from my own community come out to hear me is humbling and gratifying and also completely delightful.
To break up the “Shepherd” readings a bit, I brought a story I wrote a couple of years ago that featured Appalachian magic. I thought it would fit in with the bluegrass music. Several people made a point of telling me they liked it. It was the first time I’d read it in public, and I was so happy it got a positive response.
And I signed books – copies of “Shepherd in Residence”, a few last copies of “Erik the Viking Sheep” and a few copies of Aurora Wolf’s “New Fairy Tales”, in which I have a story. That was wonderful, too.
Laurence Steven, who owns and operates Scrivener Press, came to Thessalon just for this event. I have to say, working with Laurence has been fun, and he’s guided me easily through the process of getting “Shepherd” from my submitted manuscript to the finished book. He chose Chantal Bennett to do the cover and inside pictures, and it was an excellent choice. (In case I’ve never mentioned it before – ha! – I love her illustrations!) It was such a pleasure to have him there for the kick-off. He’d done so much of the work that he certainly deserves to be in on the party!
So Shepherd has been launched. There is still much to do – marketing a book is the big work. My next goal is to get this printing sold out and make Laurence reprint!
But for the moment, I’m still floating.