I’m writing this on the pub date for Every Last Secret, though you won’t read it for four days beyond that. As I’ve written here before, these last weeks before the launch have been a whirl of online and other promotional activity. But it’s now mid-afternoon on pub day. Soon, I will get dressed for tonight’s big launch. Even though it’s scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. and is hardly a formal or even fancy occasion, I’ll dress up in a sequined tunic over black silk pants. Other people will be there in jeans, and that will be fine with me. I want them to be comfortable. I, however, will be all dressed up, even to lipstick and mascara (which is about as far as this old hippie goes). It is, after all, a party to celebrate the birth of my book baby.
The launch will be at the main branch of Kansas City’s large and glorious library system. This branch used to be the headquarters of a major bank back when downtown banks built like the old Egyptians. It will be a palatial place for the launch. The Library is providing wine and cheese and other hors d’oeuvres. I’m bringing a huge cake decorated with my book cover. The Library has had well over 100 reservations, so I hope I’ll have enough cake.
My brother ran over to the bookstore (Rainy Day Books, one of the country’s finest) to buy 10 books for friends who’ve asked him to have me sign them. While there, he ran into an old friend of mine from the days when I ran the university women’s center, who was also buying my book. Never in a million years should my bright, slightly shaggy, canoe-loving brother and this wealthy and proper philanthropist have ever met. They simply run in vastly different circles. Yet my book brought them together.
Tonight, friends from many different circles will converge to celebrate with me the birth of this book—and, I hope, will come away with new friends from different circles. For this is one of the great things about books—they bring us together with other people, as well as bringing us comfort and company when we are alone.
As I am right now. For a few seconds, before all the fuss of getting ready and picking up the cake and getting there on time and greeting everyone and oh, my gosh! saying something. For this few seconds I intend to sit quietly and bask in the knowledge that the creative work of those days way back there has finally come to fruition. I’ll breathe in and out. And then I’ll go get dressed and rush to pick up the cake and yes! say something and have an incredible time.
Tomorrow, this will all be a golden memory. I’ll head out early in the morning for Malice Domestic on a train. Sitting by the window, I’ll have a notebook and laptop, and I’ll be starting the process all over again. This is what we do when we are writers.