Launch Parties Till I Dropped!

After three years of research, writing, revising, and editing, and three months of “Let’s move the launch up three months because I went and got myself pregnant!” my first baby, The Woods at Barlow Bend, was released on November 19, 2014.

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And why celebrate the biggest moment of my career (while 6 months pregnant) only once, when I can plan two launch parties in two different states, two weekends in a row?  A sane person would have considered the raging hormones, swollen feet, and 15lb lead sack attached to my abdomen as a reason to go small, but not me!  I said, “Challenge accepted!”

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The first party, held at the Cathedral Square Gallery in Mobile, Alabama, included a group of fifty or so family members and friends who have not been in the same room together since Jay and I got married.

 

 

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I underestimated how much their show of love and support would affect me until I stood before them to speak.  Almost immediately, the tears started to flow.  I would love to blame my public crying on the pregnancy hormones, but I know better.  I would have also loved for the It Cosmetics mascara I bought specifically for the event to have been waterproof.  It was not.

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I kept the food and decor in line with the setting and theme of the book, the story of my Granny’s adolescence in rural Alabama.  The fried chicken drummettes, strawberries, cucumber canapés, and pimento cheese finger sandwiches could have been found in Granny’s kitchen throughout my childhood.  And because I called the caterer the day before the event to confirm payment and pick up, disaster was avoided.  The caterer had written down the wrong date for my event, and had not begun to prepare my order!  That was a little rough on the blood pressure.

 

And if you are thinking of doing a launch party yourself, learn how to ask for help!  My sisters set up and freshened up the food table throughout the party.  My in-laws kept the wine flowing, and cleaned up.  My publisher, Aurelia Sands of Deer Hawk Publications, jumped in to sell books.  All I had to do was mingle, sign books, enjoy myself, and pray that my shoes still fit at the end of the evening!

 

The second party was just as successful, but this time around we were in Columbia, South Carolina at Trustus Theater, and the fabulous Jim Dukes took photos for me for free!  Yes, I will beg, borrow, and steal my way to a budget-friendly party.  I have no shame.

Once again, I called upon family, or rather my new “Columbia” family and one Army sister (and her hubby) who knows me way too well. (Leslie at least knows where the bodies are buried, and makes everything she touches stylish and beautiful!)  The food was set, tables decorated, and another fifty books sold!

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But now, the launch parties are over.  I woke up the morning after as I did as a child the day after Christmas, exhausted from all the excitement but so sad that the day was gone.

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