July 31st — Well, the book launched five weeks again and it feels like five years. Not to sound ungrateful, as this is a Top Ten Life Highlight. But this book thing is HARD WORK. I couldn’t say it’s like labor, because I never went into labor with either of my two kids. It’s more like a c-section with lots and lots of Percoset — thrilling, unsettling and definitely cause for sleep. The good news is that 365 Nights is on a multiple reprint and has been ranked as the number one book in Charlotte for the past several weeks, according to Creative Loafing/Park Road Books (the best indy bookstore in the universe). So that’s great news – people who don’t know me from work, school, church, college, the ‘hood or some party where I behaved badly are actually purchasing and reading the book. Which is amazing, really.
In fact, I recently attended my first book event where I hadn’t stacked the crowd with friends and family. This was a big step for me as I have lots of friends and family willing to plant themselves in an audience ready to pipe up with carefully orchestrated questions and comments. I was at the Regulator Bookstore in Durham (another outstanding indy bookstore) and I read to a standing room only crowd. That sounds more impressive than it is because, really, there were only about 25 or so chairs. But still! It was a milestone for me. People who didn’t know me, know my family, know a friend of a friend of someone I used to work with, came to hear about the book. And get this, there were people who were there who had ALREADY READ THE BOOK! The reason that this was thrilling is because I’ve been told by countless “professionals” that there will come a day when I have a book event and no one will come. “I don’t care if you’re John Grisham in a skirt, there will come a day when you’ll be sitting in a bookstore all alone and no one will care.” But I will care, sniff sniff. So any bookstore event where two or more or gathered is a cause for celebration, I say.