A couple of weeks ago, I was scheduled to give a reading at Bookery, Manchester, a new independent bookstore in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire. I’d never been there before, and as a debut author, I was naturally worried that no one would show up.
I arrived at the venue in plenty of time and had an enjoyable conversation with the magenta-haired marketing assistant.
As the minutes ticked by and the chairs remained empty, I was already composing the ironically sanguine gotta-pay-my-author’s-dues blog post, when my nephew Andrew and his girlfriend Shannon arrived. We had a lovely family catch-up while the rest of the chairs stayed empty. I finally asked them in an ironically self-deprecating way if I should just read to my family. Of course, they said yes.
So I told them about the inspiration for Telling Sonny, a little awkwardly at first, but when I began to read, something magical happened. I could feel myself reconnecting with the book and sharing that connection with Andrew and Shannon, a connection of writing and family that is at the heart of who I am.
When the reading was over, we didn’t want the evening to end. We found a place close-by to eat Italian food and get loud in a public place, in the best Andrew tradition. (As a two-year-old, he had once gotten so loud in a restaurant in North Carolina, the family was summarily ejected.)
I couldn’t have asked for a better reading if attendance had been standing room only.