Even after Friday night’s friends-and-family bash at the Barnes and Noble in Layton, I was still a nervous wreck about going to Salt Lake City for the signing at The King’s English. I’d seen pictures of the store and knew it was in a really, really cool bookstore–like the kind you see in a fabulous dream. It is a house converted into a book haven. Every inch of wall space is covered with books, and extra divider-walls have been added to add books. It’s a dream come true. And kind of intimidating. Important authors have signed there. Famous ones. People I’d go all fangirl on.
Nerves, baby. Nerves.
Still, I must not have been too anxious because I was able to eat a fabulous dinner at the restaurant across the street: Tony Caputo’s. It was an Italian deli with what amounted to the best bologna sandwich I’ve ever eaten. Drenched in olive oil and balsamic vinegar? Can I get another one of those, please? Mmmm. And the pasta salad on the side had everything in it. So delicious. Plus I bought exotic chocolate from their vast collection of imports). That helped the nerves some.
Steeling myself against irrational fears, I slathered on a new coat of lipstick and jaywalked to the bookstore. If nobody came, that’d be fine. After all, what was the worst that could happen? I’d be alone in the bookstore, and worst case scenario I’d spend the equal of my annual income on books, beautiful books.
But instead, the best happened! It was so truly amazing!
First, my husband’s family came out in force. Gary’s cousin Les and his wife Stacey came. I haven’t seen them in forever! They’re delightful. They were followed by Aunt Shauna. And cousin Amy and John and Whitney. Family! It’s times like these when I know I married into the nicest family imaginable. Lovely, amazing. The best.
Then, fellow JFP author Teri Harman (who just won the Creative Frighting Contest, congrats!) sashayed in with members of her book group. They’d read Big in Japan for their selection this month. I got to sign their books and, unfortunately, only visit for a second. Dang it! They were so great to come all that way! Mmwah! I blow them a kiss. The perk for them, I know, is that they were in The King’s English bookstore. And Teri brought her mom. What a lovely person, I must say.
Next came more friends–friends from days of yore! A couple who I haven’t seen for 13 years, but great friends. And, to add to the reunion joy, they’re still planning on having their daughters marry our sons. Bonus! So glad to know this.
To my huge surprise, a guy I went to junior high with came in next. My mother had lived in France with his mom during college, and so that was another bonus. Great to catch up.
My favorite cousin Becca came in and had me sign her book a second time, and she gave me the update on her darling baby. It just made me sad that I don’t live closer to the whole Stewart family because I just get these annual snapshots of the babies as they grow up and I don’t get to see them on a regular basis. Sad! She reminded me that after she read Big in Japan, she had dreams of sumo wrestlers for weeks.
Another friend through Jolly Fish Press, Terron Jones (who has an epic fantasy series slated for release June 1, 2013, BEHOLDERS) came with his wife and three boys. What darling boys. And his wife is awesome. Why aren’t they selling their house in Utah and moving into the house next door to me so she and I can be friends? That’s what I want to know.
There were other people there, people I didn’t even know, who had read the article in the Deseret News and came to buy the book. It was pretty flooring.
So, all my fears happened to be unfounded. This time. But perhaps, like my friend Louise always says, “It’s a good thing I worried! Because if I hadn’t done all that excellent work of worrying, things might not have turned out so well.”
Good friends. Feeling so grateful in this Thanksgiving month.