It truly was a blast and I wish each and everyone of you could have been there!
Many funny moments to share, beginning with the party set-up at 4:00 in the afternoon and my dad walking through the back door of the bookshop with a case of Corona in his arms.
“Kasey, where do you want the bar set up?” he shouted across the store. I smiled at the book browsers who turned my way and knew we were in for an interesting evening.
My aunt Harriet and I filled a big blue tub with ice and beer. She pointed at the sign marking the Young Adult section where we setting up the bar. “Where’d you get the beer, Jimmy?” she said. “Oh they’re given’ ’em out at the bookstore,” Harriet said, answering her own question. I doubled over the tub of beer laughing so hard that tears streamed down my face. When we saw my dad heading our way with a case of wine, we started laughing even harder!
Just a half hour before the party began the skies grew ominously dark. The bookstore phone began ringing and reports of hail storms, tornado warning and severe thunderstorms were being reported. Sadly, several friends were forced to turn back.
But so many others made it, including my agent Dede, who was covered in poison ivy! She looks good, doesn’t she? Suzanne Kingsbury came. Suzanne and I worked together on my manuscript for half a year, as she gently guided me deeper and deeper into my story, coaxing me to open up and share more than I ever thought possible. And Libby Barnett, my Reiki master was there, too. Andie was almost 7 years old when I finally found deep healing on Libby’s Reiki table and began the journey of writing this book.
Our peruvian friend and Chef extraordinaire, Jorge made an incredible seafood paella in his four foot pan. He had to set up out on the sidewalk outside the store because the shop wouldn’t allow open flame inside. Glad someone was thinking!
Andie and her best pal, Helen were both there, passing hor d’oeuvres and browsing the bookstore shelves.
“Mom, I was asked to sign 10 of your books,” Andie told me the next morning. “Helen signed them. too.”
“Helen signed the books?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Andie answered. “She wrote, Helen, aka Andie’s BFF.”
Lee’s Mom and Dad were there, too. And my sister-in-law, Lizzie showed up as a big surprise!
My parents were there!
My sister came down from Vermont. (She’s the one who took all these photos and fortunately someone snapped one of her.)
As you can see, we ate and drank, but at one point we did actually set our drinks down, and I read a few passages from the book.
Lee introduced me and just thinking about what he said makes me start crying all over again. He said how proud he was of me and spoke of my focus and perseverance, and he thanked everyone for there undying support and said that the party was to celebrate them. He also broke the news that although many of our parties in the past have ended in an impromptu sleepover, the bookstore wasn’t allowing overnight guests!
I struggled to decide what parts of the book I wanted to read. There were so many people there who had played such a major role in our story and I really wanted to read the scenes they were in. As the day wore on, I became increasingly anxious at my lack of decision and fell into a grumbling fit of Why did I even write this stupid book. And with that, I remembered the words Lee’d been whispering in my ear for several years. Go back to the why. Why you wrote the book.
And I did.
And then I knew exactly which parts to read.
I read the preface – my Why.
“I’d like to sit on the end of your bed and share my story with you. Your story and mine are sure to be different, but if hearing my story allows you a moment away from yours, if it leaves you with a sense of hope, then this story was worth writing down.”
Because Tucker was away on his class trip, I read the beautiful wishbone letter he’d written several years before and spoke of his importance in the story.
I read the section of the book when we named Andie.
“We both knew a name made this baby real. I moved my mouth but couldn’t speak. I wasn’t sure if we’d really agreed on a name. Lee picked up my hand, and I watched as first his eyes, then his whole face, took on an expression of certainty. In a proud voice, he announced, “Her name is Anne. Anne Daniel, and we’ll call her Andie.”
I was doing fine until I looked up and caught a glimpse of Lee. His cheeks were soaked in tears and I had to step away from the microphone to catch my breath.
I read from the epilogue, and yeah, I was giving away the ending, but the ending was sitting right there in the front row dying of embarrassment.
“Andie wears skinny jeans now, makes up dances behind her closed bedroom door, has contact lenses, and won’t wear skirts to school because she complains that she can’t run as fast as the boys…”
And finally I introduced my dear friend, Enid who wrote the most beautiful song in the world for Andie and the book. It’s called The Power of Intention (you’ll hear much more about the song in future posts.) and she sang it for the first time in public that night. I can’t wait for all of you to hear it. Soon, I promise!
And then we ate cake!
It was an incredible evening up until the very last moment when the cars were packed, we’d taken out all the trash and the bookstore was back to the way we’d found it.
“Don’t forget your little girl,” one of the bookstore employees called out from the front.
And there we found Andie curled up on a couch in the front of the store, immersed in her new book.
“Hey, Kase, there’s your next book,” my aunt Hats said.
And with that, we all walked out into the night full of laughter and the knowledge that Preemie was off to a wonderful start!
If you’d like to purchase your own copy of Preemie, click here or visit Barnes and Noble or better yet, visit your local independent bookstore.