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1 October. Thursday was my bookstore launch at Phoenix Books in Essex Junction, Vermont, one of two independent bookstores owned by a husband and wife team: Mike and Renee Desantis.  We figured that between 45 and 50 people showed up. I was nervous before I got there, but had planned a little talk before the reading, about my love affair with France, especially Paris, which started in 1969, when I lived there for eleven months. I found a cache of aerograms written to my mother and sister from that year, and read a few excerpts from a young woman in love in the City of Light. That went over well.

The highligh of the evening was looking up and seeing my daughter Ramsey, who had flown in from LA for the reading. It was the greatest shock I"ve ever experienced and I felt it viscerally, energetically, and the sensation of turning my head from another guest to see HER will always be with me. My son and his family had driven three hours up from Laconia, New Hampshire, and so there I was with my adored children. To top the evening off, my long-lost friend Karen, who had worked with me in New York in 1968, came in from the Utica area with at least five or six friends (and family members). I knew she was coming but seeing her enter the bookstore was another wonder-filled moment. Perhaps the greatest joy of having the novel come out has been the response and support of friends and family. Everyone wants me to succeed.

My next reading will be in New York City at Mysterious Bookshop, and after I return from the Bouchercon Conference in Cleveland, I will be drumming up people to attend the NYC one.  It isn't easy, I have found, and so far, it is my friends who have gone out of their way to be there. I'm not sure how to get strangers to attend a book reading by someone they don't know.  I'm going to come up with something.

I want to write a blog about bookstores, and what it has been like to approach them with the notion of reading. Maybe tomorrow.