Malaprop’s Book Launch

Flashes of War is officially launched and I know now that there is nothing better than a home town audience. These 45+ smiling faces belong to people I know and love…many of whom had never heard any of my stories before, but who believed in my work as a writer all the same. When I came down the hallway after my introduction at Malaprop’s and was greeted by such warmth and applause, I nearly broke down. People here care about what I’m doing. In a community of so many self-supporting studio artists (I count 17 of them in this photo alone), I have never had to face the questions: What do you mean you’re writing a book? A book about war? And trying to make a living? That’s not a gift you can put a price tag on. It’s authentic and irreplaceable and, on Monday night, I felt that more than any other time in my 11 of years of Western North Carolina living.

The other good thing about starting the book tour “around home” is that there are a few more local events to look forward to, where I hope my stories can reach even more folks I know and love (and of course, some strangers and “new fans,” too!). I’ll be reading at Penland School in the Northlight Building this Sunday 6/2 at 4pm, as well as The Celo Inn next Monday 6/10 at 7:30pm. I can’t imagine a more uplifting send off. [Secret for local readers: I’m featuring “Home on Leave” at Penland and “The Ghost of Sanchez” at The Celo Inn. You choose–do you want a young man grappling with what it means to be a warrior (bonus: sex scene), or a skilled soldier who can’t let go of the ghost of his friend (bonus: deep symbolism).]

It feels very rewarding to have come this far, but I have 14 more events in the next 15 weeks–everything from fundraisers to dual-author readings to faculty presentations–so I know I need to pace myself. June 21st will be Buy Day for Flashes of War, and if you’re on my email list you’ll receive a note about that. But other than that, the bulk of the email/marketing campaign is done. Now I just have to hope that the book sales match the enthusiasm of the reviews. Anything you can do to recommend this book to people you think would enjoy it, will make a difference. And any purchases you can make as gifts for friends, or organized for a book club, will support me tenfold (actually, sevenfold–that’s $7 per book sale through my website, and about $1 per book sale through anywhere else).

And so to you, dear readers of The Writing Life, a very heartfelt thank you as well. Since June 29th, 2005 strangers near and far have checked back to this site again and again and followed my story, chasing down the dream of The Writing Life. Little did you know that you, as audience members and readers and book buyers and link sharers alike, were so much a part of that dream as well. I couldn’t be here without you! Three cheers for each and every one of you!

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