It took me seven books to get this book launch thing right. That is not to say I did it wrong or poorly with previous books, but that is to say that this time it was sublime.
The Consequence of Stars is now officially out. This is my memoir of linked essays about home—what it means to me and what it means to all of us. The launch had been set for the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, IL where I had been the writer-in-residence for a time. The board of the Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park had graciously allowed me to occupy the old Victorian home for an evening along with some fifty of my friends, colleagues, fellow writers, and readers.
With the help of my wonderful wife, stepdaughter, stepson, and good friend Ben, a wonderful spread was whipped up—appetizers of fruit and tomato/mozzarella and ultimately cake. And of course wine, liquor (Papa’s Pilar Rum), and beer.
What was sublime?
The wonderful people.
Book launches can be full of detail and timing and stress. (I had my share that night when I missed a turn, got stuck at a train crossing, and ran a half-an-hour late.) But all this disappeared when the first floor of the Hemingway house filled up with people.
Yes, I’m proud of the book. Yes, I hope it is read many times over. Yes, I hope you drop a review at Goodreads or Amazon. Yes, I want you to tell your friends. Yes, I hope literary reviewers recommend it. But above all, I am humbled by the great support and love I experienced that night when the Hemingway home turned into my home, if only for a few hours.
Photo Credits: Bernie Tafoya, Ken Zuk, Jen O’Hare, Jim Olson.