As soon as my first book signing was over I turned to my husband and asked: "Did I ramble too much?" Like many people, I get a little nervous when I do public speaking and last night I had my first book signing at the fantastic, west Houston Blue Willow Bookshop. (They sell online and they ship, too, click here for the link.)
It's a small-ish independent bookstore in a strip mall with a big grocery store and they deliver the kind of service that small-ish independent bookstores still can do. They know what's on their shelves. They've looked at all of the books and they can honestly tell you that they've met most of the authors whose books sit on their shelves. Blue Willow is known for hosting big-name authors and I got a lucky turn at being a not-so-big-name author who met some of their customers last night.
I talked about the genesis of my book, "Sunday Dinners," and how the concept came to me in a single drive home from work when I was brainstorming how I could use the topics I handle at the Houston Chronicle -- religion and food -- for a book. They asked lots of questions about the pastors I interviewed for the book and about the reaction I've gotten so far.
The thing I love most about talking about "Sunday Dinners" is that every time I tell someone about it, I get almost the same reaction: they start telling me about their Sunday dinner traditions and favorite meals their mothers and grandmothers -- and, yes, sometimes their fathers and grandfathers -- used to make. Just a mention of strawberry cake and you have no idea the number of people who tell me about how it was their brother's favorite birthday cake or how their mom used to make it for the perfect ending to a family dinner.
So, hat's off to Blue Willow Bookshop owner Valerie Koehler and her staff. You guys rock!