It’s a bit like planning a wedding, really. Months or years of anticipation come together in dramatic fashion. And so it was on October 23, 2016 as friends and family, and fans of Doc and Jim celebrated at Austin’s Book People. I was/am honored by the standing-room-only crowd, and by those who attended the private after party that followed. Six of my VCFA classmates flew in for my event, and my dear friend Cynthia Levinson returned from her Boston season for the celebration. I’m a lucky girl, indeed!
There were photo opportunities with the Step Right Up banner and with my old show saddle. A posterboard was setup, where folks could answer the question of what kindness means. Over in the “feed room” there were hay bales (Rice Krispies treats), grain (Cheerios), vittles (apples and carrots), and horse cookies and brownies. And, of course, we had a custom cake by cakelustrator Akiko White, because it’s not an Austin launch party without one.
A child volunteer donned a horse hat, hoof gloves, and a horse tail as she took on the role of Beautiful Jim Key in a spelling test. It was great fun.
After a very touching introduction by my friend, author Carmen Oliver, I took to the podium. I was teary throughout my presentation, which is an indication of many things: my heart is in this book, many of the people who have supported me and given feedback over the years were present, and my mother was in the audience. I swore to all that I will not be so emotional at my next launch, for En Garde! Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words(2018).
The book’s acknowledgment section names a handful of people who were especially helpful with feedback and support over the many years that I worked on the book. But, goodness, there are so many more people to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. It took a village to raise this writer and this book.
For their help with my launch event, I send special thanks to Cynthia Levinson, Carmen Oliver, Nikki Loftin, Cate Berry, Gayleen Rabakukk, Christine Soontornvat, Shelley Ann Jackson, my kids, and my husband. Some of the photo highlights are shown below.