Fellow Rom-Com-er Suzanne Weyn (she's the lovely blonde in pink), acclaimed debut novelist Siobhan Vivian (she's the lovely lady in the orange cardigan), and I (in an orange dress--not planned in advance with Siobhan) had a great time at our reading last night in the Park Slope, Brooklyn Barnes & Noble.
As you can see from the photos, we had a very nice turnout, comprised of friends, family, and fans. Suzanne read from her novel, REINCARNATION, which sounds amazing--a love story that travels through time! Siobhan read from A LITTLE FRIENDLY ADVICE, which is fantastic and has received deservedly wonderful reviews. I read from THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY, and then we all answered questions, and talked about what's coming next from each of us. Always exciting/inspiring to hear what other authors are working on.
One of the best parts of the night was that Siobhan had invited a surprise guest to the reading--it turned out that one of her friends was a very dear friend of mine from high school with whom I had lost touch in recent years. My friend's name is Nora, and she grew up in Park Slope, and she was, in many ways, the inspiration for Norah in A NOVEL IDEA! When I saw Nora (and her hubby) in the audience, I choked up. It was the best surprise guest ever. Having her there made it extra-meaningful when I spoke a little about how my own high school experiences influenced my writing. Nora and I went through it all together in high school: crushes, fights, crying, bad grades, bad boys, triumphs, sleepovers, shopping, stress. There's a kind of closeness, an intensity, to high school friendships that almost cannot be duplicated with friendships later in life. In your teen years, so much feels new and raw and fresh, and the people with whom you weather these storms become precious to you.
I hope that my reverence for high school friendships comes across in the books I write--in this very "Mean Girls" culture, it helps to remember that girls can still be kind to each other, can help each other through tough times, and, at the end of the day, show up to support each other at the very best times--like a reading at a bookstore.
Here's to more successful gatherings involving books, laughter, and old friends...