Monday, April 15, 2013


When my novel, EVIDENCE OF LIFE, was given its birth date, March 26, 2013, I began reading and researching everything I could find on what to expect and on what I could do to prepare. It was a process similar to the one I went through when I was anticipating the birth of my children, but instead of a shower or a christening ceremony, a book receives a launch party. The two share the same spirit of celebration, though. They are the same in that they are welcoming of a new and precious creation, something with weight and stature and value.

I was very honored to participate in my launch event this past Friday, April 12. I had no idea what to expect. I prepared a reading. I’d chosen a passage toward the middle of the book, but changed that at the last minute when my very wise editor gently suggested I might want to entice those who attended the event with the first chapter. She was so right! After reading, I imagined I would offer to answer questions and then worried what if no one asked any. I worried, too: What if no one came? But one thing I wasn’t worried about was the location for my event. I was fortunate that it was the Barnes and Noble, Champions, in Houston, where Lillian Reitz is the Community Relations Manager. She is the soul of patience and serenity, and immediately on my arrival, she told me exactly what would happen and what I could expect. 

I wish I could describe how it felt to walk in the door of a bookstore and see my book cover and my own image as its author on an easel, billed as that evening’s entertainment. I’d dreamed such a thing; I’ve indulged so many flights of fancy, but the dream was incomparable to the reality. In fact, the whole evening exceeded anything I could ever dream or imagine. 

There was the location, that particular Barnes and Noble store just has a wonderful atmosphere, and there was the set up—the table with my books, the podium, even a microphone! And there was Lillian, whose presence I appreciated more than she’ll ever know, but what really amazed me were the people who came and sat down in the chairs, more than thirty, who then listened for eleven minutes while I read the first chapter of my novel. Mine! The one I labored over for so long. The one I loved and that other people, such as my agent and editor, loved as well, enough to bring it and me to a book launch event. But the audience—I still can’t quite get over that there was one. People drove in Friday rush hour traffic to be there. They gave up a portion of their weekend, their off hours. My family, friends, too, but there were people whom I did not know. It was amazing, surreal. I was so nervous, but I loved it, every moment. And I’m so grateful to everyone (especially Lisa Wray, Public Relations Coordinator at MIRA) who helped to make it happen. There is so much joy in this endeavor not the least of which was to be found at that Barnes and Noble store last Friday night. I think you’ll see evidence of it in the photos.
Talking with an friend and former critique partner, Linda Helman, who drove a ton of miles to be there. Plus, look at the sign! It gave me goosebumps.

The table was beautiful! The flowers are from my garden.

Lillian delivering a glowing introduction. I was nervous!

The audience - listening! I was a bit in awe.

I'm signing, really signing! Lovely.


  1. Hi Barbara!

    I felt the same way when I walked into the El Cerrito Barnes & Noble and saw my book, Untold Damage, on the "New in Mystery" shelf. I'd waited SO long for that moment. It was great. I can totally understand how you felt! :-)

  2. Hi Robert,

    I'm so glad you stopped by! Your comment brought a light into my day. I don't imagine there is anyone on earth who can identify so well as someone who has been through this long, arduous process. I wish you so much luck, friend, fellow traveler and Poellite. We have to stick together!

  3. It was lovely! From the bluebonnets to the beautiful author. Happy book warming!