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Monday, May 1, 2017

Reading Up a Spring Storm in Oregon

On Saturday, I went with my supportive mother to the Saint Helens Spring into Art phenomenon at the community center. There were culinary arts, rug weaving, paintings and sculptures on display, a dog adoption area, and ukulele band performances, to name just a few.

The community center building houses the town library, and I found my baby, Seven Noble Knights, in really good company on the new shelf.

I wore my shirt with the awesome medieval sleeves in order to read the first chapter of Seven Noble Knights for a diverse and enthusiastic audience in the auditorium.

Audience members told me I brought the story and the time period to life with my reading, so I felt pretty good. This was great community-centered practice for my reading at the Harvard Book Store later this week!

Afterward, I set up Seven Noble Knights (with a printout of its Historical Novel Society review), Tree/House, Unpredictable Worlds, and Awash in Talent in the children's area of the library with several other local authors. Even though we were tucked in the back of the community center where people had to come looking for us, I sold and signed several copies of Awash in Talent and one of Unpredictable Worlds, and chatting with readers and the librarians was a lot of fun.

One male reader asked me what Tree/House was about, and I amazed myself saying, "It uses Jungian archetypal imagery to retell the Bluebeard legend." Tree/House is kind of a hard sell to a male reader, anyway, but I'm not sure what made me venture into the alienating scholarly definition of a book many people have enjoyed without knowing about Carl Jung or the Bluebeard story. Note to self: Tree/House is the story of a woman's empowerment through sleeping in trees.

Another note to self: If I had mentioned the book signing at the reading, I might have attracted more historical fiction readers to the second event. It's not easy to remember to be your own publicist when you're having fun.

Thanks to everyone who listened to the first chapter of Seven Noble Knights and who stopped by my booth! And to my mom, who was my biggest fan on Saturday!

If you just weren't in Oregon on Saturday, I did a special YouTube reading of the first chapter, which you can watch any time here.

Enjoy! And I'll see you at Harvard!