February 15, 2008


“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” -- Alice Walker

Despite the whirlwind of interviews, e-mails and activities that surrounded my novel’s launch this week, I took time to appreciate this purple tulip from my friend, Riley Roam. And the red tulips from Sylvia. And the red, white and blue balloons from Linda. And . . .

1) This week, I had my first radio interview. I’m sure I sounded like a dork, but I had a blast doing it. The host was great and made me feel comfortable. (I’ll let you know when it’s available for Internet streaming.)

2) My dear friends and hubby celebrated with me at a book launch lunch. The only thing better than something wonderful happening is being able to share that something with those you care about.

3) My sister, Ellen, got my first autographed copy of my book. “Hey, Ellen, did I do anything stupid, like misspell my own name?”

4) This crazy crew – part of my fantabulous critique group (Sylvia, Dan, Me, Linda and Riley) – went to our local Barnes and Noble the day my book was released.

We were told three of the four books they had in stock sold within two hours. (Thanks, Carilynn, for purchasing 50% of their stock!)

5) Then I signed Sylvia’s copy of AS IF BEING . . . that she had brought with her from a different bookstore. (It doesn’t seem that long ago that Sylvia signed a copy of her picture book -- Rattlebone Rock – for me.)

6) I cajoled an unsuspecting shopper into snapping our photo. “Thank you, unsuspecting shopper.”

Then my writing buddies said things to her like, “She wrote a book” and “It’s funny” and “It’s topical.” So, under extreme duress, this woman read the flap copy and said, “I think my eleven-year-old daughter would like this.”

So I signed her book right there in the store – my first autograph to a non-family member or friend – and there went the last copy of my book from the shelves of our local Barnes and Noble.

7) I understood how our local bookstore sold out quickly, but two Barnes and Noble stores just outside New Orleans did also. I don’t know anyone in New Orleans except our dear friend Sharon and her family. Sharon called to report that each store she visited had sold out of its four copies the first day. “Thank you, New Orleans book-buyers! And thank you Sharon for ordering four copies to send to your unsuspecting friends."

8) My first fan mail for AS IF BEING . . . came through my Website (www.donnagephart.com) from a friend’s daughter. When you read this excerpt from her letter, you’ll see why I spent the rest of the day smiling:

I loved your book: the day my mom got it (yesterday) I read it through twice. It's that good!

Thank you, Amelia! I’d have included the rest of your lovely e-mail, but there were serious spoilers in it about . . . well, you know.

9) Please check out Alice Pope’s blog today. She featured a certain very excited/slightly overwhelmed/definitely delighted scribbler as her Debut Author of the Month.

10) And finally, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has given me a shout out on her blog, via e-mail, by phone or in person and made my book launch week such a grand and memorable experience!



Sylvia said...

Happy, Happy Bookday, Donna!
May your book soar right up there to bestseller and be followed by many more.

It was such a delight to share your BIG, WONDERFUL day with you.



Mary Hershey said...

Hi, Donna!

Wow, what a very exciting time you've had. ;-) I just got my copy of AS IF BEING in the mail. Can't wait to read it. If I sent you a bookplate in the mail, would you sign it?

May the fun continue for months and months!
Mary Hershey

The Suprans said...

I love Riley Roam! We watch the Kenny & Page Turner FCAT testing tips every day on morning announcements. :)