Book Love

Touring for a new book reinforces for me the fact that I love books. I love writing ’em, selling ’em, meeting the people who read ’em, and the people who sell them. Last night I had the priviledge of signing at The Book Exchange in Marietta. Book Exchange owner Cathy Blanco has to be one of the hardest-working booksellers I know. Her shop is small, and true to the name, they sell used–as well as new–books. Now, some writers absolutely hate the idea of a used bookstore. Not me. I know from experience that somebody who picks up a used copy of one of my books for a buck or two will usually decide they really need to buy my new hardback as soon as it comes out. Or, maybe they’re a working mom or retiree who can only afford to feed their habit by buying used books. I’m good with that. Cathy has become well known with authors in the Atlanta area, especially romance writers, because she and her staff really know how to move books. For DEEP DISH, Cathy decided to throw a wingding of a party. She charged five bucks a head, took reservations and when the reservations started flooding in, she went to work. She put her wooden bookcases on wheels so she could move them to the sides of the shop to make room for folding chairs for her customers to sit in. One of her workers, Theresa, made a huge vat of chicken salad–with grapes–mmmm! Somebody else made cheese straws. You can’t have a party in the South without chicken salad and cheese straws. I think there’s an ordinance. Then, because Cathy always tries to have refreshments that tie in with the theme of the book, she made two of the tomato soup chocolate cakes that figure in the plot of DEEP DISH. She had fried pork rinds–which also figure into the book, and Moonpies, because the dog in the book is named Moonpie. She served wine, and Diet Coke–because I drink a lot of Diet Coke when I’m working. And the people came. More than a hundred of them, lined up outside the Book Exchange, chatting with their girlfriends, co-workers, their sisters and their mamas. Two of my college roommates, Nancy and Sheryl came too, and I got to see the snapshots of Nancy’s daughter Stephanie’s wedding, which I missed because I was on tour. We laughed and sipped wine, took snapshots, scarfed down the cake, and “visited.” That’s what we call it. “Visiting.” As in, “Lorraine and I drank about a gallon of appletinies, and then we visited about what kind of shoes we would wear to that hussy Veronica’s wedding shower. And we decided we would both wear our new lime green slingback spikes, just to show Veronica we don’t care that she didn’t ask us to be in her wedding.” Now, “visiting” is different from “fellowshipping.” I think mostly Baptists do fellowshipping. At our party last night, we had die-hard Southerners and Yankees and Midwesterners, and everybody visited and played nice. One woman confided in me that she had discovered the difference between women from the North and women from the South. “If you act ugly, a Yankee will call you a bitch to your face,” she told me. “But, now, a Southerner, she’ll just set her mouth, pat you on the arm and murmur ‘Bless your heart.’ “

4 thoughts on “Book Love”

  1. Kathy (aka Hissy Fit)
    Sole Sisters Peach & Vegas were delighted to induct you into the Sole Sister “Shoeniverse” last evening at The Book Exchange. Those poor “soles ” that stayed
    home missed a “shoeriffic” event. Congrats to you for the much deserved honor of making the NY TImes best seller list with Deep Dish. Pix & a Sole Sister “must read” recommendation will be on our web site,, asap. I hope the next time our paths cross we will have time to visit while sippin’ our signature drink “The Shoetini” Until then, Rremember “The higher the heel, the closer to heaven!”
    Sole Sister Peach

  2. “Lorraine and I drank about a gallon of appletinies…”

    Hey, I don’t remember drinking half a gallon of appletinies…???

  3. Oh how I wished I lived close enough to one of the towns in your tour schedule. I can go visitin with the best of them and would have enjoyed this immensely.

  4. My friend, Lee, and I had a fabulous time!

    The book is terrific, as usual! I pre-ordered two copies, one for myself and one to give to Lee for her birthday. Before they arrived (actually the day before), my husband called me at work and said I have a surprise for you. He is an editor at CNN and Kathy (Mary Kay) had done an interview that day at CNN and the producers told her that their editors’ wife was one of their biggest fans. She was so kind to sign her very own copy that she had brought for the interview and gave it to my husband to give to me!

    I had the copy I had purchased for myself signed at The Book Exchange and I am giving it to my sister up in St. Louis. I know she will love it!

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