Friday, May 30, 2014

Let's Hear It for Indie Bookshops!

In the past six weeks, I've done an equal number of readings and signings. I've had the pleasure of meeting dedicated and knowledgeable booksellers and their loyal customers around the Pacific Northwest. I've seen firsthand how independent bookshops play an active and important role in their communities with booksellers offering reading suggestions and readers ordering books not currently on their shelves.

As I drove south on Interstate 5 and crossed the beautiful Narrows Bridge last Saturday on my way to a place called Gig Harbor, I fretted about the event I was headed towards. Who would show up for a signing by an unknown writer on Memorial Day weekend? Who would even stop by a bookshop on Memorial Day weekend? What would I do during the two hours scheduled for the signing?

I worried my way into the scenic harbor village, amazed that in all the years I've lived in Seattle and hiked the surrounding areas, here was movie-set-perfect small town I'd simply passed en route to someplace else without bothering to stop and take a look.

When I arrived at the small shop called Mostly Books, a young bookseller named Natalie Stowell directed me to (free) off-street parking and welcomed me into the shop. By 11:00 a.m., my scheduled start time, we'd already sold two copies of RUNNING SECRETS. 

The stream of customers was steady. Some shoppers came to browse, some stopped in to pick up prior orders, and still others placed orders based on recommendations offered by Natalie and her colleague Judy Park. I enjoyed watching Natalie assist one particular mother and adolescent daughter compile a tall purchase pile as well as a lengthy list of additional orders.

When I mentioned it was my first visit to Gig Harbor and how confusing I find the topography of mainland, islands and waterways in the Pacific Northwest, Natalie led me to a large map  of the region posted on the exterior wall of the shop. Together we traced the route I'd taken from Seattle, and she pointed out I could return home by heading north and taking the Southworth ferry home. I'm certain this helpful friendliness brings residents and tourists alike back to Mostly Books.

Like others, I'll be returning soon. Mostly Books owner, Jo Graffe, invited me to Thursday Night Out, a community event held on the second Thursday of every month. I'll be signing copies of my latest novel, BIKING UPHILL, between 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. on July 10th. But I might just pop out and enjoy the community celebration, too!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Fussy Librarian

I'm pleased to announce that RUNNING SECRETS will be a featured book tomorrow, May 29, on The Fussy Librarian. It's an email newsletter that reaches more than 12,500 readers. I hope you'll check it out!

Friday, May 23, 2014

An Interview with Eleanor Parker Sapia

 I had the pleasure of completing an interview with Eleanor Parker Sapia for her blog, The Writing Life. Eleanor's novel, A Decent Woman, will be released this summer by Booktrope Publishing. I wish I'd seen the original painting by Marie-Guillemine Benoist when I was in the Louvre last summer. A beautiful painting. A wonderful book cover.
Click here for the interview.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Know Anyone in Gig Harbor?

I'll be meeting folks and talking about Running Secrets at Mostly Books in Gig Harbor next Saturday.If you have friends in the area, please send them on in!

Saturday, May 24
11am to 1 pm
3126 Harborview Drive
Gig Harbor, WA 98335

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Afternoon in Olympia!

I had a great time at Orca Books in the Washington State capitol yesterday. Here I am with owner, Linda Berentsen, enjoying the afternoon.

A special thank you goes out to the young woman with the ring nose and lowered car window who told me I didn't have to feed the parking meter on Saturday.  

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Next Stop ... Orca Books

I'll be visiting the beautiful Washington State capitol of Olympia this Saturday. Have you ever been there?

I hope you'll join me at 3:00 pm at Orca Books where I'll be reading from Running Secrets.

Orca Books
509 E. 4th Avenue
Olympia, WA 98501

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thank You, Poulsbo!

It was a wonderful, rainy Sunday in Poulsbo, WA. Here I am with my childhood neighbor friend, Karen Suther. Her Boehm's chocolates shop is just across the street from Liberty Bay Books. If you haven't tried Boehm's, you've missed the best!

We had a great lunch at JJ's Fish House and then headed to Liberty Bay Books. You can almost see the store across the street and through the downpour! Bright yellow - the perfect color in the gray Pacific Northwest.

I was lucky to share the reading table with Cathy Cuenin, author of The Way I Walk. The atmosphere was lovely, the audience attentive. An all round great reading!

And then there was the ferry ride home. It can't get better than a Sunday afternoon ferry ride. Even in the rain. This one pulled up in the dock next to us. The Issaquah. Karen and I grew up in the Issaquah Valley. The perfect end to a perfect day.