My Westchester OH Barnes & Noble always treats me well, and my friends and family never disappoint me.
I had a wonderful, warm crowd to read to, and read I did. (The actress in me does so love a chance to read aloud). I chose a ghost-busting selection from the beginning of The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess. In this prequel we meet new characters, expand the horizons onto other lands as well as familiar haunts within London and rejoin the stories of our beloved favourites.
I was particularly delighted to see three young, supremely talented writers, Lizzie, Sammi and Hanna (pictured with me here), along with some of their wonderfully sweet family members, and to have a moment playing one of my favourite roles; that of being a writing cheerleader. I've told them they're not allowed to give up on their dreams or on their writing, otherwise I'll get angry. And I'm not an angry person, so this isn't to be trifled with. :) You'll see that demand in writing in the back of Darker Still , on the acknowledgement page. Hanna is right in her very kind blog post to me, my ghosts will come to haunt them otherwise. :)
I simply can't allow the opportunity I have to go to waste, that of being the voice of an author whose work is out in the world, to be an encouraging one. Yes, being a writer is tough. Yes, the business is hard. Yes, it's frustrating and exhausting to stay disciplined and to hone your craft. But that's the way of everything truly worth doing. So if I have an opportunity to be in any way an example as well as a cheerleader, I take gladly to that role. Sometimes it just takes one person saying 'yes, you can' to motivate turning dreams into a reality.
It also just so happens that Hanna comes up with the greatest shirts for my signings and events. I've been treated to several. This year was a new one, what she's wearing in the picture reads: FRONT: "If I was born in 1853..." BACK: "My last name would be Rychman!" (The last name of my beloved hero).
-- This, of course, caused me no end of glee! Thank you, Hanna, for your creativity, and also for your exceedingly kind post.
Thank you friends and family in Ohio for showing up and making it a wonderful night! In case you missed it, Ohio, stop by the Streets of Westchester Barnes & Noble because they've still got some signed copies of books 1, 2, and of Perilous Prophecy, all now reissued in Trade Paperback format. The manager, Gail, will be happy to help you. We can even arrange for a signed bookplate to be sent to the store!