The Morning After

So, that was fun.

The Paris Hours went out into the world yesterday, and while it wasn’t the launch day that anyone had anticipated, it was full of joy. 

First of all, a massive thank you to everyone who was so kind to write and send their good wishes. I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to respond to everyone quite yet. I will try, I promise. The sheer volume of messages was overwhelming, in the best possible way. It was like a million Facebook birthdays all at once. While I didn’t see many folks in person yesterday, I absolutely felt as if I spent the day with all of you lovely people. Thank you all for being there.

The day started off with the nicest surprise – a lovely photo montage of some of my favorite independent booksellers from across the country who got together to wish The Paris Hours on its way. I know first-hand what challenging times these are for these amazing people, which made the gesture even more special. I was so touched by their kindness. Booksellers are the very best people. You all know that, right?

Best. Thing. Ever.

Speaking of bookshops, I spent most of the day at Skylark, signing and sending off yet more books. Now that we’re allowed to do curbside pick-up again, a ton of people stopped by to pick up their copy of The Paris Hours in person, and it was lovely to wave at them through the windshields of their cars. We took delivery of another 200 copies of the book – our fourth consignment so far. I’m so grateful to everyone for shopping locally. Please don’t stop!

Yesterday was also my son’s 19th birthday. He ought to be in Boston right now but has been here for seven weeks, doing his studies from home. He bicycled into town and we had lunch together in the shop, courtesy of Sycamore Restaurant, which praise the heavens, has recently re-opened its curbside pick-up service. (Their Patchwork Pork sandwich is about the best way to celebrate anything, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.)

What you can’t see is the chaos hiding behind the books.

Much of the afternoon was spent with my daughter, driving around Columbia delivering copies of The Paris Hours to people’s homes. With contactless delivery this wasn’t quite the social activity it might otherwise have been, but it still felt good to see the book go to all those homes.

In the evening, I had the enormous pleasure of launching the book virtually with Will Schwalbe. This pandemic has put us all in the market for silver linings, and one big one for me was that I got to spend time with Will last night. We talked (OK, I talked) for well over an hour and the time whizzed by. Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to tune in. And huge thanks to Will for being there and for asking such wonderful questions.

It was a wonderful day, and none of it would have been possible without your support and kindness. Thank you all so much.

Finally, even though the book tour is canceled, there’s still stuff going on. This evening I’ll be chatting with Kris Kleindienst of the wonderful Left Bank Books in St. Louis at 7:00 p.m. CST, and on Thursday I’ll be talking to the brilliant Christina Baker Kline at 3:00 p.m. CST as part of The Mighty Blaze online book extravaganza. Maybe see you there?

(Finally, if you’d like a signed and personalized copy of the book, Skylark Bookshop has you covered.)

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