Saturday, March 3, 2012

We Had a Blast...

All photos courtesy of Paul Dudley Photography (who else?)
...after I got through my nervousness!

The talk and book-signing event at the Loft at Latitude 47.7 in Poulsbo was lots of fun last night. We started with dinner for those who wanted to arrive early, so Gregg & I met a bunch of our Camp Goodtimes West peeps and ate dinner at a long table. I left a little early to get organized in the private room that the Loft provides for Liberty Bay Books' Author's Night events. Suzanne Droppert, the owner of the bookstore, really knows her stuff. She hosted NY Times Best-Selling author Kristin Hannah at the previous event - pretty impressive, particularly for an Indie-Bound bookstore in a small town!
Liberty Bay Books' owner, Suzanne Droppert with the book's poster and me (thanks to Cami Hattick for holding this for us)

The room was packed - estimated 90+ people - and some had to stand, when the seats filled up. All of the books were sold; I'm sorry to say that a group of people had to go away empty-handed, but more books are on order now.

The Loft provided a comfy easy-chair for me, and the gas fireplace added a cozy feeling to the room. There were flowers and tealight candles in the room, with a no-host wine bar. I spoke (had to read from note cards, which I detest, but it can't be helped), read excerpts from the book, and then opened it up for questions & answers. The audience asked great questions, which brought up topics dear to my heart (Katie's Comforters Guild, the Ben Towne Foundation, Dr. Michael Jensen's work at the Ben Towne Pediatric Cancer Research Center, the need for reform in adult medicine, hospice...). What a thrill, to have an open forum for such important topics! I couldn't have planned it any more perfectly.

A number of Katie's classmates attended, which meant a great deal to me. Paul & Suzanne both videotaped the event, so I may be able to post some of that here, eventually. Of course Paul was also recording all of the fun with his digital camera.
I see that I need a haircut
People are so kind. I was able to personalize and sign books, hug people, hear their stories and thank those who came. And after all was said and done, a few of us die-hards went to have a little after-party (hence the first photo).
I have to say that the Camp Goodtimes crowd performed brilliantly when Paul called out, "NINJA!" and they all replied "WHAAH!" in unison, with "Ninja! hands." It may have been a bit of a shock to the rest of the attendees, but that's how they roll. Their presence boosted my spirits and confidence.

To see so many of our neighbors and friends in the audience made it much easier to speak, though I still get terribly nervous. UGH...but it was worth it. My prayers that God's love would show through the event were answered, from what I could see. I'm deeply thankful to Him, to Katie, to our community and all of our family and friends who have been so supportive of us all throughout this journey. I'm exhausted, but happy!


kario said...

Congratulations, Karen! I'm nearly all the way through the book and I'm loving it. I will review it on my blog when I'm done and see if I can drum up some more interest for you. Let me know if you're doing any readings in Seattle - I'd love to come see you.

Everything Coastal said...

so proud of you! Speaking in public will get easier and easier - thank goodness that you could start with our hometown crowd around you.


Busy Bee Suz said...

I am so darn happy that this event was such a success....all your hard work and NOW you can enjoy a bit! You deserve the 'enjoying' part to much.
Karen, you SOLD out of books....isn't that just amazing? I am amazed!!!!
Love all the happy pictures, you are surrounded by the best of the best who love you dearly!

AnnDeO said...

It looks like a good time. I read the book in one setting. Thank you. I appreciated the entire story. I am sending a copy to my nephew who is just completing med school in a pediatric specialty. I will write more later, but thank you I think the most important thing I realized from your book is putting a voice to the story is helpful. You continue to inspire me.

Dawn ~ BJSMomma said...

Yaaay YOU! How wonderful!

Mary said...

I'm so thrilled to read about this amazing event! So wonderful, Karen!

I just came back from Faith's Lodge in Danbury, WI (a writer's retreat). I'm wondering if you know about Faith's Lodge -- it was started by a couple who lost a child as a place for families to go, to grieve, to be together at a very minimal cost. It is a beautiful and comforting place. Now they have weekends for critically ill children as well. (And obviously rent to groups like ours). I asked if they had your book (they don't yet) and I told her a bit of what I know about Katie's Comforters Guild. She was definitely interested in learning more about you. Let me know if you'd like me to connect you.

And congratulations again on the book and this wonderful event!

kell said...

Karen, I'm not new to your blog, I've been reading for some time, but this is my first comment..I had to write to congratulate you on your beautiful blog, and now of course your book! I'm so thrilled for you that it's been published and launched and that it's all going so well for you. What I love most about you is how you seem to embrace life with your husband and son, after Katie's illness and death (as I'm sure you would have done before). I feel so inspired whenever I drop in here. I hope this doesn't sound all creepy stalker-ish, I'm just a very normal mum (in Australia), who's lost a little girl too. I can only imagine how proud yours must be of you. Wishing you and your family well, and I'm looking forward to reading your book! Kell

Karen said...

I love the pictures. You are radiant, and so much laughter. I can feel the energy. What an achievement. You done good, girl. So proud of you.

Kay said...

So excited for you and the completion of the book and videos. Both are beautiful and a fitting tribute to your amazing girl. Love the cover of the book and the beautiful work on the vids. Y'all did a great job! : )