I knew that my local independent bookstore, Phoenix Books in Essex, was carrying Under the Willow, but whenever I've popped in, they've been out, which I guess is a good thing. Nor have I popped in very often lately -- the more I write, the less I read. But I stopped in recently just for the fun of it, looking to spend a gift certificate, and I couldn't help but pass through the young adult section and run my eye over the shelves. And a green binding with white letters jumped out at me. My God, I thought, I'm in a bookstore.
Then I didn't quite know what to do. In a movie, there would have been a great swelling of music and all that stuff. But nothing at all happened to mark the moment I'd been waiting for, for a long, long time. I probably would have just slipped out of the store, but the next thing I knew, my husband had grabbed a copy and was running up to the cash register calling, "Hey, the author of this book is here!"
I was mortified, but the folks at the desk were all excited, and the next thing I knew, I was autographing copies and they were sticking labels on the front that said, "Autographed Copy." I have books that I've bought there with those same stickers! And then they put the copies back on the shelf, this time with the cover facing outward.
I thought I handled the whole thing very coolly and professionally, mentioning that my second novel was coming out in June, and they wanted me to let them know the moment it was available, and I could have just made my purchase and left gracefully. But no, I went back to the shelf and took a photo. Everyone laughed. They could see right through me.
And I didn't really care.
Can you see it? Third shelf up from the bottom. Prettiest cover in the store!