When Cindy Cavett invited me and Laura Selinsky (@huzzahlns) to join her for a book signing in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, at first I hesitated. Rehoboth is a long drive from where I live. But it’s the setting for Cindy’s fun pirate tale, and Laura’s lovely and poignant story Seawall is also set along a beach, so the place is perfect for the occasion. Laura gladly accepted Cindy’s invitation, though it’s a longer drive for her. And to turn down my first chance at a book signing would be nuts! So, Carpe Diem! (You should understand this upfront: I am such a word nerd, this is on one of my favorite t-shirts. You’ve been duly warned.)
Bright and early on April 21st, my husband and I got to downtown Rehoboth. Excited, I spotted the big green awning of Browseabout Books, our host for the signing (I love how the sea lurks in their name).
Honestly, running late is my norm, but for this event we were so very early, the friendly young lady behind the counter told me they wouldn’t even set up for another half hour.
I could have easily gotten lost among the books and treasures in Browseabout, but that would’ve been chancy — it can be difficult to extricate me from a bookstore. Besides, it was a beautiful spring day. So my husband and I went out to walk Rehoboth’s handsome boardwalk under the blue sky and brilliant sun. The town was pleasantly bustling, the air was fresh and crisp, and frothy waves crashed on the beach – a perfect and invigorating stroll. Any other day, I would have been happy to walk with no mind of the time. But today we had an Event! We found the lovely bandstand, central to the pirate’s exploits in Cindy’s story, and it guided us back to the main street and Browseabout.
Cindy arrived just before us. We had never met, but we hugged like friends – the camaraderie of writers! My lovely critique partner Laura soon joined us, and there were excited greetings and introductions. The bookstore staff made us wonderfully welcome at a table in a prime location just inside the door, covering it with a sea-green tablecloth that perfectly matched Cindy’s shawl. Synchronicity!
Cindy’s husband and brother-in-law helped us set up. She had brought lots of fun things to bedeck the table: a chest overflowing with chocolate gold coins, a treasure map, a miniature telescope Laura and I had fun playing with. I brought pieces-of-eight replica coins (because I’m also a history nerd and such things delight me), and a small brass figurine of Bastet. (Why Bastet? One of my anthology stories gives an inkling). I think she brought us luck!
Before long, people began showing up. It was heartwarming how many friends of Cindy’s came to support her and buy our anthology. They were the first people whose books we had the pleasure of signing.
I’ll tell you – that was a bit of a thrill. I had practiced my rusty cursive ahead of time and decided what I would write – and still my hands were rather vibrating with the delight of it.
We greeted incoming customers and welcomed them to our book signing, and lo and behold, many came up to take a look at the books and pause to chat. One man had a remarkable connection: he had gone to school many years ago with a different author in the book. Though she now lives in Florida, and his home is out West, by chance he was in Delaware in time for the book signing! More synchronicity.
We also got to talk to aspiring writers, young and old, and this meant a lot to me. We all gave them encouraging words: if you want to write, do. Put words to paper. Tell your stories. Find support like good critique partners, as Laura urged, and good groups, as Cindy suggested. You’re neither too young or too old. And though publishing can be hard, there are opportunities, like Running Wild Press, where the publisher looks for excellent writing that hasn’t found a niche.
The two hours sped by. By the end, the stacks of books had dwindled to just a few – we had sold most of the copies, and most of them to people who did not even know us! And the best parts were the camaraderie and conversation with readers and writers.
Many, many thanks to Cindy for arranging the event and inviting us, and to Browseabout Books for being such welcoming hosts. And to Running Wild Press, who made all this possible through their mission to give voice to the imaginations of authors whose work may transcend typical genres.
If you’re near the Delaware beaches on Sat., May 12th, you can meet Cindy at Browseabout Books’ launch party for Beach Love! I think you’ll find both Cindy and the bookstore delightful.
Anytime you’re in the area, visit Browseabout to see the vast variety of treasures they offer (among them, the beautiful postcards on this page). And if you’re looking for more great stories, you can find them at Running Wild Press.
If you want to connect with my wonderful book signing colleagues:
find Cindy at https://seasidecindy.com and on social media @seasidecindy
and Laura on Twitter at @huzzahlns.