What a perfect ending to an amazing year!
The launch party for Kira the Rainbow Princess was incredible. We had a packed house at Alaura Kitchen and Candy almost the entire time that we were there. It was great seeing so many of our family and friends, and it was humbling to know that they were all there to support me.
I especially want to thank our Master of Ceremonies, the incomparable Matthew Weng, for keeping things moving on the microphone. I need to thank Jessi Smith, who not only took pictures of the event, but made commemorative soaps and peg figurines (still available at the Wind Change). A big thanks to Alicia Sierra and Liz Jackson for handling the raffle tickets. Thanks to my brother Michael and his wife Nan for being in charge of sales. And last, but not least, thank you to Patrick and Michelle Bradley for allowing us to invade their shop for a couple hours (and to Cindy and Stephanie for scooping all that ice cream!)
This will be my last post in 2016 so I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Joyous New Year. You all have made my 2016 a year I'll never forget. I'm excited to look ahead at 2017 and all the work I need to do . . . ANOM: Legacy and the sequel to Kira are not going to write themselves.
Let me leave with this one last exhortation -- if you've had a chance to read Kira, please consider going to Amazon to leave a review of my book. ANOM: Awakening cracked the Amazon top 100 because so many of you took the time to give it a rating and review. I know, with your help, that Kira can enjoy the same success.
Other than that, stay bundled up this winter and you'll hear from me again in 2017.
I wish you all the best, always.
There was a wonderful song we learned in nursery school . . . "Make new friends, but keep the old; One is silver and the other's gold."
In the context of the song - despite what we've clearly been taught by Olympic competition - gold and silver are equally valuable. Therefore both old friends and new friends should be considered precious.
And I was thinking of this song as it relates to Kira the Rainbow Princess. Certainly Kira is a book that emphasizes community. The story is a familiar one . . . our hero goes on a journey to save her parents, and on the way she meets a host of new friends.
But the more I thought about Kira, the more I began to reflect on my own life's journey this past year and the influence of my friends - both old and new.
One year ago, this website did not exist. No one besides my closest friends even knew that I was attempting to write anything. Now I stand on the eve of my second novel's launch party. Talk about a journey!
And I know that none of this would have been possible without the help, encouragment, and support of my family and oldest friends. Some obvious names come to mind - my mom and dad. My sister Courtney and her husband Doug and their family. My brother Michael and his wife Nan. My Uncle Tommy and Aunt Vicky. My in-laws Ray and Joyce, and my sister-in-law Whitney and her husband Joe. Vanessa's cousin Rebecca. All of them have encouraged me to pursue my dream of writing.
And no one has offered more support than my amazing wife Vanessa and my two wonderful kids Aidan and Fiona. This book would literally not have been possible without them.
And I think of old friends who have become something closer to family after years of shared experience . . . George and Shannon DeVol, Curtis Homan, Michael and Leah Morgan, Eleasa Allen, Karen and Ryan Fothergill. I am so grateful for their years of friendship and support. So much of what I've accomplished this year rests on the fact that they never once treated my dream of writing like a joke. They were with me, step for step, sometimes pushing me forward.
But for as much as my friends and family have remained a constant, life has a way of changing . . . and looking back on 2016 I can see those changes now that they've unfolded.
There was a wonderful Facebook post from my friend Dani Cooke when she wrote, "At some point in 2016 my house became my home and my town became my hometown. I am thankful every day for the place i live and the people who live in this place."
And I thought I was supposed to be the writer . . . but I read her words and it echoes my own heart.
I've made so many great friends this year (or deepened fledgling friendships from years before) . . . Matthew and Sarah Weng, Jeff and Jackie Danger, Dani and Stephen Cooke, Brad and Jessi Smith, Bobby and Liss Jones, Steven Narleski, Leanne Tursi, Patrick and Michelle Bradley, Dan and Amy Rudley, Preston Conyers and the senseis and students at Champions, Greg and Liz Jackson, Lou and Alicia Sierre and the list could continue . . .
In the final episode of The Office, the character of Andy Bernard says, "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them."
Today I know I'm there.
And that's why I'm so excited for tomorrow . . . I'm excited to share my day with so many of you - old friends and new - who have made my dream of writing come true. Tomorrow is a day for all of us!
With lots of love and a thankful heart, always.
The launch party for Kira the Rainbow Princess is next Saturday! I'm reposting all the details below. I hope you'll be able to join us to celebrate the launch of my second book. Should be a lot of fun!!!
1. WHERE: The party will be held at Alaura Kitchen and Candy at 36 South Broadway, Pitman, NJ 08071 (you can check out the map below).
2. WHEN: The party will be on Saturday, December 10th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. We're hoping it feels like an "open house" so please show up at any time between 2 and 4, and stay as long as you like!
3. CAN I BUY YOUR BOOK: Absolutely! We will have paperback copies of my book for sale at the launch party! The book will cost $10.00 and we will accept both cash and major credit cards. However, the book is also available for sale from Amazon.com, so feel free to purchase your copy ahead of time and bring it to the party!
4. WHAT ELSE WILL WE DO: At 2:30 and again at 3:30 I'll take a break from signing to read excerpts from my book. After the readings, there will be a brief question and answer period so I can field all of your questions regarding my writing and the adventures of Kira the Rainbow Princess. There will also be door prizes and free ice cream.
5. WHAT KIND OF DOOR PRIZES: We're going to give away gift cards to 4 local Pitman businesses. Four lucky winners will receive a $10 gift card to either Alaura Kitchen and Candy, The Wind Change, Crossroad Comics and Collectibles, or Dia De Los Burritos. We will also be giving away a limited number of "SNUGG" teddy bears to some of our younger visitors (ages 12 and under).
6. WAIT A MINUTE. DID YOU SAY FREE ICE CREAM: YES!!! Everyone who comes to the launch party will get 1 free scoop of ice cream from Alaura Kitchen and Candy. You can pick any flavor available, but one of your choices will be the new signature flavor Kira the Rainbow Princess Ice Cream (it's Strawberry mixed with Party Cake and Rainbow Sprinkles and it's delicious)! This is our way of saying "thank you" for supporting the launch of my new novel.
7. ICE CREAM IS NICE, BUT I REALLY WANT A T-SHIRT: You are in luck! A limited number of t-shirts will be sold at the launch party. Shirts will cost $12.00 and will be available in men's crew neck, women's v-neck, and kids sizes. You can check out the design on the front of the shirt here.
8. WHAT IF I CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE LAUNCH PARTY: Throughout the party, we will be going live on Facebook to share the festivities. You can expect to see the live readings on Facebook at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. There will also be an exclusive online reading at 5:30! Check out my Facebook page here to get notifications regarding our Facebook Live events!
And that about covers it. If you have any additional questions, please leave them in the comments. Otherwise, I hope to see you all at the launch party on December 10th!