Friday, November 8, 2013

RECLAIMED's Release Week

Sorry for the blog silence, but life has been crazy hectic. But oh so good. I want to thank everyone for the support, cheers, reviews, excitement, etc since Reclaimed released. This has been such a phenomenal and surreal experience.

Reclaimed released on Tuesday, October 15th. I woke up to buzz already on Twitter (thanks to all of you for that) and a sweet email from my amazing editor. (It would cause the first of what would be many happy tears on release day.)

When I walked into school, I was overwhelmed. The students and faculty had hung posters and bought balloons. They created what was essentially a “victory line” and cheered and clapped for me when I walked in. I was speechless. Everyone at the high school where I teach has been incredible. They really are my extended family.


I left work a little early to come home and enjoy the day. I filmed a flails video (which I may regret J). My husband and I went to Baton Rouge to see my book in a bookstore, then to a nice dinner.


Release day was more than I expected it to be, and I have all of y’all to thank.

On Friday and into Saturday we had the Reclaimed read-along. For twenty-four hours people were reading, tweeting favorite lines, and using Tumblr to post reactions. I posted early drafts and notes. Thanks so much to the Reading with Me Team for heading that up. It was so much fun to interact with readers and see which parts were their favorites. (Most often, they tweeted my favorite lines too.)

My launch party was on Saturday, October 19th. I arrived at the bookstore thirty minutes early with cupcakes and candy, to find that a crowd had already formed. I set everything up with the help of my best friend Leslie and my husband. Eric, the manager of the Books-a-Million, was amazing and had everything put together. He encouraged everyone to buy their books before I started signing. Seven minutes before the event, Reclaimed  sold out. I felt badly for everyone who didn’t get a book, but what a great problem to have! Some left and went to the other two bookstores in town, but they were all sold out as well. The bookstore started a list of people who wanted books, and it ended up being two pages long.

I didn’t get to visit with people as much as I wanted, as I was signing books for over an hour. It was so amazing to see my students, both past and present, as well as friends and even a few strangers who came out to the event. Eric told me that the store had never had that big of a turn-out for an event – not even when Sarah Palin was in town. J


Monday was the live chat. While it started off a bit rocky (dang technology), it ended up being a blast. Readers sent in great questions, and if any of you know me in real life, you know I’m quite chatty. I loved talking about the book, my characters, inspiration, and what’s coming next. Again, the Reading with Me Team did an outstanding job, and thanks to everyone who participated.
On Thursday, October 24th, my school had another signing for me. It was in our school library, and was a small gathering for those who couldn’t attend the launch party (though a few people came to both). What I really loved about this event was that I was able to really interact with attendees. I answered questions about Reclaimed, my writing process, my ideas, my current manuscript, and how a book becomes published. There were also several people there who had already finished the book, so I was able to have a spoiler chat with them. And there was cake, which always makes everything better.

The final event in my release whirlwind was the Houston Book Rave. I drove to Houston on Friday afternoon and met up with Mary Gray and Stacy Wells. These ladies are so much fun! Trini and Damaris of TrinDee events put on an incredible event. Meeting readers was the highlight of the weekend, particularly the middle school girls I talked with. I teach high school, so I don’t spend much time with middle schoolers, but they were so excited about the book and I had a lot of fun just chatting with them, both at the signing and then again at the after party. I also really enjoyed meeting other authors.


If you’ve read this far, thanks! Life has been rushing along ever since the release, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’ve also had a Google Hangout with students (shoutout to Lavaca High) and have library events coming up. If you are in the Fort Smith, Arkansas, area, I will be signing at the Books-a-Million at 7 PM on Wednesday, November 27, 2013.

Thank you to all of the readers, bloggers, students, and friends for an amazing week. It wouldn't have been as special without you. <3

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