Thanks to everyone who came out to Adobe Books on Saturday night to celebrate the release of How I’m Spending My Afterlife – it was a great fun evening, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and talking to each one of you. I hope you had as much fun as I did.
And if you weren’t there, well, I have to tell you that your absence was noticed and in fact was the only thing preventing it from being the most perfectest book launch event in the history of the written word.
Just kidding, of course.
I’ve done readings before, but they were always as part of a larger program where I shared the mic with half a dozen other writers. This was the first time I’d had the spotlight to myself, and I’m very grateful to my friend Ken who stood in as the emcee and really helped take the pressure off. (I’m terrible at crowdwork.) It also helped that I knew so many of the audience.
The program was pretty straightforward: I read the first chapter of the book (which is available to read for free at Disclaimer, in case you’re interested), then took questions for a bit, and then read the part of the book that was the most fun to write.
It had actually been a little while since I’d read any of the text. Once I had the book all ready for publication, I felt free to jump back into other projects I’d started but temporarily set aside, like the first draft of the next novel, for example. And even after all the time I’d spent with those sentences and those words during the course of writing the book, I still found a few bits that felt new and unfamiliar once I was finally reading them aloud in front of an audience.
The whole thing was a great experience, and it was something that I had been looking forward to for a long time. Not because I love being the center of attention or anything – I think most people who know me will tell you that I do not, in fact, love any such thing. But because it made the whole thing feel official, which is important when you publish your own work. And even more important, it made How I’m Spending My Afterlife finally feel done, in a way that gives me the ability to move on without guilt.
The book is officially no longer mine. It belongs to its readers now. Thanks for being one of them.
Oh, and before I forget, I want to thank my dear friend Julia for her contributions to the refreshments table (she baked all the delicious bourbon-based treats).