More than anything, it was amazing to hug and chat with such supportive people. My family and close friends. They're my cheerleaders, my biggest "fans." Seeing their support together in that room reminded me of how blessed I am--that after years of trying to get published, it finally happened.
Here are some pictures from the event:
These are my precious grandparents. They hosted the event at their building. Love them so much!
Here's the book poster that sat on an easel in the entrance:
Here's the front table -- that's my other grandmother's painting of "Chilton Crosse," the village in Painting the Moon, painted as a surprise for me in 2009. I thought it deserved a special place at the party!
And here's the cake! The decorators were able to scan the book cover and create an edible piece of candy on top. Isn't it pretty?
The only person missing from the event was my father, who passed away ten months ago with a sudden diagnosis of brain cancer. He would've been at the party with bells on, happy for me, proud of me, supportive of me. He read all three books in this series about a year before he got sick. And before he passed away, he knew I had signed a contract--that I was getting published. And even though yesterday was incredibly bittersweet because of his absence, and even though I missed him so much, he was still *there,* with us.
Here's a favorite picture of him: