by Pari

Pardon me. I know I should be above this. I’m a multi-published novelist, after all. You’d think I’d be past the pre-book-launch jitters, past the butterflies in the stomach worries that no one will show, beyond the sheer joy of that first big event in a book’s entry into the world.

Well, sorry, folks . . . I’m not.

Last Saturday, Jan. 26, will survive in my memory until it’s wiped out by dementia or death.

I knew the Borders store where I planned to have the launch was going to go the extra mile to make it special; there were going to be the gift-card drawings, the book giveaways, the grand prize. But I had no idea just how much farther the store had decided to go. Still, I spent sleepless nights worrying that only a handful of friends might show up. After all, this is book #3, not the first. I’m no longer a "novelty,’ no longer fresh in the way that J.T. is this year.

On top of that, the publicist at UNM Press had her baby earlier this month. In years past, she’d worked tirelessly to make sure the media was absolutely on top of my launches. The woman who is filling her shoes is very good, but doesn’t have the same super buy-in. And then there was the super-long, super-ambivalent review in the local paper. Most of my readers thought it was just fine. I sure didn’t.

So, I approached the signing with some trepidation. Would Borders be disappointed? Would their–and my — pr work be for naught?

I arrived at the store, carrying a tub of Atomic Fireball candies (WARNING: these things are HOT!), thirty minutes before show time. The first thing I saw when I approached the information desk was   


Yeah. Pretty cool, huh?

Then I was whisked back into an office — away from hubbub — to sample this


Yes, that’s right. The Borders had invented a drink, "The Socorro Blast," for the event. It was a mocha delight with — as you can see — a huge pile of canned whipped cream, drizzled chocolate AND "red hots." It tasted great.

I chatted with the store’s GM for a few minutes while the Sales Manager went out to finalize arrangements. She came back and said, "Pari, it’s packed out there. And, I’ve got to tell you . . . the energy is just wonderful. It’s so positive, joyful."

I felt my shoulders relax a little. This wasn’t going to be a disappointment for the store or for me. Thank goodness.

Then it was time to be escorted out. When we entered the rotunda area, the audience burst into applause. There were people there from every single aspect of my life — from family-friends who knew my mom before I was born to supporters from the Do Jang, from my children’s former teachers to fans who’d driven more than an hour to get to ABQ — and the love in that room almost made me cry. (I love this picture of a small part of the group because everyone is smiling. Imagine 25 solid minutes of that kind of warmth.)


I told the audience that book launches, and signings where the authors speak, are special. They’re like live concerts. What’s said is unique, once-in-a-lifetime. For that reason, I decided to tell them WHY I wrote this particular book, why I focused on intolerance and used humor to make some of my points, how I hoped the book would have a good and strong life.

The long line after the event, the wonderful sales, the hugs and joyous wishes — all are kind of a blur right now. But I’m happy. I think my newest book has had a beautiful entry into the world.

And, you know what? In spite of those uncomfortable nights, in spite of the anxiety, I pray I never lose the excitement and wonder of it all . . .

So, everyone . . . Tell me about your favorite, most moving book event.


Tomorrow is the paperback launch of Patry Francis’s THE LIAR’S DIARY. Francis has a particularly aggressive form of cancer and won’t be able to do the kind of promotion I mention in today’s blog. Please, buy her book. Tell your friends. Let’s support ALL the writers we can — whether they’re able to have public appearances or not.

24 thoughts on “Gushing

  1. billie

    Pari, how wonderful – all of it, but in addition to everything else, they invented a DRINK FOR YOUR BOOK! My gosh!

    Congratulations on the wonderful launch!

  2. B.G. Ritts

    Oh, Pari, what a fantastic event! (Looks like that store is after your next launch party, too.) When I saw the book stack picture, I got a big grin on my face. It’s still there.

    I’ve been to long-lines events, and cozy-fun events, but nothing matches the energy that Borders created for SOCORRO. Congratulations!

  3. pari noskin taichert

    Billie,Thank you so much. But . . . I want to know of an event you’ve gone to that filled YOU with glee.

    B.G.,I think you hit it on the nose. The energy there was unlike any other event I’ve had — including my fantastic debut with CLOVIS — there was just so much joy.

    You see, this is the reason I don’t dis the chain stores anymore. It’s the combination of people that makes or breaks a retail experience.

    Naomi,GREAT to hear from you! I’d love to hear about some of your events. I know you’ve had great ones.

    As to the SOCORRO BLAST drink . . . it was super-good. A couple of my friends said they’re going to go into the store and ask for it again.

  4. JT Ellison

    Pari, so thrilled for you!!! You deserve all the good things! and those coffees look yummy!!! I agree about the chains, I’ve had so much luck with my Borders… I love them. They hand sell me like mad, and put displays up, everything you need to start making a name. It’s all in the stores you have and the people who work in them.

  5. billie

    Pari, I’m trying to remember the most fun book launch I’ve been to… and my mind is blank. Too much going on here (miniature donkey arrived yesterday, trying to get nf project ready for agent, etc.)

    What I WILL share is that the last time I was at Weymouth two other writer friends and I made a pact that if i have not sold any of my books by the time of my 50th birthday, I’m throwing a big party at Weymouth ANYWAY and launching them all even if they’re not published. 🙂

  6. Louise Ure

    Congratulations, Pari! What a great welcome to the world for SOCORRO BLAST!

    My favorite book event is always the last one I did. I bask in those faces, those comments, those friends for days.

    Right now I’m thinking about the terrific event I did at Clues Unlimited in Tucson this weekend. Yes there were friends and family. Yes there were lots of readers and fans and sales.

    But you know what made it special? Doing a double signing there that night with debut author Leighton Gage. His graciousness, kindness and sensitivity — in the face of a hometown crowd that had come to see me, was extraordinary. He’s not only a great writer, he’s a gentleman. Go buy his book, BLOOD OF THE WICKED.

  7. pari noskin taichert

    J.T.,Yep, you’re right. Was your favorite event your own? (heh heh heh)

    Billie,Congratulations on the miniature donkey. How many people would even use those words in a sentence?

    I love your resolution. I’ll be 50 next month eeeeeeeeeeee.

    Louise,I know what you mean about ‘the last event.’ It’s true. The signing in Tucson sounds wonderful. I bet you extended the same kindness as Donna Andrews did with my first out-of-state signing ever at Mysterious Galaxy. I’ll never forget it.

    Stacey,There’s something so joyous about the energy flowing with a good crowd. And the laughter? It’s orgasmic.

  8. JT Ellison

    Pari — heh heh…It’s a tie between my own, the Lakeland, Florida event (the whole stage thing was pretty cool) and the one I did in Athens Alabama this past weekend — had a big crowd, and one woman actually drove in from Arkansas to see me. Once I got over the shock, it was pretty damn humbling.

    Can’t wait to see you in Birmingham…

  9. pari noskin taichert

    Yeah, Murder in the Magic City is going to be a, well, blast!

    Did I mention the cake? Borders had a cake made with the title of the book and the date on it. A big ol’ chocolate/vanilla marble job that tasted like heaven.

  10. Mary-Frances

    Pari,I just wanted to say woo hoo girl. Congratulations, I’m glad it went so well. I’m really happy for you.

    Okay I don’t have my own event to talk about yet so I’ll just say the book signing I went to where Judy (JA) Jance sang us all a song really rocked.

  11. Tom, T.O.

    Congratulations, Pari! What a splendid event they put on for you, and well-deserved.I read THE SOCORRO BLAST before the weekend and thought it your best one yet–a bit grittier and meatier than the others, and it moved faster, too.Thanks for a good read.

  12. a Paperback Writer

    Wow. That is just…. well, in Utah vernacular, it’s “cool as heck.”That stack of books…. and your own drink named for the book…. geez. No wonder you’re gushing. This is absolutely wonderful.Congratulations to you.

  13. Amanda

    Hi, Pari,It sounds like your book launch was a blast! I’m sorry I missed it. Kat’s hard work collaborating with Borders really paid off. I can’t believe how many super-cool premiums they offered and the display of books… wow! They’ve never done anything like that before. Congratulations to you and kudos to Kat for making this even a success.Your dirty diaper changing publicist,Amanda

  14. Amanda Sutton

    Hi, Pari,I’m glad to hear your launch was such a blast! All of Kat’s hard work incollaboration with Borders really paid off at the launch and will continue to pay off in their hand-selling your book. I can’t believe all the premiums they offered and the displays … wow! They’ve never done anything so creative for one of our authors before. I’m glad you had fun and kudos and thanks to Kat and Borders for pulling off such a spectacular debut for The Socorro Blast.Your dirty diaper changing publicist,Amanda


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