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Brownwood, TX Event Showcases The Paraclete on March 30, 2019

Raúl Garcia, my very long-time friend, and one of the founders of Edgefactory, a PR firm in Orlando, Florida, suggested creating a book launch event in our mutual home town for my new novel out from Liffey Press, the literary imprint of Oghma Creative Media, Inc. What might have been a typical reading and Q&A in Brownwood, Texas, Raúl turned into the Ideal Deluxe Author Event of a lifetime.

For starters, when Cindy and I arrived at our hotel the evening before the reading, and told the desk clerk who we were, there was no checking in -- everything was prepared in advance, and the concierge just handed us our key cards with a smile. Raúl has connections. He provided us with the best suite in the best hotel, complete with a bouquet of roses, a huge gift basket, bottles of wine and a pair of crystal goblets, and a stocked refrigerator. We felt like royalty.

Raúl had chosen the Brownwood Art Association's lovely downtown gallery for the event. Two artists from the association, Sharon Scott and June Musick, volunteered to set up and manage the event, and several of my old high school classmates handled greeting arrivals, book selling, and photography. Raúl even had graphic artists from Edgefactory create a backdrop featuring a grid of my book cover for photo ops. (See photo)

Most of the folks who came to the reading had already purchased the book from Amazon, but I had also shipped a supply to Brownwood for those who might want to purchase it at this event. Every copy sold!

Taking the hot seat in front of a decidedly friendly crowd, I spoke about my school days. It was no news to several people there that I had chosen writing as my profession while still in elementary school. I spoke about teachers who had encouraged me, and some who had taught me some hard but necessary lessons about life and learning. I spoke about getting involved in theater in high school and veering into playwriting in college, and then going to New York City and, over a couple of decades, cranking out twenty-two plays, a few of which were produced there and in other theaters around the country. I recounted how I'd segued back to writing fiction about the time Cindy and I moved with our two children to North Carolina. And of course I read from my novel, The Paraclete.

It's hard for me to imagine a more validating, joyful experience than reading my work before a group of cherished schoolmates, relatives, and friends old and new, with my infinitely supportive wife Cindy at my side, in my beloved hometown. I'm bursting with gratitude.

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