I realize this post is delayed by a few days, but my life has been so hectic this week (and it doesn't look like it's going to calm down in the near future.) On Monday evening, I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite new authors Susan Gregg Gilmore. She was at Aaron's Books in Lititz, PA, doing a book reading and book signing for the paperback release of LOOKING FOR SALVATION AT THE DAIRY QUEEN. I reviewed this book last week and absolutely adored it! In fact, I'm having a giveaway for five copies of it so be sure to check that out.
Some of you might already know this, but I live in Central PA -- right outside of Harrisburg. It's not exactly a booming metropolis (but it is a great place to bring up a family.) My point is that we almost never have author signings. So last week, after I posted my review of DAIRY QUEEN, Susan's outside publicist sent me an e-mail saying that she didn't know where I lived in Pennsylvania, but Susan was going to be doing some tour stops in the state. Of course, I figured she'd be hitting the big cities but I thought I'd take a look anyway. Much to my surprise, Susan was going to be at Aaron's Books in Lititz on Monday night. Lititz is about an hour away from me and only a few minutes from my mother and sister. I was so excited (maybe even doing the happy dance) and I immediately called my family and asked them to join me. Neither my mom or sister had read the book yet, but I knew it was the type of book that they were going to love.
I have to say that Susan Gregg Gilmore is just a very special woman. I absolutely loved hearing her talk about her life before being a novelist -- she was a journalist and a mother of three girls. She also told us how DAIRY QUEEN came to be and gave us a little "insider information" about her second and third novels. I was particularly interested in hearing about her writing process as well as how she eventually became published. I thought it was especially interesting to hear what inspired some of her characters. One my most memorable parts of the evening was when Susan read a few pages from her novel. She turned on the most adorable southern accent (she grew up in Tennessee and lives there now) and actually became the characters. She should so record an audio version of DAIRY QUEEN!
After the signing, we posed for some pictures. As you can see, Susan is just beautiful and so tiny.
Once the bookstore cleared out, Susan, Susan's daughter, her daughter's friend, my mom, and I headed out for a little bite to eat. The key word for me is "little" since it was Day 1 of my Game On! Diet. Lititz is a quaint little town but not exactly a hot spot for entertainment on a Monday night. We eventually ended up at a little pizza joint, but I didn't really care where we ate. I just wanted to spend some more time getting to know Susan. She truly is a wonderful and entertaining woman, and I'm so glad to call her a friend!
Susan also gave me a little gift which was so sweet of her! As my mom and I were heading back to the car, we heard someone yelling and running towards us -- it was Susan. She had something for me back in her room. She gave me a box of milk chocolate almond toffee from the Nashville Toffee Company. I was dying to try some, but I'll have to wait until the day off portion of my diet!
On a little aside, I was so excited to find out about Aaron's Books. It is the cutest little bookstore right in downtown Lititz. They are an independent bookstore that sells both new and used books. The owners are the nicest people and their little son was even there helping them set up. I have been tweeting with Sam (@aaronsbooks) for a few days, and I'm hoping to work with them (somehow) in the future! I really love their store and want to support them!!! They are also hosting author Maryann McFadden on August 18th so I'm going to do my best to get over then. What I found so incredibly cool is that Sam has arranged both of these author signing via Twitter! Who says that Twitter isn't useful?