This week, I flew down to Wichita, Kansas, to go to Lenore Appelhans‘s launch party for her debut novel Level 2. I’ve known Lenore since 2010, when we met at BEA. We then spent some more time together in 2011 at BEA, and I was honored when she asked me to offer feedback on her novel when it was still in its early stages.
Lenore interviewed me about that process here, if you’re curious.
When I got into Wichita, I managed to surprise Lenore with a gift. Here’s a secret about me: I am the world’s worst person with surprises. I get so excited about them, I want to blurt about them. But I held off, and I gave Lenore this necklace featuring her book cover (which I had made over at Etsy with a designer who did an excellent job):
Lenore and I then went on a trip throughout town, looking for her book. She was convinced it wouldn’t be at Barnes & Noble, but when we got there, guess what we saw?
She then found one of the managers in the store and asked if she could sign stock. But while we were looking for someone to talk to about this, a man went over to the shelf and was looking through her book. He finally approached and asked if it was hers, and when she said yes, they had a lovely conversation about publishing and writing. It was her first fan.
Then she signed some stock.
After signing, we walked over and had soups and sandwiches at a deli in the same strip mall, and then I treated Lenore to ice cream, as you’d do.
We then went to Watermark Books, where her event would be the next day. We scoped out the YA section, then we saw her book in the window display (that’s the top photo). Lenore was then kind enough to take me to buy shampoo and toothpaste since I was so proud of my packing skills for the trip I didn’t bother to pack either of those things. We then went our separate ways, as I’d been up since 3 AM and needed to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up travel-sick, but I laid low until the evening, when Emily Hainsworth arrived in town and we made our way over to the launch.
Lenore poses with her cupcakes (which were delicious). They mirrored the way her cover has orange and white dots on it, which was a nice touch.
Rather than read a straight passage, Lenore asked the audience to shout out page numbers. She read a couple of sentences and then would jump to another request.
Lenore’s signing her books after her reading and Q&A session.
It was a great event, and it was nice to celebrate this huge accomplishment with Lenore. If you haven’t yet, you can enter to win a signed (!) copy of Level 2 right here at STACKED.
Not only was I excited about being able to go to her launch, I’m maybe equally excited about the fact I’ll be seeing Lenore again next week at ALA Midwinter — she’s the featured guest at a luncheon I’m going to, and she’ll be stopping by the YA Blogger Meetup, among other things.