Thursday, January 24, 2008

Salsa Book Launch: More pics & a summary

A book launch party is usually the "coming out" party for an author's most recent novel. This is when the author introduces the book to his/her closest friends and literary community. For me, on January 19th, my book launch was all this and so much more. The night which started off as a simple book launch quickly turned into a family reunion, an exercise in gratitude and a general soul-cleansing session.

I'll start at the very beginning....

Friday evening: My parents, husband and I are sitting in my living room, chatting and hanging out. I hadn't seen them in a few months and was loving the catching up over giant mugs of chai and wafer thin cookies. Suddently, the phone rings. My mom's sister, the one that lives in India. She asks how we're doing...and when we're going to open the front door! Turns out she flew to the U.S. just to surprise me on my special day! Overjoyed, we start jumping around (my mom furious to be left out of the surprise--but only for a few minutes) and are super-excited.

Friday night: Much hilarity and fun ensues as my aunt gets settled in our house and everyone talks non-stop for an hour. Eventually, my sister Bonnie and I get thrown out to go make the signs for the window displays and pick up last minute party supplies. I pout because I do NOT want to leave my family. My college best friends arrive from California to help out around 10 pm. We stay up WAY too late and wonder who in the world this party is going to happen since raffle baskets need to be made, food needs to be bought and the store still needs to be decorated.

Sitting in my California friends' hotel room instead of working

Saturday morning: I wake-up early after having a terrible nightmare that all my books have turned into postcards. Panicked, I check my stack of books -- no postcards to be seen. Whew! My sister, California friends and relatives get to work making the raffle baskets + window decor and my mom and I head out to get all the food.

Saturday afternoon: Soaking wet (due to the heavy Seattle rain) I manage to get my nails done and check out the bookstore -- beautiful! My relatives have done an amazing job getting the place ready.

Saturday evening: Everyone gets ready--fast! Women get into their respective saris...flat-irons travel at the speed of light, jewlery is practically threwn on.

Saturday night : I arrive at the bookstore at 6 pm sharp and the first thing I see is this:

WOW! Is that mine?!

I check out the food station. (Yummy! Capri-sun juice boxes and mango salsa!) and meet the tarot reader & acoustic band. Both very cool.

A steady stream of people start to arrive and I greet guests at the door for a while before handing the job over to my greeters.

Nabib, my sister Bonnie and Krish

I see my entire Seattle critique group who I have been critiquing with for over 5 years, the Tiaras (Christina Arbini, Kelli Estes, Shannon McKelden, Erin Eisenberg, and Serena Robar) and tons of friends from work. Then comes the gorgeous and fantastic Heather Davis, lucky charm extraordinaire. There are around 100 people milling around and I am having a blast!

It's time: Mary, the owner of the bookstore informs me it's time for the reading. (Yikes!) I try to escape, but my mom and her sisters won't have it.

Stonewall Sarkars

I stand up and give a little thank you speech. I talk about how I started writing and met my critique group. I talk about my first writers conference and my first rejection. I talk about how I got THE CALL and how I felt the day I saw my book in print. I read the dedication: To my mother for always having a book on her nightstand and my husband, for always making sure I have the same.

And then, I cry. A lot.

I read two passages (when we first meet Cat Morena and when Issa first starts to be a 'bad girl'). I then sign books for about an hour and manage to hug all my amazing friends who've come to see me.

When all the guests leave, I get my tarot read.

The tarot reader tells me that I should pursue the historical story I'm writing...spooky fact: I didn't tell her I was writing anything historical. She told me I would dream about my heroine...I might be related to her. Wow.

I spoke with the booksellers and they said around 200 people came into the store and they sold at least that many good turn out.

Thank you my wonderful friends who came out to help me celebrate, hands down, the best day of my life. I never knew how many people I have to be grateful for until I saw them all cheering for me :)


Dona Sarkar-Mishra

Happy author, Grateful friend

HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI -- out now!


stephhale said...

Congrats, Dona, on your book release & for having so many people who love you! :)

Marley Gibson said...

Huge, massive, wonderful congrats to you, Dona!! What a fantastic event! I had chills on my arm just reading everything. Especially the Tarot card reader's prediction.

Sooooooo proud of you!!!!

Marley = )

Anonymous said...

Congrats! thats sounds likes such a great party. I wish I had been there :)

TinaFerraro said...

Dona, what a wonderful experience, and I'm so glad you shared all these stories and pictures! I'm so proud of you--and as you know, I loved your book!

The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

I've said it before, but I'll say it again...I'm SO glad I got to be a part of your well-deserved celebration, Dona! :-) The party was fabulous and I'm so happy you sold so many books! Very cool about the Tarot card reader's prediction, too!


Anonymous said...

That is so wonderful! I'm so happy for you. 200 books is amazing, and you looked so lovely. I had tears in my eyes when I read about your sister showing up, and again when you wrote about your dedication.

KT said...

wow, that must have been amazing! It must be wonderful to see your dreams come true! :)

Emily said...

Dona, reading your account of the night gave me goose bumps and tears. Seriously. And I'm not at all a girl who cries. Its very exciting to see someone have their dream come true and sharing it with all their friends and family. Congratulations! ~Em

Me said...

I am totally in awe of your launch party, Dona. It looks totally amazing. 200 people??? Terrific turnout. And, I'm pleased to report, my B&N now has 4 juicy copies of SALSA turned face-out!

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

YOu guys are SO awesome :)

Wendy Toliver said...

Dona, Thank you so much for posting this wonderful story and all the pictures. I feel like I was there, at least peeking thru the windows, LOL! You looked so beautiful in your festive attire and I'm just so proud of you, sweetie! Best wishes with your aweome new book and many, many more.

Kristina Springer said...

AWESOME AWESOME BOOK SIGNING! Thanks for posting all the details and photos-- it looked wonderful!

Kristina Springer said...

AWESOME AWESOME BOOK SIGNING! Thanks for posting all the details and photos-- it looked wonderful!

DeenaML said...

Wow -- what a great time! You look beautiful and I can't wait to read your book!