Exactly one year ago I was standing in the back of the Ginger Press Bookstore in Owen Sound for my first book launch party. I was wearing a red dress and the heirloom amethyst necklace I inherited from my grandmother. The books were arranged beautifully around a portrait of Queen Victoria by my sister and cover artist, Sarah, and all my family was there to celebrate with me on a chilly Saturday afternoon.
I was only going to print 50 books. I had launched the eBook edition of The Stowaway Debutante in August and they hadn’t sold well. Mind you, I was half terrified that people would read my book at that time. But my mother insisted I print at least 100, and I had a tidy little tri-city book tour planned for my hometown, university town, and the city I’ve fallen in love with.
There were maybe twenty people in the bookstore when MaryAnn introduced me. And I had not yet mastered my explanation of what exactly “steampunk” was. But then I settled onto a tall stool, opened my first book, and began to read.
I remember the moment so clearly. I could hear the bell above the front door chiming as I wove the tale of Clara and her discovery of the gunpowder on the airship.
And the next time I looked up from the page…the bookstore was full. Packed. Standing room only, as people shuffled to the sides to make a little more room, and a little more room, as my community filled the space.
My heart beat faster, and I stumbled over a word. But I kept reading, and everyone clapped as the Captain Duke entered the scene.
I had no idea what to expect back then of releasing my little story into the world. I certainly didn’t expect to be here one year later, one thousand books later, typing this story for you.