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As I celebrate ten years of PURE being out in the world, I absolutely must take a moment to toast everyone at Little Shop of Stories (owners, staff, customers, family, friends) for throwing me the BEST EVER AUTHOR PARTY back in April 2009. There were streamers, cupcakes, and champagne. A special chalkboard and entire window display. There were many friends present, both local and from far away. There was a giant glittery card. My friend Daniel Clay performed his beautiful music, and both Krista Gilliam and Dave Shallenberger gave incredible toasts. There was . . . a lot I remember and much I’m sure I don’t, because it was all such a whirlwind blur of excitement and delight. But I am thankful to this day for the thrill I felt walking into that party–one I still feel, ten years later. THANK YOU!!
Anyone who knows me knows my long-time love affair with the amazing independent bookstore in Decatur, Little Shop of Stories. I had the pleasure of meeting co-owners Diane Capriola and Dave Shallenberger only a few precious months before the opening of their bookstore (July of 2005 — I met them in May), and managed to convince them to hire me as their manager. Working at and with Little Shop of Stories was and continues to be one of the biggest honors and delights of my life.
There is nothing like being a Little Shop of Stories bookseller.
But there’s REALLY nothing like being a Little Shop of Stories bookseller who also happens to publish her first book.
From being excited about ordering the book, to waiting to open the box of PURE until my shift started, to throwing the most incredible book release party in the history of book release parties (more to come on that), to CONTINUING to sell, stock, and advocate for this little novel (and all the rest) — everyone at Little Shop of Stories has made every day of PURE one made of diamonds, pearls, gold, and the forever kind of love.
This day I take a serious moment to thank everyone at Little Shop of Stories– my bosses, my coworkers, my customers, my friends, book club members, my community. You have made the last ten years some of the most meaningful of my life.
April 2019 marks ten years since Pure was published, and I’m spending the whole month reminiscing and remembering!
* Nica is the one who found an article about purity rings and remembered I wanted to write something about teens and faith, back when we were editorial assistants at the same publishing house.
* Nica bravely acquired this book, and then walked me through the entire contract and publishing process. (Above and beyond!!)
* Nica then edited the heck out of this novel, taking it from a plucky little idea to the finished manuscript.
*Nica cheered, inspired and cajoled me throughout the entire editing process, usually in tiny handwriting. She also sent me updates on the book’s coverage and progress within the publishing house, ensured I met all the right people, and knew about every new printing or announcement.
* Nica sent me flowers on publishing day, and was there for my release parties.
* And Nica has continually been there not only for Pure over the last ten years, but for all my subsequent books, whether as actual editrix, sounding board, inspiration, writing partner, cheerleader, critic, fellow bookseller, author, and a whole bunch of other roles we never quite imagined when we first dreamed up this project.
So today, April 3rd, we give THREE CHEERS FOR ANICA!