My friend Diane organized a book reading of Good Daughter, Good Mother at the independent living facility where she lives here in Seattle. The turnout was great — I provided 50 books in advance of the program, and all of them were picked up. Most people who came had read all or part of the book. The audience was very engaged, as has been the case in all of the readings I’ve done. Appearing in public as an author is good for me, stimulating. I rise to the occasion. My Irish story telling side comes to the fore, and I’m never boring. People like the stories, especially about the Peace Corps.
One participant told me she started the book at 4pm one afternoon and stayed up well into the night so she could finish the book — she felt unable to put it down. That delighted me.
The importance of memoir, unless the author is very famous — and I’m not — isn’t so much in getting people to care about the details of my life. Rather, my talking honestly about my own story gives others a template, a model, and perhaps the courage, to reflect on their own lives, and the important people in them.
Seeing honestly, speaking honestly, is important work of old age.
I have a couple of other book events in the works, and I look forward to them. One of the participants in this event asked if I have another book in me. I’m not sure about that, but I’m enjoying the heck out of this one. 🙂