1. Having a launch party is one of the funnest things to do, EVER.
2. People are awesome.
Guys, I can't even. The amount of support that came from so many different directions is mind boggling. Looking at all the pictures from the launch party brings back the overwhelming gratitude I felt standing in front of everyone, touched at all the people who came. :'o)
We started out the night with me talking about some insider secrets with the book. And then I got emotional thanking my husband and kids, my parents, and my writing group. (There was a photographer from a newspaper there to catch it all. The part where I turned to look back at my husband, all emotional and teary-eyed, is the photo they decided to use in their newspaper article. Now I know what I look like when I'm about to cry. When I saw the picture, I laughed and laughed and laughed for like half an hour! It's seriously the funniest picture ever. How do people not generally burst out laughing every time they see me about to cry?)
Here's a pic from the side you couldn't really see in the first pic.
And here's a pic of people filing in from the back, where you can kind of see the screen at the front where I did my presentation. When I was done speaking, we partied. :) For the kids, we had three stations set up-- one where they could make a necklace / key chain out of Shrinky Dinks, one where they could invent a creation out of toothpicks and mini marshmallows, and one where they could slingshot foam apples at bad guys (based off a scene in the book, and arguably the activity the kids had the most fun at). While the kids were going wild, the parents got in line, and I signed books like crazy. For over two hours. It was an incredible feeling.
About an hour and a half into the signing, the crowd cleared and I could see my line for the first time! Up until that point, my "line" mostly consisted of the wall of people in front of me.
At best count, about 500 people came. Once the room was filled, people watched from outside, just crowding around the open doors. I am so so so sorry to those of you who couldn't make it to the doors, and just had to leave. I wish I could've seen you! I really wish I could've seen everyone who came. But I'm not a big fan of standing in long lines, either. Also, I'm sorry we didn't bring several hundred more cookies. It's so hard to guess how many people will come. Or how skilled kids can be at making 500 cookies disappear in less than 10 minutes' time.
Oh! And I gave out raffle prizes! My five favorite chocolate bars for the adults, and five prize bags for the kidlets. I kind of love how they turned out. Here's the finished product:
Inside each one was a Sky Jumpers t-shirt...
A Sky Jumpers button....
Instead of a Dove bar, a Cliff Dive bar.... :)
Air Heads Xtremes, since Sky Jumping is pretty much an xtreme sport....
And my favorite: Bomb's Breath Mints. Get it? Hahaha! These crack me up every single time.
All in all? A pretty dang awesome night. Huge thanks to everyone who came and to everyone who helped!