Wow. Wow. That’s really all I can say about last night’s launch party. I don’t know what I was expecting (the worst, maybe?) and I don’t quite know what I thought it would be (poorly attended and boring?) but last night’s launch was absolutely wonderful. It seemed like everyone was there–over a hundred people between 5 and 8 pm–and everyone from my high school friends, to former students, girlfriends from my SF days, friends of my mother’s, my brother Rob and his wife Andrea’s very cool crowd, writers, some media faces and then even the San Francisco mayor! Okay, Mayor Newsom probably wasn’t planning on joining my party but wandered into La Barca and everyone in San Francisco knows Newsom and before you know it I’m talking to him and autographing books and generally babbling incoherent things the way I do so well. My feet were killing me by the end of the evening but we sold all 70+ books Book Passage from Corte Madre supplied, and finally closed the open bar at 7:30 and people were still lingering and visiting at 10 pm when I finally thought, I’ve got to get home and get some sleep so I have a voice for the noon reading tomorrow.
I think the thing that stands out the most, is that this was a very San Francisco party, and it followed a most San Francisco day. My brother Rob, with his 4 month old daughter in tow, took me up and down Chestnut Street in the Marina introducing me to everyone, telling them about the party, inviting all to join us. I ended up getting my nails done at a little hole in the wall nail place not far from his apartment, and then my hair blow dried by Joi at Ole’s further down on Chestnut. Rob and I stepped in at Books, Inc on Chestnut and they had four copies of Frog Prince which I signed and they moved up to the counter. Rob carried flyers into the cha-cha boutiques where all gorgeous glam girls shop and told the owners (who all know Rob) that this book is exactly what their customers love to read, and its a story set in San Francisco and I used to live in SF and I’m wonderful. I don’t know that I’m wonderful, but having a day with Rob and baby Callen was exactly what I needed.
When we reached La Barca just before 5 pm, Emily was there, the photographer had arrived, the bartender was whipping up green margaritas and with flowers, balloons, bookseller and cute chicky cocktail napkins here and there we were ready for everyone to come. And they came. At the end of the evening, Vance, owner of La Barca and a friend of my brother’s (Rob co-owns Mas Sake next door with a bunch of his buddies) gave me an amazing break on the bill. He might as well have underwritten the entire launch party for me. I was floored and touched and gave him a signed book and a signed book isn’t adequate thanks for making my party easy and fun and successful–but hey, La Barca is a family business, Vance took over from his dad and La Barca has a reputation of being a great place with great atmosphere with people who make you feel comfortable, and special. And that’s exactly how I felt last night. To Vance, and my brother, Rob, to Evan from Book Passage, to Eve from SFist.com, to Emily, my RWA friends, from RHS friends, my gal pals and everyone else who joined me (even handsome Mayor Newsom!)–thank you for making the Frog Prince launch absolutely stellar! I am a very happy girl today.