One awesome book launch party – two reports!

Published: September 24, 2009 | Last Updated: October 3, 2009 By | Reply Continue Reading

My behind the scenes report

If you missed my book launch party on Sunday


What a wonderful day it was! There was every reason to celebrate. The weather in Chappaqua was glorious—perhaps the most beautiful day of the year. It was the long waited for launch day for my new book, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, coinciding with National Women’s Friendship Day.


For my friend Donna and I, the morning began with a Bill Clinton "sighting." (That’s what we townies call it when we see a glimpse of Mr. President. And yes, it still gives us goosebumps to see him). He was dressed in a beautiful long-sleeved blue shirt (no jacket) that happened to be a slightly lighter tone of my book cover (Do you think he knew?). His silver hair sparkled in the sun as he walked toward a petite French bistro called Jardin du Roi to meet with the Prime Minister of Australia.


But the real excitement was taking place around the corner at Donna Hair Design. Melissa Mancini from the nearby Border’s in Mount Kisco arrived early with what seemed like a truckload of books and perched herself at the reception desk. The chosen venue for my launch had been transformed from a hair salon into a Tiffany blue and yellow-themed paradise.


You might question why I would want to have a book launch party in a beauty salon but the decision was entirely logical. It’s right next to the vacant store front that once housed Second Story Books, the indie bookstore our town recently lost. And hair salons are one of the last bastions where women can literally let their hair down to tend and befriend! Donna Hair Design is a grand salon in the broader sense of the word, an inviting living room for women and Donna is one of my BFFs.


Before long, about 150 celebrants joined us. The room was filled with friends and relatives from every slice of my life: college friends, neighbors, colleagues who became friends at various jobs, my realtor, my son’s first babysitter, my editor, my agent—well, you get the idea. It was awesome to see them all in one room celebrating friendship!


I want to express a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to join us and for all those who sent their well wishes for me and for my book. I felt surrounded by your warm hugs for days.


Irene’s Book Party Day

A guest post from my friend and colleague, Margie Goldsmith


I board the train for Chappaqua from Manhattan, armed with my Google Maps walking directions. I find it a little strange that Irene’s book party is being held in a beauty salon but hey – what do I know? (I later find out in Irene’s speech that the store next door to the beauty parlor used to be a bookstore, which is where Irene WOULD have held it had the store still be around.) I walk down the street, festive with a bunch of helium balloons welcoming us into Donna Hair Design.


There is Irene, looking radiant with a beige jacket and some chunky gold necklace, a smile on her face as wide as Grand Central Station. I see about 15 people there and I greet Irene. At the front reception desk are cookies – yellow and turquoise, like the book cover. So I think, well this is sweet – a little book party in this sweet little reception room. I talk to Irene but her cousins come in so I move aside and then realize there is AN ENTIRE ROOM behind me, FULL of people and a huge spread of fruits and cookies and cakes and cheese and crackers and nuts and crudités – a table at least 12 feet long, so you can imagine that this is not a tiny room.


I don’t see ONE sink or beauty station – it’s a huge room OVERFLOWING with people. There must have been 150 people there, EASILY. I talked to Jerry (Irene’s husband) and Boxer Boy, (Irene’s son) who’s VERY good looking and is living in Hell’s Kitchen. A VERY HOT GENTRIFIED NYC ‘hood.


Irene introduces myself and Leslie Knowlton, a fellow ASJA writer (also thanked in acknowledgements along with us) to her editor (who looks 20 years old) and her agent, who is lovely. Both talk about how ASJA is such a great organization and how they found Irene there!!!! I cannot believe the amount of people there.


So Donna, the hair salon owner, gets up and speaks first – says she had done a blow-out for Irene today and they were going someplace together (I don’t think I heard where), but suddenly Irene looks in a window at a restaurant, and WHO’S SITTING THERE? Bill Clinton! So Irene tells very shy Donna, "Go to him, here’s a book! Invite him to my party!" Donna didn’t want to do it, but Irene kept begging her, so finally Donna goes in and invites Clinton to the party. She said Clinton was as handsome as ever – Clinton wished them good luck – I think (Irene, correct my bad facts here), and then Donna handed him the book and said, "Your shirt is the exact same color of the book!" (remember, the book is turquoise).


Donna is effusive about Irene and what a great person she is. Then Irene gets up and thanks everyone for coming – she’s really well spoken and needs NO media training! And she talks about all the people who are here – old friends, she’s know this once since grade school, and this one since high school. I’m still in a state of shock that she even KNOWS 200 people who come to salute her.


And she thanks her editor (who proposed the idea of the book) and her agent, and all the people. (I forgot to say that among the candy was also a candy which was turquoise and yellow, like the bigger cookies of that color – I mean, this party was really classy). And then Jerry came up (he was to pick the tickets for the raffle). He said he’d been a ticket collector for his first job at the movies and he’d also called out bingo numbers, so he was suited to this task.


But what was AMAZING (there were about 6 or 8 door prizes) was that EVERY SINGLE PERSON who won, was a good friend of Irene’s, and as that person came up to collect her prize, Irene told a story about how that person figured in her life and WHEN she did. I mean, it was REALLY moving.


So then I decided I better catch the next train otherwise there wasn’t one for a full hour (and the party would have already been over), so I bought a book and took it to Irene to sign, but this was such a class act that it wasn’t only a book I received: the book was put in a cloth bag with the imprint of the jacket, Best Friends Forever. And as if that wasn’t generous enough – inside the bag was a little foam rubber heart in two pieces – one says "best" and the other "friend," plus two heresy kisses (which of course I ate immediately on the train), and some skin care products PLUS a kit of hair products – and mind you, BOTH of these gifts had been individually wrapped with ribbons. I mean, someone did an awful lot of work.


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