Last month, my book tour brought me to beloved Anderson's Bookshop's new location in La Grange, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago where my brother-in-law and his family live. Anderson's is known as a a must-stop for any author visiting Chicago; they also have stores in Naperville (the flagship store) and Downers Grove.
The people at Anderson's, and the readers of La Grange, were unbelievably kind and welcoming to me. I've said it before and am ever more convinced that the best part of publishing a book is meeting booksellers and readers. Having a chance to connect and discuss books with the people I met in La Grange (one of whom drove all the way from Joliet!) was a highlight of my tour so far.
For my talk, I read a section from Chapter Two, the scene in which Berni and Grete visit the perfume counter. Then I discussed the book's journey from idea to printing before I took questions from the audience.
As an added bonus, I got to meet another Tyrus Books author, Brandon S. Graham, who lives in Downers Grove. His novel, Missing People, is a mystery about the disappearance of a 17-year-old in Chicago. Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, says Graham's "work makes us painfully aware of our human follies and acknowledges our lovely humanity.” Click the cover below for more:
The La Grange location of Anderson's may be new, but they've already started some fun traditions. Mary asked me to choose any pillar in the store and sign it. I chose this one next to Jessica Brockmole, author of Letters from Skye (which my mother-in-law and I both loved) and the brand-new At the Edge of Summer, and my agency sister Marci Jefferson, author of Enchantress of Paris: A Novel of the Sun King's Court.
There are other names on here, too, which I couldn't make out. Is that Beatriz Williams? Helen somebody? Good to see I'm not the only author with an illegible signature. (I've been told mine looks like it says Carl Weathers.) I tried to be as clear as I could, but I don't know if people will be able to recognize mine. It's below the words BUY LOCAL.
As if that weren't enough, I was allowed to choose any book in the store to take home as an author gift! I asked the booksellers for their recommendation and went with it--Han Kang's Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Vegetarian. It was unlike any book I've ever read--disturbing, violent, yet somehow transcendent and airy. I highly recommend this one.
If you're in the Chicago area, please visit any of the three Anderson's locations; signed copies of my book (in hardcover and paperback) are on the shelves in all three stores.
Thank you, Anderson's, for treating me so well. I'll be back the next chance I get!