Last Saturday I had a book signing about forty-five minutes away in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at the coziest little coffee shop ever, Agora Downtown Coffee. The shop is co-owned by sisters, one of whom bakes amazing things and the other who is the biggest champion for local artists ever (as well as a talented artist and craftsperson, herself). In the short time I was there, the sisters’ father and brother stopped by and introduced themselves, a local business owner bought me a cup of coffee because he “knew how hard I worked”, a designer complemented my book covers, and countless folks smiled and wished me well.
To say the place felt like home, is a huge understatement.
One of my favorite moments of the day was the book I sold to the gentleman who had just come from a kick-boxing class at the gym nearby. He was waiting in line and we struck up a conversation. He mentioned his wife liked to read and asked what my books were about. He went on to say that she had just started a new phase in her life, beginning a new educational endeavor. He talked about how proud he was of her, but it wasn’t his words that stuck with me– it was the look in his eyes. They overflowed with genuine love and regard so vast and huge that I’ll never find the right words to describe it. I can only hope she enjoys my story half as much as I enjoyed spending even the tiniest of moments in the middle of hers.
To Agora, and the fabulous folks of Fredericksburg, thank you.
(Also, huge thanks to M.R. Stoddard for introducing me to Agora in the first place, and to Richmond friends, Elizabeth B. and Ward Saunders for driving up to support me. Last, but very furthest from least – thanks to Mike — whose support is constant, and often quiet, but feels like the absolute best thing ever to me.)