Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Signing at Bethel Woods

It’s been an exciting last few days as the print copy of Blue Hydrangeas finally reached my anxious little hands and I had the opportunity to launch it into the literary marketplace one-on-one at a book signing at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located on the grounds of the original Woodstock concert site. 
As expected, the festival had a huge attendance and traffic in the craft tent (where I was located) was heavy and steady.  Lou and I reached out to and talked to a ton of people.  I introduced myself as the author for the day (BW reserves a table for a local author at all festival days) and described my book as an Alzheimer's love story.  Some people smiled and walked on by.  Others let out a little gasp, "oh, that's a tough one," and leaned in for a better look at my display.   
This disease is a tender subject and touches so many lives.  Some people cried just talking about it, such as the woman who recounted the story of her good friend and the husband who cared for her with love and patience until the last day, and the woman who lost her dad to Alzheimer's last year and had to walk away because the pain was still so raw she could not speak of it without choking up.  Others were curious about the book and didn’t hesitate to buy a copy, including the woman who lost her father years ago, yet still reads everything she can about Alzheimer's to further understand what happened to him and what may happen to her and other family members she loves. 
I was not sure the book would be welcomed by those currently living with the disease and was surprised to sell a few copies to current caregivers.  The majority of my customers were middle-aged women, avid readers, with a personal interest in either the disease or a good love story.  Some bought the book as a gift for someone they knew living with the disease.  I had the good fortune to sell a copy to a local newspaper columnist and his nurse wife, and an English teacher from my daughter's high school who lost his mother to Alzheimer's a few years ago.   
I also made sure to talk about the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative, to which I am donating five percent of my profits.  The API provides information and updates on the latest news about brain health and connects people who are interested in participating in prevention research with medical studies.  To get involved visit endalznow
It was a cold, cloudy, blustery day and Lou and I were under dressed for the weather, but we kept busy talking about the book and sampling some of the delicious foods available: spanakopita, baklava, hot cider, Philly cheese steak, and cinnamon rolls. The festival is known for its artisanal breads, cheeses, and the best pesto around, and we made sure to take home some of our favorites.  A trip to the Bethel Woods Harvest Festival is always  a pleasant day, book or no book.

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