:: Most of the time, like most writers, I work alone and wonder if what I do matters. That’s why launch parties and book events are so important. They remind us that there are people at the other end of our words. 

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On Monday, June 3, 2019, I published my tenth book (tenth! that sounds like so many): THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC: Transform Your Creative Life and Career. And that night, I threw a party to celebrate. My birthday is on June 5th, so I did a book launch/birthday mash-up. The venue is my favorite cafe & wine bar here in Chapel Hill, La Vita Dolce on Market Street, and they did a marvelous job. Thank you, Erin and Annie.

My husband also did a fabulous job, as my support staff, bookseller, stable pony, arm candy, and more.

First, he made me this wonderful sign to put outside.

Then, he set up the book display, and he gamely learned how to take payments using an iPad. Apparently, he became really good at it. I never watched him, but my guests let me know. (LOL.)

Also, he gave me those amazing earrings.

My sister came, and she played a very important role in reminding me when I was done speaking that I had to not run off, but also take questions from the audience. Since she was dressed like a stop-sign, I noticed when she raised her hand and said, “Questions!”

I said, “Yes?” as though she had a question

And she said, “I don’t have a question. But they do,” pointing at the audience. And she was right.

My sister and I have always taken great pictures together, as you can see.

Mostly I was so happy to see so many friends come out to support my writing. As I said at the beginning of my talk that night, an author’s greatest fear is that she will have a book event and no one will come. I’ve attended events for other authors and been one of only two or three readers in attendance. It’s hard when few people come to hear you speak. I was lucky to have so many at my event, and I know it.

But the work we do as writers is important even when we’re not in fancy dresses and surrounded by readers and friends. Most of the time, like most writers, I work alone and wonder if what I do matters. That’s why launch parties and book events are so important, I think. They remind us that there are people at the other end of our words.

A large group of people gathered to watch Katie Pryal speak

I love you, my friends. Thank you for reminding me what I’m working for.

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