As I made plans for launching Creature from the Woods, I knew I wanted more than anything to host a launch party. Partially, I just really like parties. I like celebration and hugging friends and snack boards with cheese. But I mostly wanted an opportunity to share this book with the people who have walked with me on this journey. After four years (four!) of working on this book from my own little desk, I wanted a physical, tangible way to connect with readers and say, “Here. This book is for you. It’s yours now.“
Suffice to say, this launch party was everything I hoped it would be. (Complete with a cheese board and everything!) And since we were only able to fit so many people inside a coffee house, I wanted to put together a little blog post to invite you along into this special night. (All of the INCREDIBLE photos you see in this post were taken by the talented Photos by Sophh!)
Right from the beginning, I knew I wanted to host this party somewhere naturally beautiful. I wanted a space that went perfectly along with the woodland vibes found in Creature from the Woods. My mind immediately went to Roasted in the Village, a little coffee shop just north of Indy owned by some old friends from my childhood church. I asked if they would host us, and they were so, so wonderful.
Now let’s talk about the SNACKS. In addition to Roasted’s coffee bar, I wanted to put together a spread that would be exciting for kids and adults alike. And, of course, it had to be woodland themed. I spent almost two whole days cooking up chicken pinwheels, chocolate acorns, mossy cupcakes, peanut butter bear paws, and the charcuterie board of my dreams.
I was just putting the finishing touches on my cheese board when guests started arriving. All of my fretting and fussing faded into the background as I greeted friends from all parts of my life and career.
So many friends came out to celebrate this little book, and I couldn’t be more grateful. It takes a team to make a book, but it takes a village to make an author. The people in this room were just a portion of the village that taught me to love reading, encouraged me to write, trained me in publishing, and made the person I am today.
I sent a special invitation to six VIPs, without whom this book would not exist. With everyone gathered, I wanted to take a moment to recognize them. My mom, for being my writing buddy and always paving a way for me to pursue any dream I set my heart on. My little sister, for being my muse and inspiring the story behind Creature from the Woods. Maurya and Christine, who have mentored me in my writing and my life for over a decade. Professor Linda Taylor, who taught me everything I know about publishing. And Michelle Medlock Adams, who inspired me to write for children, brought me under her wing, and launched me into the publishing industry.
After recognizing my honored guests and giving a quick and sappy speech, I did my first post-publication read-aloud of Creature from the Woods. Who doesn’t love story time?
Then it was time to sign some books! I love when I get to personalize a book. I love learning the names and stories of the people who will receive and read it, and writing a little personal message especially for them. I signed so many copies for daughters, sons, grandkids, nieces, and nephews who will get to have this story told to them all about just how loved they are.
Before the party was over, I made sure to snag a minute with my family to celebrate this special night. My husband, my mom, and my sister were the behind-the-scenes hands that put this party together and made it all go smoothly. I’m so lucky to have a little team who is always there to ask me, “What do you need?”
Thank you so much to everyone who came out to celebrate with me, and thank you to everyone who celebrated online as well. It’s so special to have a community of people who love this book just as much as I do.