At the Palm Springs Public Library — Wednesday Nov. 19th

Photo from

Photo from

This is Thalian Hall in Wilmington, North Carolina. When I was in primary school, it housed the public library, and one of my clearest childhood memories is going with my mom and brother on Saturdays to choose a book for the week. Our family got by on a Marine Corps sergeant’s salary, but books took us to exciting places and gave us adventures beyond our frugal reach. At seven years old, I didn’t yet realize all the wonders the library had to offer. Nor that by passing on her love of books, my mom was giving me an everlasting gift.

One of my early favorite books was Tarheel Ghosts by John Harden, a collection of ghost stories set throughout the state. It was a well-worn book, something all the kids read so we could scare one another during campouts and sleepovers. Plus we all had family tales of hiding out near the train tracks in Brunswick County late at night to see The Maco Light. I’ll never forget the thrill of arriving at Thalian Hall one Saturday to learn Harden, the “Ghost Hunter,” had been there only moments earlier discussing his book. From that moment on, I was convinced the library was haunted. In a good way, of course.

Now it’s mumble-mumble years later, and it’s my turn to go to the library and talk about my work. Here are the details:

Palm Springs Public Library
300 S. Sunrise Way
November 19th at 6:30

Somehow I doubt my presence will dazzle any seven-year-olds, but I expect to meet lots of people for whom public libraries hold a special place in their memories. I can’t imagine a life without books, but that’s very likely the life I’d have had without Thalian Hall.

6 Responses to “At the Palm Springs Public Library — Wednesday Nov. 19th”

  1. I have no knowledge or control over the release of the Kindle edition. I can tell you that Bella Books holds the ebook back several weeks to take advantage of their exclusive rights to sell it.

    Lots of businesses operate this way. They make exclusive agreements to retailers like Macy’s, Office Depot and Walmart, and withhold those products from their competitors. These exclusive deals mean higher profits for the people who made the product.

    When Bella sells an ebook, it retains 100% of the price ($9.99) to reinvest in its business and pay authors more. When books are sold through Amazon, the corporate stockholders take at least 30% off the top, so all the folks who work at Bella make less. $7 is certainly better than $0, especially with Amazon’s vast reach, but you can see why Bella wants to sell more books at $10 before sending books out to the other outlets.

    The ebooks will be available through Kindle eventually for those who prefer to buy books that way. For those who can’t wait for that release, the fix is very easy — buy it from Bella, download it, and email it as an attachment to your Kindle account. It shows up on your Kindle exactly as if you’d bought it from Jeff Bezos. Having said that, I know it’s easier to download Kindle books with one click, and I understand why some people prefer to wait.

    • Thanks. I haven’t done this before, because I thought the ebook would behave differently. Thank you for your great description of how to load it via the Mobi file. I definitely will be do this in future. Right now, the wireless is broken on my Kindle, so I’m trying to pry it out of my own hands and send it back while it’s still under warranty. So, looks like I’ll be swiping my partner’s Kindle for the Mobi file; once her Gothic lit class is done, that it.

  2. Thank you for warm reply and editing my previous post so beautifully.

  3. I also have fond memories of tagging after my mom as she added to her armload of plays and biographies as we wound through the stacks of the temporary library in Riverside, California. Years later, I still missed the old Unitarian Church and its twisting corridors of guest books.
    As for your backlist on sale, I won’t be buying any of them, because I couldn’t wait for a sale. Your writing lifts me to exiting places every time I read, or reread one of your books. I am semi-housebound with challenges from a brain injury, so your book Etched In Shadows is particularly meaningful to me. Thank you for your beautiful insights about recovering and how acceptance of the new us by a loved one is crucial. Luckily, for me, my partner of many years understood this and still does.

    • Isn’t it wonderful how simple concepts trigger elaborate memories? As for the books, I try to keep writing new things because it takes me into worlds of research. I was fascinated to read about TBI, especially since I’ve known friends who struggled with the aftermath. It isn’t unusual for certain books to resonate more with one group of readers than another. I’m gratified to hear this one hit a sweet spot for you.

      • First, all of your books hit the sweet spot. Sometimes, I can feel a bit grumpy for days because I miss your characters when I finish one of your books. The only reason I haven’t written to urge you to write more sequels is because I know that to have story, you have to torment and bedevil your characters. So, especially in regards to Alice and Johnelle of Etched, I can’t seem to wish more story on them. I still think about them regularly and reread the book recently. It was one of the last books of yours that I read, because I didn’t think I could stand to read about brain injury while living it. But it was insightful, honest, and cathartic. Speaking of which, did you write the novel because of friends with TBI or meet the friends while researching the novel?

        Also, I’m waiting for your newest, Life After Love, to come out on Kindle. Is there an ETA on the Kindle edition?

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