It was a day Leah and I’d waited for, for over five years. We have written two books together (from different parts of the country) via Skype, email, text and phone. We have been building a business, forming a brand, marketing the hell out of social media…and becoming one another’s cheerleaders (and personal counselors). You would have thought we would either be more nervous or excited; or…both to finally meet in person. Not the case.
We walked into that intro much like we had our pitches to the multiple agents and publishers that declined our proposal –pound sand peeps –we’re doing this thang! We already knew each other, this meeting equated to simple formalities.
I found it funny the days prior to my departure—the numerous amounts of people approaching to ask if I was nervous. Not nervous about traveling across country to participate in my first book signing…no, obviously I clearly knew what to expect and would not fail there (insert emoticon with hysterical laughing & crying). The million-dollar question was; Are you nervous to meet Leah for the first time? What if you two don’t have chemistry? What if you don’t like her? Well folks, welcome to the world we currently live in, which includes people who get married that have met and dated only via the internet…holy you-know-what. It’s true though, we’re in the era of technology. Leah and I built a business via the internet and didn’t think twice. So when I got off that plane to find her greeting me with a sign (Author Katrina Epp, so, so, so thoughtful) there was not a single bit of nerves. There was only excitement to hug her for the first time, and to get to meet her family who I’d heard so much about. There was also so much excitement to begin the first leg of our book signings that we’d fantasized about since before our first book was even written. This was a time to celebrate.
Why did we write about wine? Well, why would anyone write about wine? Same reason they talk about it, same reason they drink it, same reason they buy it. Because it’s f’ing awesome and we love (need) it in our lives. Leah and I purposely structured our book to have wine pairings with each story. This was no mistake my friends—we truly believed in this: combining the emotions of motherhood, and wine. Sure, we’d done that from a marketing standpoint…But guess what? When it came to events, there turns out to be little time to indulge; it’s truly work—signing books, networking, mingling, driving, planning, juggling, being charming and starving. We’d provided moms all over the world reasons to drink wine within our book; yet, our time to actually wine, was limited.
We went into the weekend having very little idea on what to expect. We’d never done a signing before; heck, we were still just excited we’d gotten into Barnes & Noble, let alone doing a signing there. After dinner Thursday, we decided to cruise by the super, upscale bookstore, sitting amongst a whole section of other swanky establishments…some of Myrtle’s finest I assure. We were disappointed to not see any signs on the outside publicizing our event. Leah (being the one clearly with brains in our partnership) walked directly into the doors. I immediately heard her gasp. It didn’t take long to see what she was so excited about. There, right in front of the entrance, was a sign with our names on it—including our book title, and the info for our event and several stacks of books. That was my “Oh my God, we did it.” moment. I teared up; but only for a second because I had to walk down the street to a wine bar we were hosting another event at, and negotiate a better deal (a cheaper happy hour for our group, that lasted all night). Bye, bye tears, momma’s got work to do. Leah and I hugged, took a few pics, and headed down to the wine bar where we got promised affordable, happy hour wine – all night long. Boom.
Friday flew by. We knew we needed time to prepare for our Q&A session at Barnes & Noble, but didn’t get to it. With three kids, you barely have time to breathe. Her husband met us a bit early before dinner to grab the kids, and we joined her mother for a quick bite before we attempted our planning pow-wow, that essentially, never happened. If Leah and I are good at anything, and we are (a lot of things, BTW!) –it’s winging it. Leah needed to be able to relax and not stress after having a busy day. I needed to just know that I do better without a script and with a more conversational, speech-style approach…and let myself rock it.
Expectedly, the rest of the entire weekend turned out to be a whirlwind. I had the pleasure of personally meeting Leah’s children and husband—all of whom I felt I knew already. I got to see her hometown, stay at her house, live her lifestyle, catch up with her for a bit after the kids went to bed, and create a business plan while sitting together over lunch, face to face. All things we had looked forward to, for years. And all amidst also participating in our four planned events in the span of just three days. Did I mention we’d learned a couple lessons??
Barnes & Noble was that moment we’d dreamed about. The Mommy’s night out was romantic and an exclusive get together and we had an amazing group of moms there—we didn’t end up home until midnight! Saturday’s events included one on Daniel Island, which is where all the super-cool people hang; where everyone knows each other, and ride their bikes to and fro in lieu of driving. The Brady Bunch ain’t got shit on this group of friends. So.much.fun. The entire weekend was nearly out of a movie; we couldn’t have picked a better location for signing #1. Our expo in Charleston was the planned closing of the first leg of our signings/summer tour. By then, we were exhausted…and needed a day to just take it all in.
We so enjoy the book signings. We also know that we need to continue to focus our attention on wineries that are a dual signing & tasting event; mom expos, and other similar –such as the tent we’ll have at Chan’s Wine World –for the wine festival held in Destin. We’re excited to meet a new group of people. With that said, I want to reiterate that our first Barnes & Noble event was amazing—life-changing to see people come in that we’d never met to have us sign their books, simply because they loved our book.
Destin comes up at the end of the month. After that, several events coming into the works. In June, we have a signing in Washington. We’re working on signings in California, New York, Colorado, and we even have an invite to a signing with a winery at the Kentucky Derby (If we don’t shoot HLN Weekend Express that weekend, Leah and I are so rocking one of those gigantic, ridiculous hats). We are also still speaking with several other wineries across the country. It’s going to be a busy year…no doubt about that. But, it’s been years of hard work, we can only revel in the success for a few minutes, because there’s still so much to do!
Leah and I are grateful for all the people that went out of their way to attend our first few events. We thank all the others that have purchased the book, followed our story on social media, and just supported us in general. This is only the beginning for Mommoisseurs ladies & gents, please continue to stay tuned. Destin, here we come!