I have some idea what it’s like to be a rock star. Okay not Bruce Springsteen or Beyonce. But I certainly felt the love this weekend in Garrett County. I ran late–I’m a slow driver. So when I got to the gate at Swallow Falls State Park Friday afternoon there were people waiting for me!
It was so much fun meeting folks who grew up in the area or had loved visiting here for decades, like I had.
After an exhilarating couple of hours, we took INN BY THE LAKE on a tour of the places depicted in the book: the falls of course, the county courthouse, Oakland. That’s my sister’s hand holding the book in several pictures. A big THANK YOU to Mary Pat Tilghman for joining my book and me on the Deep Creek Lake book tour.
Saturday was another day that did my heart so much good. After coffee and a long conversation with Bill at Englander’s, my sister and I stopped at the Garrett County Historical Museum for another look around at the exhibits that inspired a key element of my story—and left a couple of books for their bookshop. If you visit Oakland (Maryland, not California) stop here. It’s got some great exhibits, with lots of pictures and artifacts that I find so interesting.
INN’s first official stop was the Ruth Enlow Library. Again a small crowd was waiting for me—and I wasn’t late this time. I told them all about the process of writing INN BY THE LAKE, about the local destinations that are so important to the story—and then we talked about other places in the area that might be worth writing about. I scribbled lots of notes for future novels. To top off a heady morning, the librarian needed a copy of my book for all the calls she’s been getting from people who want to read INN. I had to leave a copy for all my new friends.
I spent the afternoon at Deep Creek Lavender Farm, whose owners got the ball rolling for this book tour. Anne and Scott were such gracious hosts and their farm is gorgeous. My visit came just before the rolling fields of lavender burst into purple, pink and white bloom. But already, as I sat on the porch of their gift shop signing books and meeting readers, I could smell the fragrance of those buds.
Although I wasn’t scheduled to give a book talk here, I ended up talking anyway. Two different readers asked when the book talk was going to begin so I realized maybe I should give one. To my delight, I had family who came up for the day—just because I was signing books here. I shouldn’t have been so surprised. They did it once before, when I signed LOVE LETTERS AND GINGERBREAD at The Greyhound bookstore in Berlin a few years back. Don’t I have nice relatives? Thanks Sheila, Elish, Emily and Maria!!
Readers are such wonderful people. I write my books for people to read so it delights me when someone tells me they want to buy my book or that they read it and couldn’t put it down. I’m so grateful for them. And do you know what? I came home with all of my copies of INN going to new homes. I sold out of LOVE LETTERS & GINGERBREAD and sold a couple copies of DIVIDED LOYALTIES, too. (I even told everybody about my newest book, THE LAST GIFT, which was just released.)
I went home thrilled, humbled, and oh so thankful for so many great new friends. Thanks, Deep Creek Lake. And a special shout-out to Becky Ruggiero of the Garrett County Republican. It was her story that brought so many people out.