Sunday, March 5, 2023

On the Same Page in Claremont

We arrived early, to find lawn signs ringing the community center! Yes, of course I took one (or three) home.

I'd say yesterday's talk and book signing capping off the Claremont (Calif.) Friends of the Library's "On the Same Page" program went great! The Friends chose "A Fire Story" as their community book of the year, and in the past several weeks hosted related events on fire safety and disaster preparedness. About 70 people came out on a lovely southern California Saturday to hear my story. Knowing that this was the first graphic novel many of them had read, I also made my best case for comics as a respectable literary medium. May have made a few converts.

A good overview of the room and crowd as my talk got started.

Explaining--maybe even evangelizing--about why on earth someone would tell the story of a firestorm in the form of a comic. I am passionate on the subject.

Signing books afterward. The library had distributed dozens of copies throughout the community in advance of my talk, so a lot of people brought theirs along to sign. The Friends also sold a few at the event.

My sisters Brenda and Lis live not too far from Claremont so they got to come, along with Lis's boyfriend Randy, which was very cool. It was also an opportunity to meet some Facebook friends in real life, including Susan Kullmann, who moved to Claremont after losing her home in the same fire I did, and comics writer and editor Barbara Randall Kesel, who I wish I'd had more time to talk shop with. Also got to know Chris Sayler and her husband Dave, who know my Dad! It was Chris who brought my book to the attention of the Claremont folks in the first place. All terrific.

The Friends of the Library seemed satisfied with my efforts and were as welcoming and kind as could be. Their hospitality extended to a wine bar after the event, which was a nice chance to wind down and get better acquainted. There are no better people on the planet than people who love books. Many thanks to them!

Later at the wine bar. A fine opportunity to relax and get to know people. A wonderful group of Friends.

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