FRESNO, CA –Around the time I was editing my novel about a craft group (2005!) I came across The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber. It was purely by accident! I had been scouring the shelves of Barnes & Noble for writing books, and came across the title on the “new releases” table. I glanced at the back cover text, and KNEW I had to buy a copy. The story revolves around a Seattle knitting shop and the four diverse women who enroll in a beginner’s baby blanket class.
The book struck a chord with readers, as well as knitters. It became a bestseller and kicked off a whole Blossom Street series. Each book centers on a new knitting class and the stories of the women fit with the theme of the project they make. Debbie adds in patterns and tips from the experts. Her writing is clear, concise, funny, warmhearted – and she is a master story teller!
I read ALL kinds of books. My favorites range from Laurie Notaro to Michele Serros to Sophie Kinsella to Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez to Terry McMillan to Meg Cabot and Jennifer Weiner. The list goes on! If you’ve been following my blog over the years, you can see all the others I’ve read as well. Debbie is on that list too! When I was working on my book and I felt like giving up, I’d reread Debbie’s bio on her web site, about how she started with a typewriter on her kitchen table. She pushed on with her writing dream until it finally came true. Now she has dozens and dozens of books, and one of them is even being made into a TV movie for the Hallmark Channel.
Last night in my hotel room (I’m working at Duncan HQ this week), I heard a TV anchor promo an interview with her for the upcoming morning show. I missed it beccause I had to go to work. I mentioned it to a co-worker when I sat at my desk, and she told me Debbie would be at Barnes & Noble tonight for a signing. How totally random because I had just been thinking about her Blossom Street book recently!
I planned to zip by the signing, buy her new book, get it signed and make it home for American Idol. Um, well, I got there and the crowd had already hit 300! Not just female bookworms. There were scores of dudes to buy her books for their wives and moms, plus a lot of knitters talking about the patterns in the book. Some even brought their works in progress to show Debbie!
My friend had Debbie sign a book for me in case I didn’t make it, but she signed my name with a “C” instead of a “K”. So I waited in that long line (I was third to last) and got to meet her! I gave her glitter and she double signed my book. She is super perky and shiny and gave me a huge hug.
What a great night!
When I’m home in Phoenix, I rarely get out to book signings (unless they are mine!), and now I’m inspired to check out a signing every time I’m in Fresno!
The only down side was to make it to my hotel room just in time to see poor Allison crying because she had been booted off Idol. So unfair! I wanted her to win. But I know she will go on to great things, ala Kelly Clarkson!