Valerie Winn had a very successful night at Lemuria in Jackson on April 3, selling over three dozen copies of her debut novel, Forsaking Mimosa. What was amazing to this observer, though, was the outporing of support from family members in McComb (a three-hour round trip) and the Gulf Coast (a six-hour round trip). A whole bunch of folks came up for the day and shopped in Jackson, putting a little boost into the economy, and rented hotel rooms and ate out after buying books at Lemuria. As Valerie’s publisher and head cheerleader (GO, TEAM, GO!!!) I couldn’t be more grateful.

Nothing like signing your first book for old friends!
A lot of folks drove a lot of miles to Lemuria that night!

Plenty of people stayed for the reading…

…which was as much fun as sitting in the legendary Lemuria signing booth!

I’ve talked often about how great it is to get to visit with old friends while selling books on the road. My friend Perry Dew and his wife, Betty, are old friends who live near Meridian, and they were kind enough to stop by when I signed at the area Books A Million in early March.

Not only does Perry read my books and give me through feedback, he’s kind enough to even brag on them in front of total strangers who walk by for a look. What a guy!

Next up on the signing calendar: My buddy John Floyd and I will visit the Quitman Public Library in Clarke County on Thursday, April 12 at 1:30 p.m. for an informal talk and q/a session that we think will be a lot of fun. We thoroughly enjoy getting to both take shots at questions from audience members.

Late 2009, back when Quitman librarian Sue Sexton managed the library in nearby Pachuta.

John Floyd and me at Lemuria in early 2007 when I signed Judgment Day

There’s a story that goes with the trailer sign: Back in 2003, I got a call from Sue Sexton, who said a handful of folks in their Friends of the Library group were familiar with my debut novel, the legal thriller On The Record, and wanted to know if I’d come to town to do a program. Are you kidding me? Absolutely, I said, and we agreed on a date of July 10. The meeting room in this tiny little library was full, with 16-18 people taking up all the chairs, and I learned that I was the opening act for…a local Baptist minister who was auctioning off cakes! I took a picture of the trailer sign, and to this day it hangs in my office: AUTHOR JOE LEE REVIEWING ON THE RECORD AND FUNDRAISING CAKE AUCTION. I even mentioned it to Gary Pettus of The Clarion Ledger a year later when he interviewed me just before my second novel, Dead Air, was launched. And when I signed Dead Air a few months later in Pachuta, I made sure the Friends folks knew they’d been bragged on in the statewide Mississippi paper.

So I’ll be interested to see if Sue has some sort of trailer sign in Quitman to promote the Floyd/Lee event in Quitman this Thursday!