You came to my art shows and talks, first by the handful and then by the hundreds. Literally. Do you know what that means to me? The book is launching nationwide because you made it a Seattle success.
Debut books by unestablished authors without money aren't supposed to do this well. They don't sell at #5 at Elliott Bay, Seattle's biggest independent bookstore and most significant cultural bookselling stronghold. They aren't the #5 book there, just ahead of Michelle Obama's memoir. They don't end up as a top ten bestseller for two years at the store, or the #1 holiday title down at Third Place Books Seward Park, near where many of the stories take place. They don't get additional stock ordered at libraries to meet demand, nor get continued press at numerous television, radio, print, podcast and online outlets. They definitely don't become textbooks taught in the English departments of prestigious universities, or finalists for state-level book awards.
Believe me, I know how fortunate I am, and I know whom I have to thank for all of this: you, the supportive reader. The reader and citizen who responds to kindness, inclusiveness, true stories, and unheralded lives. The small moments. I am far from perfect and know it, and have much to learn from these everyday souls who were kind to me when they didn't have to be. I do my best to emulate the love and respect I so look up to, and (this is hard in Seattle) to generate it. The book is my attempt to observe, document and celebrate.
Art is a way of speaking that lasts longer in time. It holds a little more firmly against the cacophonous, clock-winding, second-stripping rush of modern life. We buy the book for the stories and the texture and the mood, sure, but that's not the underlying draw.
We buy it because it means something.
As an object it lives on our shelves representing a certain kind of possibility. It gives heft to an ethos we haven't found the words for yet. We wish to treasure the reality of goodness, not mine but yours, the goodness that lives because you choose to see a certain way. The book is concrete. The moments within it are real. They remind us that on the day-to-day, person-to-person microcosmic level of existence we humans as individuals live on:
There is a lot to appreciate.
Ask for my book, The Lines That Make Us, at any local bookstore. Or, if you must, here it is on Amazon.
More about the book and buying locations here.