On April 22, 2008 at about 7:30 or so in the morning, I learned that my book, KING BY RIGHT OF BLOOD AND MIGHT was a real book. I was, of course, ecstatic. A few days later I got a package in the mail. You have to understand that at the time I was staying with my son; I had no reason to expect any mail I hadn't asked for. When I opened it and discovered a copy of my book, I think I was in shock. I mean, after all, it's one thing to know in my head that my book was now published - it's quite another to actually be able to touch it and turn pages made out of real paper and see the familiar words there on the page instead of on my computer screen. I don't think I stopped grinning for days. That evening, after work, my son and his wife took me out for a drink (I needed one). I was delightfully pleased when the bar gave me my drinks for free. I don't know who picked up the tab, whether it was the waitress or the bartender but it was really cool. As I recall, I had three drinks and I don't remember what they were called. My daughter-in-law, Stacy, wanted me to try one she liked and of course I like margaritas. I'm not sure what the other one was. Needless to say, I was still grinning like a Cheshire cat at this point.
Now, to top off this ecstasy, my son's neighbor went out and ordered a copy from Barns & Noble right away so about a week after touching my first book, she brought me her copy for me to sign. Once again, shock nearly overcame me and I came perilously close to forgetting how to write my name. My hand was actually shaking and I'm not prone to trembling hands, unless I'm cold. Ah, such is the very fond memory, now immortalized for everyone to share, of my first published book. We'll see if I go through the same thing next time. And yes, come hell or high water, there will be a next time.