Last November, I was plodding away at the book I was writing and wishing I could be in South Carolina for a Gullah festival being held at the Penn Center on St. Helena Island. That wishful-thinking blog post can be found at http://www.katzenhausbooks.com/blog/2011/11/12/Heritage-Days-at-the-Penn-Center.aspx.
Today, I have put the finishing touches on The Road to Frogmore and am only waiting for the frontispiece photo to arrive from the archives so that I can ship the whole thing off to the printer. Finishing a book can be a bit of a let-down-- sort of a post-partem experience for writers. It's done, you have no more chances to make it better, and now you are sending it out into the wide world where critics and grudge-carrying reviewers are waiting to tear it to pieces. What if it doesn't sell? What if everyone hates it? What if I never write another book?
But today is not quite like that because of some exciting news that arrived in my e-mail. Assuming all goes well, my new book and I will be a part of the Heritage Days Celebration this year. I've gotten a sneak peek at the Penn Center's brochure:
If you read the description of activities, you'll see that "Book Talks" and an "Artists & Authors Row" will be a part of the celebration on November 10th, and The Road to Frogmore will be a part of that. While the details are not yet all in place, last year's daydream has become this year's reality. I'll be there to deliver my book talk and to see my book on sale in the center's bookstore.
The Road to Frogmore tells the story of Laura Towne, who went to St. Helena Island in 1862 to take medical care to the newly-freed slaves and set up a school -- The Penn School -- to help educate them. This celebration takes place at the very spot where she worked and taught for some 40 years. I can not imagine a more appropriate or moving way to launch her book!