hardcover in my hands!

Just got back from London, jetlagged and bleary...and this morning, I discovered a HarperCollins package in my mailbox:

Mmmm. Those pages smell yummy!

At last, I'm holding the hardcover in my hands! Still a couple more weeks before it hits bookstore...but just in time for my Very First Signing (Ever), which will be in Atlanta on Saturday the 29th. I'll be speaking at SIBA (Southern Independent Bookseller's Alliance) with a panel of authors. Please drop by my website for details.

I used to drive up to Georgia with my family each summer, and visit my Uncle Joe. I'd climb the pecan tree in his backyard (pronounced puh-cahn...not "pee can") and read paperbacks in the branches. One time, my cousin Jimmy pulled up into the driveway with a date. I could see them kissing in the front seat. I was stuck in the tree, wondering if they saw my bluejeaned legs dangling. They didn't seem to notice.

I remember red clay smudging the soles of my Chucks, a string of Gingerbread frat houses on Lumpkin street, crepe myrtle and the UGA beer coozies my aunt knit by hand (She taught me about Uga, the school's mascot. The wrinkled bulldog's portrait sat by the TV, beside Jimmy's football photos).

As a teenager, I would trek from Miami to Atlanta, just to see Michael Stipe dance in eyeliner. I'd chow down on soul food at Weaver D's and scour the record shops in Little Five Points, all those punked-out kids smoking cloves on the corner.

This time, I'll be stopping at the Little Shop of Stories with an armful of stickers, pinback buttons, and a bouquet of lollies. Oh. And a stack of hardcovers. Not to mention, a few pens. Too bad I always got C's in handwriting.