What encouragement might you get from an author book signing? You might want to ask Gail.

If you’ve happened upon our site’s  “Who Are We” page you’ll note that one of our “Three Well Beings” has been absent from the blogosphere due to her other author obligations! For a few weeks now Gail and her co-author Brenda have been interviewed on local public radio and featured in San Gabriel Valley newspapers and book signing promotional events. It was my great delight—and I mean it, I was thrilled—that my favorite bookstore, Vroman’s Books, hosted an author book signing promoting The Spa Less Traveled!

Since Gail and I have frequently attended author book signings at this wonderful and treasured bookstore, the event was particularly enjoyable.  Vroman’s, the oldest and largest bookstore in Southern California, is also to many of us a treasured landmark.      A. C. Vroman opened the doors in 1894 as a Book and Photographic Supply store, and as an avid photographer of Southwest and Native American culture, his store has a history of carrying interesting non-book items.

I spend a lot of time in this amazing place! And for many years I’ve also been a frequent guest at book signings, curious to hear stories from both well-established personalities as well as newly published first-time authors. I’ve collected signed first editions from a wide range of authors—Bob Newhart to President Jimmy Carter, Julie Andrews to Senator John Glenn–notables in Hollywood and the larger political sphere, and at other times including such respected authors as Anne Patchett, Anne Lamott and Tom Wolfe. Now I have added to my collection of signed books author signatures from Gail Herndon and Brenda Goldstein!

Gail Herndon and Brenda Goldstein

This fascinating and beautiful book simplifies and demystifies the spa experiences offered in hundreds of ethnic spas located in every pocket of Los Angeles and the greater San Gabriel Valley.  The curious and adventurous will certainly be tempted to take advantage of very modestly priced massage services in Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese and even Russian spas, using this book to assist the consumer in what to expect, how to navigate cultural norms and how to prepare for ease and comfort in facilities that are different from hotel and traditionally upscale (pricey) services.

Gail and Brenda began their ethnic spa adventure more than five years ago.  Their original objective was not to write a book, but to avail themselves of inexpensive spa services while investigating interesting pockets of Los Angeles. In time it was obvious that the materials and experiences they were collecting held potential for an interesting and useful publishable resource.

Let me go back and emphasize two words: five years!

It’s easy to see a finished project and pass over acknowledging the length of time and the amount of hard work and dedication that goes into a successful project launch.  But I also think it’s encouraging to anyone with a strong creative urge! Sometimes projects start slowly and build to something more over time.

Perhaps this is also an encouragement to some of the wonderful blog writers! Daily I’m reading some of the most creative and artistically polished stories, memoirs and anecdotes! Why do these writers exhibit commitment, drive and dedication to the writing life as well as take precious time to support fellow-writers? Simply because of the creative urge to do so! And I often wonder if among them there is someone already thinking that perhaps they might take an idea or two—perhaps the insistent thought pushing into their imagination– and expand their writing goals towards larger publishable works.

I must admit that I take a little pride in Gail and Brenda’s finished work.  How? I’ll just suggest that in part my encouragement (a very little part) kept this wonderful project moving forward.  Brenda and Gail did all the work, but some of us, their friends, have continued to say over and over “keep it up, this is terrific” and now we all feel a little piece of pride in a fabulous finished project.

And I’m going to say the same to some of my blogging friends.  “Keep it up” and continue moving forward. I see the potential for even more, if you want it! Creativity is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Stay Creative…Debra

15 thoughts on “What encouragement might you get from an author book signing? You might want to ask Gail.

  1. Debra,
    That was one heck of an inspirational blog post. Thank you, I needed that. Yes, there are those of us out here with books just itching to be written, if we can just get it together and commit to a big writing project… one step at a time.

    1. I’m glad you read this particular post, Lori. You DO have a book in you…can you compose while you’re running, or does the run take too much focus? You’re writing your book with the blog…there’s a lot already there, so one day you can seam it all up into the complete story you want to tell. I’ll be ready to read it! D

  2. Ellen

    Your enthusiasm for and encouragement of your friends is apparent to those who know you personally, and perhaps even via your reach to those via the blog-world. How exciting for you to see the effort of your friends be recognized–and for you to be there for the book signing!


    1. And now you’re just starting this fun adventure, Ellen. I’m so glad I can now encourage you to get those posts up! I wish more of the pictures I took at Vroman’s came out better. But being there was a real thrill! I went back to the store the other day and there was the book just sitting right on the counter…right by the check stand. Good placement! D

  3. Beverly

    Congrats to Gail and Brenda. This is a wonderful accomplishment. So pleased for them. The book looks wonderful and sounds so very interesting.

  4. What a thrill for you to see Gail’s and Brenda’s book come to fruition (and what an even bigger thrill for them). Wonderful post, Debra, and what a cheerleader you are.

    Like you, I love to meet authors and have similar autographed books sitting upon my shelves. Fro me, it started at a Border’s and Alex Haley, on a stormy winter night. He died a month or two later. I already knew the treasure I had was in meeting him, but, his passing made it all the sweeter. That led to a bid of hobby of mine; meeting authors. Ah, you’ve awakened that urge in me, dear Debra.

    1. Oh what a thrill to have met Alex Haley! It is fun, isn’t it? I’m really glad you feel the same excitement and enjoyment. I must admit that I don’t always have someone who really shares the same interest with me here…but I’m glad I can share it with you! I think that blogging is a great vehicle for cheering others on! Social “networking” seems like such a dry and almost manipulative term, but the connections can be very rich! Thank you for yours, Penny

  5. Dear Debra,
    Your posting today truly inspired me to get busy polishing the novel I’ve worked on for ten years–off and on really. Your delight in what is happening for your friend is palpable and I’m sure that your encouragement helped bring her book to fruition.

    For many years I’ve considered writing a book about my convent experiences but never thought I wrote well enough to do justice to the convent or my own life in it. But since I started blogging in May of this year, I’ve discovered that many readers are interested and seem to like the writing style that I feel comfortable with, so now I’m “pondering” the possibility! Thanks for your encouragement.


    1. I hope this DID encourage you, Dee. You have a wonderful personal story, and a gift for storytelling…so I think the time is now to dust off both the novel and your memoirs! What a good start to 2012? Debra

  6. Excellent vote of confidence for your friends new book. It looks fascinating and if I were still in California I would buy it. By the way, I didn’t know you live in Pasadena? It was part of my territory when I was in California, and I spent a few visits at Vroman’s on E Colorado Blvd… I love Pasadena.:-)

    1. I’m so delighted that you know Vromans, Elizabeth. If you ever come back out to the Pasadena area you’ll have to let me know! I live in San Gabriel right on the edge of Pasadena…and I spend as much time in that favored city as I can! I’m so glad you’re familiar! And Gail and Brenda’s book is just fabulous. It’s both informative and beautiful! I think they have plans to expand their project to include other big cities, so I’ll have to keep you informed on that. Debra

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