Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book signing: memorable for all the right reasons

Photo by Cynthia J. Greenlee

        Here’s my confession.
        I really didn’t know what to expect from my first-ever book signing event. Looking back on it all, the timing and location couldn’t have been better – Homecoming Day at my alma mater, Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
       There was never a doubt in my mind that people would come out and show their support. What caught me by complete surprise was the overflow of former schoolmates and well-wishers who showed up at the on-campus bookstore to get an autographed copy of November Ever After. The book is a collaborative account of the 1970 plane crash that killed most of the school’s football team. These collective recollections are told from the perspective of those who were left behind.
       I spent about two hours signing books, taking pictures and exchanging hugs and dap handshakes. And then, all of a sudden, the books were gone. By the time the last available book was purchased, the scheduled four-hour event still had 90 minutes remaining.
       That scenario didn’t stop people from asking more questions about the book’s future availability and where it could be purchased online. And while there were no more books that I could autograph at that juncture, I did fill several requests to put my signature on the back of the promotional business cards for the book.
       What I’ll always remember is the clear confirmation about the appeal that November Ever After has. True, it’s a story that revolves mostly around the black students who were in school at the time of the 1970 air tragedy. But there’s so much more to the story than that.
       Bottom line … the memoir touches hearts. If that wasn’t the case, there wouldn’t have been such a wide cross-section of people who took the time to attend the event. In talking to those who came out, I discovered that their interest in the book had nothing to do with age, gender, culture, or ethnicity. People like reading a good story, and the book has all the requisite elements to meet that criteria.
       To the Marshall University family I say thank you for the love, the warmth, and the genuine encouragement and support.
       It’s greatly appreciated ..... more than you’ll ever know.


  1. Paulette Dotson-ScottWednesday, October 19, 2011

    I wish you much success on your book and tour! I will purchase the book and read it. Blessings to you and your family.

  2. It was great seeing you again after all these years. I had a great time at Homecoming. I heard quite a bit about your book and I am looking forward to reading it. I intended to come to your book signing, but before I got there I heard that you ran out of books. I would like to have a signed copy from you, so let me know what I need to do to get that done. Several other people told me to let you know that they wanted a copy as well.

  3. I am really enjoying this work. It takes me back to my college days.

  4. So good to learn how things went so well during your visit to Marshall during this year's homecoming. I'm so proud of you and your efforts to keep the memory of this event alive. It's the ultimate tribute to those who died.

  5. Great seeing you. Glad you could connect with your Omega Psi Phi brothers and Young Thundering Herd teammates, both celebrating 40 year anniversaries. It was a privilege for me to present you with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the MU Black Alumni Association. Your book represents us all well and will bless others. Thanks for laboring to express your heartfelt sentiments for all of us to honor our dear friends who flew into eternity on that fateful day inn1970.