But here's the thing. Turns out that the Village Books folks advertised the event in the Chuckanut Reader, their bookstore magazine... as taking place at 7 PM.
They were very apologetic about it - but as far as I was concerned it was a done deal, the snafu, and although the Tesla Coil itself would not be around at the 7 PM event... I would be. I told the bookstore folks that hey, mistakes happen, and if anyone missed the 4 o'clock show and turned up at 7 instead, I would be there for them, even if the coil would not be.
So, backing up, then, we arrived at the bookstore a little before the (first) event, and caught them still arranging things for it, piling books up on the counter and all like that. People who turned up were jkling and mareklamo (with dog), a couple of other friends whom we hadn't seen for some time, my friend and webmaster jkindall (who took VIDEO of the Tesla Coil - watch for it on my website soon!) and a bunch of other folks some of whom I didn't know (one odd old lady who was sitting in the front row when I arrived but who got up and left a few minutes into my reading - not quite sure what she thought would be happening here, but it obviously wasn't meeting up with her expectations...) One of the highlights was meeting up with my First Fanficcer, xlokifoxx for whom I had a special present in appreciation of her obvious love for the Worldweavers books - a tiny box of "Enchantmints", something that I told her would be instantly banned at the Last Ditch School for the Incurably Incompetent (and she GOT that, immediately, and giggled). All in all, some twenty people or so turned up, which was not bad going at all.
So, fortified by peppermint tea with honey (the Village Books people must think I save up germs all year just so that I can come to their events with a ragged throat...), I did my reading, which was pretty well received, and then the Master of the Tesla Coil, Tana Grannick from the Belingham Museum of Radio and Electricity, unveiled the coil itself and proceeded to do a show-and-tell involving two fluorescent light tubes which lit up wirelessly when the coil was spitting fire, dancing around like a Jedi master with two glowing light sabers - oh, it was AWESOME, and I knew it would be! We talked a bit about Tesla - the man, the inventor, the genius - and then he took his bows, wrapped his lightning monster back up in its black cloth cocoon, and retired. I stayed at my table, occupied only a few moments ago with a machine that spat tame lightning across the room, and signed some books and talked to a few folks about life, the Universe, writing and Tesla, and then they all went away and I signed a heap of stock for the bookstore and then we went next door to the Colophon Cafe for a bite to eat before the Village Books reading, Take Two.
And I came back at something like quarter to 7... and there were PEOPLE there. The Tesla Coil, of course, was not - but I did another reading for some dozen people in the audience (including, this time, a LOT more kids), and answered more questions, and said I was sorry that they had missed the coil demonstration but sent them to the Museum to find out more. And a bunch of those folks bought books, and I signed those, and all told Village Books sold some eight or nine copies of Worldweavers (various books) that night and when you totalled it all up I had close to forty people come to hear me read and to see the Tesla Coil in action. I got a chance to say hi to several friends, some of whom I don't see all that often, which was great; I got a chance to chat with folks whom I had never met before and to tell them all about both my work and the amazing and awesome man called Nikola Tesla who inspired some of it; I got to say thank you to a fan or two. All in all, a very good day.
When the video is up, I will post a heads-up right here. In the meantime, to those who came - - for whichever sitting - thank you for being there. To Village Books - thank you for the tea and the care and the willingness to push the envelope by inviting the Tesla Coil into the store. To new readers who met the books for the first time last night - thank you for giving me your trust, and I hope that you enjoy Thea's story.
Now back to the Novel In Progress, to planning more events in March and in April, and to living this crazy, wonderful writer's life that I have been handed to live...