After more than a hundred public talks, not to mention attending over 120 private book clubs, I thought I was past the kind of emotions that could bring me to tears. In fact, I was quite happy about that because the one thing I can’t stand is teary public talks! Let’s just say last night’s intimate gathering served me right!
There we were, a handsome group of middle-agers at a gorgeous home with a view of the valley and the mountains, enjoying slices of a delectable quiche. I recognized a few familiar faces, but in general the group was unknown to me. So when they took turns to introduce themselves, I prepared to memorize their names through a trick I’ve learned, which is by making an association with what they told me about their personalities. However, after a few people had spoken, I suddenly realized that they only mentioned their names and then skipped to talking about my Sky of Red Poppies. One lady said, “It has been years since I read a book I could not put down, then I read yours!” Another said she started reading it one evening and finished it that night. A lady – who had not read it – said, “Wow, listening to the rest of you, I want to go home NOW and start reading!”
When it was my turn to speak, I wished to express my gratitude. So I said, “Thank you for inviting me. Today, I am where I am because my loving readers put me here. I want to thank you for opening your doors, your arms, and your hearts to me!” And then it was too late to stop the tears!
The love between my readers and me grows with each passing day. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, they touch me with something special, a flower, a hand painted note or even deciding as a group to wear something “poppy-related!” These delicate touches remind me that by now this novel has become as much theirs as it is mine. Sometimes I think I must have done something good in this world to deserve such affection, but have no clue what it could be!
So now that I am not overly emotional, I want to thank you all again and I promise there are no silly tears. Thank you for all the flowers, the delicious treats, dainty cards, loving messages and warm hugs. This is where I get my energy to write more and the reasons why I have unconditionally welcomed your invitations. And in case memory should begin to fade, I’ve prepared a most elaborate scrapbook to remind me of these glorious days. Should I be lucky enough to make similar rounds with The Moon Daughter, I plan to share those memories with you.
There is a nice legend in most Persian fairytales. Asb-e-parizad – Fairy Horse – which is magical. Whenever the hero of the story needs his horse, all he has to do is set a strand of its mane on fire and, poof!, the horse will materialize. Please know that should you ever you need my appearance, your Persian Zoe will gladly do the same. Just make sure you keep a few strands of my hair handy!