I had a book signing at Seaside on March 14th at Sundog bookstore located in Santa Rosa Beach on the Emerald Coast of Florida. Selling books was icing on the cake since just being there was a treat. Made famous by the film, The Truman Show, in 1998, the town is unique. Duplicate communities have sprouted up but nothing is quite like the original with its taffy-colored houses trimmed in white gingerbread.
The day started out gray with fog rolling in off the water. But by midday, the warren of angular peaks and widows’ walks shimmered against a robin egg blue sky.
Spring break was in full swing and I had a bird’s eye view from my little table on the bookstore’s front porch. The expanse of green grass on the square that supports farmers’ markets and festivals was teeming. Dogs chased balls, teenagers basked in the sun, and children toddled and tumbled along the hills.
I enjoyed visiting with fellow book lovers who gravitated to Sundog which is located in the heart of the town. A lovely young girl congratulated me on The Messenger and introduced herself with a wide smile made adorable by a mouthful of metal braces. Told me she had read at least half of the books in the teen section.
Two lovely ladies from Canada who had known each other since grammar school chatted with me and swapped stories about our travels. Another couple purchased a book for their daughter who was named Cozette after Le Miserable—one of my favorite novels and musicals.
A man sat down next to me for a brief respite while we discussed the inspiration for The Messenger and his son’s voracious appetite for books. It was his eleventh birthday and the trip was a bonding experience for both.
I discussed the challenges of being published and promoting a book with a musician who was writing his own songs and hoping to sell them.
But a chocolate brown Rottweiler puppy with a splotch of white on his chest stole the show. I should have offered to rent him for a couple of hours since everyone who passed stopped to pet him. Hard to imagine he will one day grow into a bruiser weighing over a hundred pounds!
Like most independent bookstores, the customer service is friendly and personal. It is the perfect place to browse during a lazy afternoon, perusing floor-to-ceiling shelves and tables laden with every genre of book. Then camp out on the beach or relax at an outdoor café sipping a latte or savoring a gelato.
Just a taste of Paradise…