On Tuesday, May 7, 2014—two weeks before the official release—the book launch for The Untoward Adventures of Ichabod Stitch was held at Village Wine and Gifts in Effingham, Illinois. Everyone in the packed house drank a bunch of wine and chilled out to the soulful music of the remarkable local duo Heather & Marty. It was so loud in there, and I wanted to be sure I talked to everyone who came, who were just as excited about the book as I was; by the end of the night, my voice (and sobriety) was gone.
A week or so later, counselor Heather Latta joined me once again (I owe her so big) at Helen Matthes Library for Mental Health Month to discuss how depression is portrayed in the novel. The discussion was practical and informative, but at the same time entertaining, clearly demonstrating that the accessibility of the novel and its endearing characters has a broad range.
A group of readers on Facebook were talking about the novel so much, they asked if we could all get together for a discussion. Joe Sippers graciously hosted us, and our one-hour discussion turned into three hours of talking about Ichabod Stitch, sharing personal stories, getting to know each other, and really becoming a community of friends—some old, some new—joined together by the various ways we related to the characters and events in the novel. I think what surprises me the most is that every time I discuss the novel with individuals or with groups, the conversation is always completely different than any before it. I am so glad that people are really relating to it on such a personal level that this is the result.
Other people have expressed interest in doing more group discussions, and schedules permitting, those will continue to happen moving forward. Also, one cool thing I’ve done is left a few copies of the novel in a few places with instructions inside the front cover to pass it along when finished. Someone passed it on to a friend who was taking a trip and read it on her flight to Paris, France! Once there, she loved it so much, she passed it on to the friend she was visiting, who loved the book just as much. Ichabod Stitch is an international traveler!
Finally, I have started working on the second Ichabod Stitch novel. I was hoping to have something ready by the holidays to get people started, but it’s taking longer than I had anticipated, but that just means we’ll be getting a better, more well-developed story and some new characters that we will love and hate. In the meantime, follow the official Ichabod Stitch blog, Death Eatin' A Cracker by following the link here, and click on the purchase link for copies of The Untoward Adventures of Ichabod Stitch! ...contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org