It's seldom we get to meet real heroes in this world - people who fight against all odds to achieve a dream they've been living and breathing for most of their lives. Terra Elan McVoy is one of those people. And last night was the Decatur launch party for her new novel, PURE.
Terra is a former editorial assistant from New York. Lucky for us, a few years ago she moved to Atlanta and became the manager of our local independent children's book store Little Shop of Stories.
I've spoken about the kismet of the store opening a week before I moved here. Well, more kismet occurred when Terra became the manager. She oversees several of the teen and younger reading groups, helps parents and kids pick out books they will love, and basically keeps our little book store one of the best and strongest in the country - turning Little Shop into a true hub of our local community.
She has some serious support here - especially when she went through a very tough time with her health last year. It was a testament to her strong will when she not only came out the other side completely well, but with her first novel too!
We are all so incredibly happy for her - it seemed all of Decatur came out to help her celebrate the release of PURE last night. Truly, I've never seen the store so jammed packed - even the balcony was full. When Terra arrived, a cheer rang throughout like a homecoming parade.
A talented musician entertained us, and then Terra read from her book - she did a great job. Some of the questions were tough, and some were about her great shoes. They were from a particular designer - anybody remember the name?
We enjoyed cupcakes and champagne (with cherries, of course). Several of my favorite writing buds were there as well. Here are Liz Conrad, me, and Vicky Alvear Shecter (my hubbie is taking the picture). We all went out for pizza beforehand. Jessica Handler was there with her husband, Mickey, too. (More about Jessica soon!) Even Terra's editor flew down from New York!
I imagine there weren't many copies left by the time the party ended - the signing line went on and on. (That's my drawing of "Rosebud" from Paco and the Giant Chile Plant keeping an eye on the books before the mayhem got underway - gotta luv it.)
Truly, it was a dream release party - the kind you rarely hear about anymore. And nobody deserved it more than Terra. Bravo chickie - bravo!
So, what about PURE? It reminded me so strongly of my own high school experience - being involved with Young Life and everything being so dramatic. Friendships are pushed to limits under the pressures of normal growing up and all the trials that puts us through. It's an uncomfortable thing to live through once, and uncomfortable to go back. But wow, will it feel familiar. The young teens in your life will completely connect with Tabitha and her friends as they navigate their own moral positions for the first time and their friendships through first loves, first kisses, and the first real changes on their way to discovering who they really are.