Launch Party Recap

Yesterday was the launch party for Pretty Crooked and it was thoroughly amazing. We held the party in the Ibrahim Theater of International House, where my husband works. A crew of family arrived early to inflate balloons and arrange table swag.

Here's me, in my pre-party outfit, setting up tables.

All of the tables had balloons, PC signs, stickers, bookmarks and chocolates my sister Aubrey and I made in the shape of purses, shoes and credit cards (a la Willa's obsessions).

There was the obligatory, pre-party waiting-around period where you start worrying about whether people will show up or whether your armpits will revolt with nervous sweat. Or at least that always happens to me.

My husband Jesse, me and my sister Aubrey in the calm before the storm.

In the meantime, my dear friend Steve Poses and Frog Commissary Catering set up the spread. I’m a foodie, so having delicious treats was important!

We had local artisanal cheese, three different kinds of bruschetta, crudites and dip.

Not pictured is the taco bar with tuna and chicken tacos. We also had butlered barbecue beef sliders, mini mac and cheeses and a signature “mocktail,” a basil lime spritzer.

My mom baked all the desserts—they were outrageous.

Red velvet cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes with strawberry icing decorated with edible glitter!

Chocolate chip cookies, macaroons and white chocolate raspberry bars!!!

On the screen we showed a loop of the GA student versions of the trailer and all of the book’s blurbs. Hey, if you’re in a theater, why not?

Heather Hebert, owner of the lovely Children’s Book World in Haverford, came out to sell books.

Is it narcissistic to say I never get tired of seeing this cover?

I did a short presentation, we showed the trailer, and then I brought up Emma Hearn who played Willa Fox in the trailer to read from the book.

Isn't she adorable? She reminds me of Alicia Silverstone.

Then we brought up Trude Haecker from Reach Out and Read at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to talk about the program, which supports children’s literacy through interactions with medical providers. Throughout the day we ran a raffle for the organization, and HarperCollins also donated a generous number of books to the program.

Trude Haecker, me, my father Dr. Stephen Ludwig and Reach Out and Read coordinator Kirsten Rogers pose behind the raffle table.

After the presentation came the book signing. One by one, I got to see most of the 200 friends and family there and spend a little time with each. People actually brought me flowers, gifts and beautiful cards. (I was shocked… I mean, you get gifts on top of everything else??) It was emotionally overwhelming at times.

So cool to see people waiting for signed books!

Luckily my super cool editor Melissa Miller was there to remind me that I could leave off “Ludwig” when signing books for loved ones. You see why we all need editors? That really sped things up!

Me and Melissa. Photo courtesy of Kate Walton

Among the crowd were local writers E. C. Myers, K.M. Walton, Eve Marie Mont, Monica Carnesi, Tiffany Schmidt and Jessica Corra.

There were so many highlights to the day, but these cards from my friends Sasha and Dee’s twins Elio and Marina were probably my favorite!

That's me, writing!

Too good.

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