The Ghost of Milagro Creek by Melanie Sumner, out this month, is fast becoming a favorite of the summer. Set in a bario of Taos, New Mexico, the story has all the ingredients of an electrifying read–love, adventure, friendship, and, of course, murder. Recently, NPR raved about it: read more. Below, Sumner tells us about some of her recent events.
Book Launch Re-cap: A Guest Post from Melanie Sumner
The Ghost of Milagro Creek launched at the Georgia Center for the Book in Decatur on July 7th. In Atlanta, I ran into the actor Robin Bloodworth, an old friend from high school. In addition to giving me a few tips on reading — breathe from the gut and don’t be embarrassed to change your voice when a different character begins speaking — he agreed to read some of the of the male voices in my passages. Thirty years ago, Robin said he was going to be an actor, and I said I was going to be a writer, and there we were at the mic. While in Atlanta I also did a segment on the TV show, Good Day Atlanta. All these years of university teaching have made it easy for me to talk to an audience about a book, even my own.
July 10th, Reading at Barnes & Noble in Rome, GA. Sell-out! I signed fifty-nine books off the table and another stack for the store. When asked to do an impromptu reading, I was hustled to the children’s section where there were seats, albeit small ones, for the audience. I read the passage in which Mister and Tomas meet at the bridge over Milagro Creek to fulfill their suicide pact. Afterward, my twelve-year old daughter admonished me for cussing in the children’s section. I should have heeded her warning because this became an issue on the Leonard Lopate show in New York City.
July 13th, Signing at McNally Jackson in NYC . We had a nice crowd and even lured the guests in the bookstore café to the event. I’ve been setting my laptop up at the readings and playing the booktrailer on youtube before I begin. After the signing, the woman behind the coffee bar called me over and asked me about the story.
Something strange about this tour — people are so curious about Taos, New Mexico and the cultures portrayed in my fictional barrio that they think of the book as nonfiction.
July 15th, The Leonard Lopate show. I had a chance to look over Mr. Lopate’s notes, written by his assistant, who happened to be from Marietta GA, while waiting to go on the air. I was looking for questions that might trip me up, and a found a couple. In addition to have a middle-aged tendancy to blank on names, I sometimes, for no apparent reason, freeze. I might, for instance, forget the titles of my previous books. One little snafu — while reading an excerpt from the book, I said the f word. Actually, my character Tomas Mondragon said it, but anyway, since the show was live, a small panic ensued. So, if you heard a blank on the air…
Now I’m on a train to Sag Harbor for some beach time with my family.