The Books are Here! The Books are Here!

The books are here!

I heard the truck pull up outside. I peered out my front door and watched the driver check the delivery slip. By the time he walked to the back of the truck, I stood in the street, waiting for the back panel to rise.

The books were here. This would be my first glimpse.

I explained to the driver, “This is my first chance to see these books. I’m the author.” “You are? That’s cool.”

As he unloaded the pallet and wheeled it up the driveway, the delivery guy asked what the book was about, and when I told him what a journey it had been to get to this moment, he smiled heartily. “Congratulations! I’m proud of you! Do you want me to take your picture with them?” I handed over my phone and smiled for the camera.

What could have been an impersonal delivery was now a celebration.

I leaned over the shipment and cut loose the plastic that held it. “Do you want to see?” I opened the top box and lifted out the first book. “That’s a nice looking book!” he enthused. “Hey, can I buy one right now?”

I pulled out a pen and opened the cover. “What would you like me to write?” Derek (by now, I knew his name) replied, “Can you say something like, ‘Thank you, Mr. Delivery Guy’?” I did just that and added “Happy Landings! Patti Bender” and the date.

My first, signed book.

You might have thought–and I might have, too–that I’d sign the first book to my mom, who was waiting inside, or to myself, even, but this was perfect. Throughout this process, I’ve met people in restaurants, museums, libraries, hotels, on the street–and on this website–who were kind when I approached, showed interest, helped me out in some way, or extended a kindness I didn’t expect. Biography can be a lonely business, but these moments of connection have made solo travel and research a true joy.

“I love people.  They’re my assets.”

Emilie Loring

The lion’s share of this print run have gone to the Simon & Schuster warehouse and will appear on store shelves and in libraries after the release date, March 14, 2023.

My shipment will be autographed for family, friends, and pre-orders. I’ll hold some back to take with me to author events.

There’s a lot of work to do, I can see that it’s going to take awhile. I set up a little work station to sign, package, and address books. Each of the autographed books will also get a custom-designed bookmark as a special thanks from me.

I took the first batch of books to the post office yesterday, loaded into the Boston Public Library book bag that my niece Jessica gave to me years ago. At last, it finds its true purpose!

The book is beautiful. The jacket, of course, is the eye-catcher. That sky blue will be seen across the room, distinct from the grays and browns and blacks of its neighboring biographies. The cloth cover is “Flag Blue” with silver stamping on the spine. It’s just right–both nautical and classy.

The real treat comes, though, when you begin to read. The paper is smooth, thin, and yet perfectly opaque, a real pleasure to handle. Quality workmanship allows the book to lie flat when you open it to a page–no fighting with springy covers that want to close on you.

I thank my lucky stars for my publisher, David Wilk of City Point Press, whose team of veteran editors and designers wrestled down the complex structure of Happy Landings which includes text with embedded quotes, 123 images, 351 sidebar quotes, 971 reference notes, and a 45-page index. The font choices throughout, but especially at section and chapter headings, wonderfully represent Emilie’s time period and convey her sense of optimism.

Happy Landings is a treat to read!

I’ve begun to schedule book launch and author events, which seems amazing. I’ll soon replace the “Pre-order” page in this website’s Menu with an “Events” page, so you can come out and participate when I’m in your area. I hope to include some Zoom events, so we can “get together” wherever you are.

If you’ve been to any really fun author events, please tell me about them in the comment section below.

Next time, I have a ghost story to tell. In the meantime,

Happy Landings, everyone!

Yes, we celebrated!

40 thoughts on “The Books are Here! The Books are Here!

    1. Thanks, Mary. It’s fun setting them up. I’ll have to be smart about scheduling events together in areas that I can drive to. I expect to have some Zoom events, too, to which anyone can come.


  1. Congratulations! What a wonderful day. And it is a beautiful book. I am so looking forward to my copy! Very well done!


  2. I was so excited reading about the delivery of your books. I am so excited to know that mine will arrive some time in March.


    1. I hope to get pre-orders out earlier. There are a lot of books here, and it takes a little time to sign each one, remember to add a bookmark, wrap-package-and-label it, and then put it in the stack to carry to the post office. Once I get payments set up and received, I’ll work my way through the list, from earliest orders to most recent. (Payment email will be coming to all purchasers…)


  3. Aloha! Wonderful! So exciting for you! I am very happy for you. Yiu have a beautiful happy smile with your boxes. It’s fitting to sign your first book for the delivery guy. Step one on the path to distribution. Hurray! Aloha pam

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. Heartiest congratulations!! Your smile in the picture with the pallet is just bursting with excitement! I am very much looking forward to receiving my copy!


    1. I WAS bursting with excitement! Long nights, long days, long years, and then, suddenly, the result arrived in a truck. I wrote about Emilie holding her first book, “There was nothing like it”–and I was right!


  5. Dear Patti,
    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I m so proud of you!!!
    “It felt like the birth of a child as I held the first book from the box when my book, “TAKING FLIGHT: THE NADINE RAMSEY STORY” from the University of Kansas Press arrived.” You described it beautifully and the photos say it all. I await my copy with your beautifully designed autograph and particulars. I look forward to seeing you at our Defenders Meeting on Feb 1st. Love and enjoy your evening, Raqui


    1. Thanks, Raqui. You know the feeling that I’ve just had. I’ll package your book up soon. (I think we moved the Defenders to Thursdays this semester, so I’ll see you February 2nd.)


      1. I just can’t wait to receive your autographed book! I am so proud of you! I look forward to our meeting on Thursday, Feb 2 at 11:00 AM PST. Love and enjoy your week with your books, Raqui

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, Patti,

    I had pre-ordered book. Did you charge my card when I ordered, or are you waiting until you are ready to ship? I’m asking because someone attempted fraud on that card, and the bank has blocked it and sent a replacement to me. If you waited until you received the book to charge the card, I will have to send you another card number.

    Thank you for your attention to this.

    Congratulations on your book!!!!

    Sandra McWhirter


  7. I love that there’s a delivery story — because of course there is!!! Congratulations on seeing this mammoth project through from beginning to end! You should keep celebrating!!!! Can’t wait to get my copy!!!!


    1. Thanks, Barbara. I love the unexpected happenings, and I like your idea of continuing to celebrate. Always ready for a bit of gaiety! I’ll be very interested to hear what you think of it when you’ve had time to read.


  8. Sooo beautiful! I wish I had ordered an autographed one, but I’ll settle for the one I did. LOL congratulations! So excited!


  9. How very exciting. Great moment to share w/delivery man! Looking forward to the read….I enjoy biographies. This is going to be the most satisfying biography for me to read. Congrats! It’s so wonderful to see the fruit of your years of devotion and commitment to learning about our beloved Emilie Loring. Bravo!!!


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