Let’s Have a Party!

A Thousand Dances made its official debut on September 21, 2018! Many splendid things happened on both sides of that date.

First, the book trailer came out on the Coral Press website and on YouTube, with a great song shared by RAF Mod Band:

A unique song countdown took place on Twitter starting several weeks before the pub date. Head to the #1KDSongCountdown hashtag for great tunes from many genres.

August 10 is the birthday of my protagonist Nicky Spinnery (he’d be 72 now!), so I whipped up an Instagram b-day card:


Blame the Boogie Books: I wrote up a piece for the New York Society Library about the genesis of the book and the resources I used researching it.

Then a big box of actual books came in!


I hauled a bunch of them to the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 16, where I had the thrill of seeing it alongside most of the Coral Press catalog.

LW Bklyn Book Fest 2 091618

Some of the first readers popped some great reviews up on Amazon.com – giving the book a five-star average right out of the gate:

Review LWReview JLReview Swain

Happy to report that I’m now an official Goodreads author. So is the super-talented J. Andrew Briseño – who happens to be my cousin. One of our greatest fans is my aunt (Andy’s grandma), who shared this photo of her kitchen table:

Cilla Books

I ordered a large cover poster. It came in LARGE.


Here’s my husband (and great publicist) – let’s call him Tennessee Walt – getting in a little free publicity with the big poster on a subway platform.


The book got its first party on September 24 at the gracious home of two extremely generous friends. We ate and heard some great songs, and I got to thank many who’ve encouraged the book – and force them to sing a little Gilbert & Sullivan.

If you’ve read A Thousand Dances, you’ve met Donnie “The Brig” Spinnery, the former variety star, and come across his two original songs. Those songs were actually created by lyricist Gayden Wren and composer Paul V. Patanella, and I performed them for the first time on 9/24 with accompaniment by Stephen O’Leary. Listen to them here:

I posed in all my Union Flag-colored gear with “Walt” and with my other great booster – my mom.


On September 28 it all culminated with a big Sixties-style gathering at the New York Society Library. Some photos by the lovely Harriet Shapiro:


That’s Nick Chase from the Corner Bookstore making me look like a real author – and me in the Peluso Family Exhibition Gallery at the Society Library.


Some very nice friends brought me armloads of flowers. At right, I’m talking with Walter Bode, my outstanding freelance editor. Seriously, contact me if you want an editor – he’s the best.


Also recommended: Sharpie pens for book signing.

I talked a little about the book’s origins, read some passages, and performed the Brig’s two songs, accompanied by a few great vintage images. Listen to my presentation here. (Video to come soon.)

Did I mention about buying the book? If you love it, do feel free to add your own Amazon review – or even indulge in a little happy dancey swag at Coral’s Cafepress store.

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