Wednesday, October 5, 2011

When One Thing Leads To Another…

by Kathleen Ernst

I’ve mentioned here before that I often write in coffee shops. This post is about some nice and unexpected things that came my way because of that.

My favorite haunt is a local spot called the Prairie Cafe. The staff is nice, the food is good, and they make the best mocha lattes in town. There’s an outlet right next to the table in the quiet corner. All good stuff.

prairie cafe sign-image

After my first Chloe mystery came out, several young women who work there told me they belonged to a book club. Would I be willing to meet with the group to discuss Old World Murder? Of course I said yes. Alisha, who manages the cafe, offered to host the gathering in the cafe, which is closed in the evening. It turned out to be a marvelous gathering. In addition to good conversation, the club members put out a pot luck to shame all pot lucks. They gave me flowers. I got a beautiful thank-you card, and even a gift certificate from the cafe (more mochas!).

cafe book club spread

I gave Alisha a copy of The Heirloom Murders when it was released. (The acknowledgments thank the Prairie Cafe staff for their hospitality). She and my husband Scott put their heads together and came up with a plan to display both of my books on a shelf beside the cash register. Pretty good exposure! I think we even sold a few.

Prairie Cafe display

Alisha is a professional baker. I like to work with friends whenever possible, so we asked her to bake the cake for the launch party for The Heirloom Murders. The party was last week, and she provided an amazing cake. In addition to creating the book itself, she created a hand cultivator, Swiss flag, and a chunk of green cheese from fondant. (That all actually makes sense if you read the book.) And she added a crystal to represent the legendary diamond at the heart of the plotline.

THM cake

I know that writing in public places isn’t for everyone. Sometimes, though, you end up making new friends, selling a few books, and serving a cake that will, I hope, have my guests ready for more when the next book launch rolls around.

9 comments:

Robin Allen said...

Sweet story, Kathleen. We all want national recognition for our work, but local support means so much more.

Sebastian Stuart said...

what a sweet (literally) and lovely post. that cake is fabulous.

Kathleen Ernst said...

Yep - while I'm waiting for Oprah's call, I am grateful for local support! And the cake did taste fantastic.

Darrell James said...

Kathleen- It's so cool when things work out that way. Life's little surprises. Love the cake!

Beth Groundwater said...

Love the cake, Kathleen, and the story about the baker and other folks behind it! I'm going to send a link to your post to my baker son. Maybe it'll give him an idea. ;-)

Kathleen Ernst said...

Darrell - Life's little surprises can be great fun, can't they?

Beth - I don't keep up with baking news, so I had no idea how sophisticated cake decorating had become. When Alisha sat down with us to discuss options, I thought we'd be talking chocolate vs. buttercream. When she showed us photos of some of the cakes she'd made, I was astonished! Hope it inspires your son.

G.M. Malliet said...

Such a gorgeous cake.

Jess Lourey said...

That cake is so freaking gorgeous! Does she have a website?

Dru said...

The cake looks delicious.