It's Indie Bookstore Day! Here's Why I Love Mine.

Copy of writer tribes indie bookstore.png

Happy Indie Bookstore Day! I hope you celebrate by visiting your local bookseller and finding your next great read. 

I originally posted this in 2016, but it still holds up. I'm so proud and pleased that Parnassus is an even bigger part of Nashville's literary community today.

_______

A few nights ago, I attended a signing at the wonderful Parnassus Books in Nashville.

The signing author was Ariel Lawhon, who was launching her brilliant story chronicling the doomed flight of the Hindenburg, FLIGHT OF DREAMS. As Ariel and I hugged and kissed hello, bookseller extraordinaire Bill Long-Innes smiled benevolently and asked, “Do you guys have a writer tribe? It seems like Nashville authors really make an effort to support one another. I wonder if any other cities have such a tight knit group?”

Ariel and I nodded.

Because we do have a tribe here in Nashville.

Our literary community, dubbed the Nashville Literati, is tight. There are cliques within it—young adult writers in the SCBWI, crime fiction in Sisters in Crime, romance writers in MCWR, literary authors big with Salon 615 and Humanities Tennessee and The Porch Writers’ Collective.

But when it comes to supporting another author, we cross genres like a boss.

We lunch together. We attend each other’s signings. We hang out in East Nashville at East Side Storytellin’. We pull together all our writing buddies when a writer friend comes to town. We even go on writing retreats together.

And now one constant we all have in common is our indie store, Parnassus.

I think the store’s staff has made it such a welcoming, open place for writers of all genres, of all stripes, that we can’t help but want to gather there.  

When our beloved former indie, Davis-Kidd, closed its doors in 2010 (and Parnassus didn’t yet exist), it suddenly became much harder to get everyone together. We have the annual Southern Festival of Books, which is always well-represented with local authors. We did lunches and cocktails, drove out to other counties to attend signings.

But not having an indie store that represented and celebrated all the writers in town was hard. A town without an indie store is a sad one indeed.

Davis-Kidd had a long history in this town. As a matter of fact, it was one of the reasons I was okay with moving here. When my then boyfriend (now husband) brought me to Nashville in 1993 to meet his parents, he drove me around, and our last stop was Davis-Kidd. “See?” he said. “This is the best bookstore in town. You’ll have plenty to read if we ever move here.”

(I’m not sure if I was more entranced by the idea of books—books!—or the fact that my boyfriend had just hinted strongly he wanted a long future with me.) 

Davis-Kidd was everything you could ask for in a bookstore: great staff, great events, a huge, diverse collection of titles. I attended my very first author signing there (John Connolly! My writing hero!). At that signing, I met a woman who became my other mother, who mentored me through years of writing, getting an agent, getting a deal. I did one of my first signings at David-Kidd. I hit my first bestseller list while I was launching my fourth book there. I attended Sisters in Crime meetings there. I wept with everyone else when it closed.

To have an indie in our midst again is incredible.

It’s been very fun to watch Parnassus take hold in our community, to see stories being made there. The Nashville Literati grows stronger day-by-day, with new writers coming up to join the established ones. And Parnassus is our hub. Several writers are booksellers there (And one co-owns it. You might have heard of her . . . her name is Ann.). This lends a verisimilitude unmatched anywhere else.

Yes, Nashville has a writer tribe, just as strong as Chicago, New York, and L.A.

And thanks to our favorite indie, we have a place to call our own, too.

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10.23.16 - Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 10.23.16

Hello, my lovelies. How are you today? I hope you're having a lovely Sunday, sitting out on the porch with something nice to sip and something nice to read. I've been enjoying some cooler porch weather here in Tennessee. I relish the days when I step into a crisp morning instead of a muggy cloud (blech!). The ThrillerKittens are loving it, too—I couldn't keep them inside even I wanted to; it'd be like... well, herding cats!

I know, I know—you come for the links, but you stay for the jokes!

Anyway...

 

Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Is there a better feeling than browsing a beautiful bookstore? Hardly. At lease one of these bookstores in Buzzfeed's 19 most beautiful bookstores in America is sure to appear on your next road trip itinerary. 


"Unlike books, tablets do not offer an opportunity to display taste or refinement. Books will never go out of fashion." This article from Aeon is a lovely defense of print, and gives a history of books as a status symbol.


Is social media toxic to writing? In a word, YES.


Looking for a Halloween costume? Take a page out of Scout Finch's book.


Y'all know I'm a sucker for notebooks and journals. Here are 11 journals that readers will love using to record their TBR lists.


Last call for this Romantic Suspense 50-book/Kindle Fire sweepstakes! There are some good ones in here, y'all—don't miss out!


OK, stop what you're doing right now and read "I used to be a human being" an article from writer Andrew Sullivan. I'm serious—go do it. And I challenge you to read the entire thing without picking up your phone. A nugget of goodness here:

 This new epidemic of distraction is our civilization’s specific weakness. And its threat is not so much to our minds, even as they shape-shift under the pressure. The threat is to our souls. At this rate, if the noise does not relent, we might even forget we have any.

It's so good stuff, I promise you. You'll thank yourself later.

 

And closer to home:

If you haven't grabbed a copy of my newest book, THE FIRST DECADE, now's the time! (psst: it's only $4.99 on ebook!)


And if you're been saving your pennies and waiting for the NO ONE KNOWS paperback, it's up for pre-order


That's it for today, y'all. Don't get into trouble, snack on candy corn, and we'll talk again soon!

xoxo,
J.T.

 

10.9.16 - Sunday Smatterings

Sunday Smatterings 10.9.16

Y'all, it has been a crazy couple of weeks. We've known for months that the second half of the year was going to be busy, what with the regularly scheduled deadlines and book tours and conferences supplemented by parental joint replacement surgery and multiple tapings for Season 2 (!) of A Word on Words. And then Mother Nature decides to send a hurricane right at our beloved beach? It's the perfect metaphor, isn't it? Happily, the joint-replacee is doing great, the show is great, the deadlines were met, the hurricane did superficial damage, and I'm home of the foreseeable future (at least until November, LOL). Half of me is so sad we're heading into the second week of October, and the other half keeps saying "only 8 more weeks and things calm down!"

These are the blessings of my life, and trust me, blessings they are. Though I am looking forward to a quieter 2017. 💤

So. Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

First things first: if you'd like to help those who were devastated by Hurricane Matthew, here are some organizations you can look into for spreading the relief effort. Your help is so greatly appreciated!

Ever dreamed at working at a bookstore, or at least being Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail? Then you're gonna love these 17 behind-the-scenes secrets of working at a bookstore. I worked at a mall Waldenbooks for a while, and it was a blast.

 

A headline I know you didn't think you'd see today: Charles Dickens was a real-life Ghostbuster. Yes, we're getting into that time of year, people! 👻
 

If you're not reading the Bliss House series by Laura Benedict, you are missing OUT! Laura's prequel to the series, THE ABANDONED HEART, comes out Tuesday, and you need to go get it!!!! It's perfect reading for the Halloween season.

 

Looking to update your fall wine fridge? Here are 6 varietals to stock as the weather gets cooler.

 

And closer to home:

Would you look at this beauty!!!! Last week, the cover for Nick & Mike #4, THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, made its debut and I don't think Catherine and I could be more thrilled with how it turned out! Mark your calendars for 3/14/2017, y'all, and pre-order it here.

 

The final episode of A WORD ON WORDS Season 1 just aired, and my guest couldn't have been a lovelier person: the wonderful Ariel Lawhon!!! If you're into historical fiction, you've got to check out Ariel's newest book, a masterful work on the Hindenburg's final flight—appropriately titled FLIGHT OF DREAMS.

 

That's it from me! Y'all be good, deck your porch with the trapping of fall (send pics, I'd love to see your decorations!) and I'll talk to you again soon!

xoxo,
J.T.

4.14.16 - On Writer Tribes and Indie Bookstore Love

This was originally published in SIBA's Lady Banks newsletter. I thought you guys might enjoy it, too.

_______


A few nights ago, I attended a signing at the wonderful Parnassus Books in Nashville.


The signing author was Ariel Lawhon, who was launching her brilliant story chronicling the doomed flight of the Hindenburg, FLIGHT OF DREAMS. As Ariel and I hugged and kissed hello, bookseller extraordinaire Bill Long-Innes smiled benevolently and asked, “Do you guys have a writer tribe? It seems like Nashville authors really make an effort to support one another. I wonder if any other cities have such a tight knit group?”

Ariel and I nodded.


Because we do have a tribe here in Nashville.


Our literary community, dubbed the Nashville Literati, is tight. There are cliques within it—young adult writers in the SCBWI, crime fiction in Sisters in Crime, romance writers in MCWR, literary authors big with Salon 615 and Humanities Tennessee and The Porch Writers’ Collective.


But when it comes to supporting another author, we cross genres like a boss.



We lunch together. We attend each other’s signings. We hang out in East Nashville at East Side Storytellin’. We pull together all our writing buddies when a writer friend comes to town. We even go on writing retreats together.


And now one constant we all have in common is our indie store, Parnassus.


I think the store’s staff has made it such a welcoming, open place for writers of all genres, of all stripes, that we can’t help but want to gather there.  

When our beloved former indie, Davis-Kidd, closed its doors in 2010 (and Parnassus didn’t yet exist), it suddenly became much harder to get everyone together. We have the annual Southern Festival of Books, which is always well-represented with local authors. We did lunches and cocktails, drove out to other counties to attend signings.


But not having an indie store that represented and celebrated all the writers in town was hard. A town without an indie store is a sad one indeed.



Davis-Kidd had a long history in this town. As a matter of fact, it was one of the reasons I was okay with moving here. When my then boyfriend (now husband) brought me to Nashville in 1993 to meet his parents, he drove me around, and our last stop was Davis-Kidd. “See?” he said. “This is the best bookstore in town. You’ll have plenty to read if we ever move here.”

(I’m not sure if I was more entranced by the idea of books—books!—or the fact that my boyfriend had just hinted strongly he wanted a long future with me.) 

Davis-Kidd was everything you could ask for in a bookstore: great staff, great events, a huge, diverse collection of titles. I attended my very first author signing there (John Connolly! My writing hero!). At that signing, I met a woman who became my other mother, who mentored me through years of writing, getting an agent, getting a deal. I did one of my first signings at David-Kidd. I hit my first bestseller list while I was launching my fourth book there. I attended Sisters in Crime meetings there. I wept with everyone else when it closed.


To have an indie in our midst again is incredible.



It’s been very fun to watch Parnassus take hold in our community, to see stories being made there. The Nashville Literati grows stronger day-by-day, with new writers coming up to join the established ones. And Parnassus is our hub. Several writers are booksellers there (And one co-owns it. You might have heard of her . . . her name is Ann.). This lends a verisimilitude unmatched anywhere else.

Yes, Nashville has a writer tribe, just as strong as Chicago, New York, and L.A.

And thanks to our favorite indie, we have a place to call our own, too.