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  • Writer's pictureT.J. Hendrix

Books, Burgers & An $85 Parking Ticket

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

When I was a newspaper reporter (eons ago) the first time I saw my byline (my name over the top of an article) on a front page story, it was a shot of joy. Maybe it's what athletes feel like when they slam-dunk or nail a triple-axel or stick the landing on a perfect vault. I have no idea, because I've never been an athlete. But that front-age byline -- yeah, I'm betting it's like all those things.

That's what I felt like the first time I held my book in my hands -- as a paperback.

And then when I saw it on the shelves in a real bookstore. (Thank you, Pages on the Green in my hometown!)

I've been getting little shots of joy all summer long while The Pack, The Dare and The Draugar has been hitting shelves all over California. You can find it now at Books Inc. in the Marina in San Francisco, Books Inc. in the Pruneyard in Campbell, Bookshop Santa Cruz, and Copperfield's Books in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg and Petaluma. (Many thanks to Copperfield's for being the first Indie Bookstore Chain to carry The Pack.)

Locally, sales have been buoyed by my mother ordering copies to send to most of my relatives.

So when The Pack hit the shelves in San Francisco this week, my husband and I decided to take a field trip south across the Golden Gate bridge to take some social media photos and celebrate. It was a complete booknerd day.

First of all, San Francisco is - is San Francisco. It's beautiful. It's California's New York City. Everyone in Northern California just calls it "The City." Second of all, our destination was the Books Inc. in The Marina - a really fun, neighborhoody district, if in your neighborhood the median home price is $2.6 million. It was sort of an anthropology outing: by the time we were done browsing Books Inc. and goofing around there, middle schoolers - CITY middle schoolers -- were wandering the street, giggling and buying snacks. So we wandered into SuperDuper Burgers a few shops down, drawn by the smell of garlic fries, tried the 4-oz burger with bacon, and sat to observe the dress, movement and mannerisms of actual San Franciscans. It was sunny. The sky was blue. Everyone was happy. As the burgers arrived, my husband remembered our parking meter had probably just expired. He dashed a block to add money to the meter - only to find an $87 expired meter parking ticket.

Oh well. Chalk it up to advertising expenses. Next time we go visit my books anywhere in San Fracisco, we'll be sure to pack the meter with much more money. If you'd like to support my parking fund, go buy a copy of The Pack, The Dare and The Draugar at any of the bookstores listed above - or go ask your local independent book store to order it for you. Tell them it's on Ingram. Or you can order it on Amazon. But please try to support your local indie bookstore first! (Just be sure to put plenty of money in the meter....)


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