Hey everyone! I’m back again with another Punch Bowl Social and this time it was a book signing. On a whim, last year, I applied for a literary grant through the SC Arts Commission and Humanities (first time ever) to host a book signing in our town, Whitmire. It was national literacy month, and I thought it would be nice to host such an event. I reached out to best-selling author, Benilde Little, to see if she’d be interested in coming. Low and behold, she said Yes! Benilde is the bestselling author of the novels Good Hair (selected as one of the ten best books of 1996 by the Los Angeles Times), The Itch, Acting Out, and Who Does She Think She Is? and her latest memoir, Welcome to my Breakdown. She’s a former reporter for People and senior editor at Essence. So you can imagine how exciting it was to have her visit our small town. I love living in this small town with big hearts and my goal was to be part of a “good” change for the town and help put Whitmire on the Map. I feel getting involved in my community is vital to it’s success and growth and serve as leader on the Citizen’s Advisory and Tourism Committee.
Our Mayor, Billy Hollingsworth, is the most kindest and easiest person to work with and is very supportive of the events we have.
We held it Saturday afternoon and the room was set with flowers to match her vibrant book cover colors. We served a light lunch of miniature croissant sandwhiches of chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, pimento cheese. Also a fruit and vegetable platter along with a cookie tray.. and of course Punch
Not only is a book signing a great way to help promote literacy, but it also helps to increase community involvement, social skills and is a positive way to encourage writing skills.
Benilde’s beauty mixed with her warm and light-hearted personality was a joy and made everyone in the audience very comfortable in meeting her.
I couldn’t have done this without the assistance of Peggy Brickles and Bernadine Edmonds, who are also on the Town Committee.
The first 10 guests received a free book of their choice.
After introducing herself and sharing some of her background, she read a few exerts from her premier fiction book “Good Hair” and her latest memoir “Welcome to My Breakdown”
Afterwards, she engaged in a Q&A session and offered very good advice and insight about publishing a book.
Then the book signing and picture taking began… and as each person approached her, she engaged in light conversation filled with laughter and joy. She’s pictured here with my biggest supporter, my mother. Although she couldn’t stay to the end, I’m so grateful for her pushing herself out the house to come to the event to show support and to greet Benilde. She remembered meeting my mother many years ago from my deceased aunt, Kamillah. So, it was kind of like a small flashback reunion. Btw.. mom is doing better, but it’s just one day at a time. Each day is different from the next so we just continue to push through until she’s all better (all prayers are welcomed).
My oldest son, Jamil, attended the event as well.
and with other guests
and more side bar conversations going on here…
While the signing was taking place, others engaged in small social chatter, which is exactly the purpose of a Punch Bowl Social. In fact, one person, knew another person, who was the cousin of another and they met for the first time at this event (how about that!! ) Small world.. 🙂 All happened by small talk and socializing.
Everyone was pleased with the event and left with a book (s) and was happy to have been able to meet the author behind the books. Have you read any of her books? If not, I hope this has introduced you to a new author and encourages you to either start a book club, or host your own social event. Thank you all for reading another episode of my Punch Bowl Social and hope you’ve been encouraged to have your own. I thank Benilde for joining us and wish her all the best and continued success. You can follow Benilde on Instagram
Until next time – enjoy life and keep socializing!!