Susan Branch visited Watermark Books in Wichita this evening to promote her new book, “A Fine Romance.” I have been a fan of hers for many years, at least a couple of decades. When I knew she was coming I started gathering up my books to have her sign them.
Let me just skip ahead to what you probably want to know – yes, she is perfectly lovely in person! She’s just as charming and delightful as you would hope. She signed books afterwards, taking time with each person and posing for photos when asked. I didn’t get a photo with her, but we had a nice chat about vintage linens, costume jewelry pins, and other charming things. I recommended an antique store for her to visit before leaving town in the morning.
Lest you have any doubt about her popularity, let me point out there were people in attendance from Texas, Nebraska, Colorado and Nevada to see her. She has a wonderful website and has made it a point to stay connected with her readers. Honestly, I try to keep myself away from it, because I can spend many happy hours reading her blog and looking at the beautiful artwork. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide the address here, so I had to go look at it. I had to. http://www.susanbranch.com/
As you know if you’ve read here for any amount of time, I am a devotee of doing what makes you happy, and using the “pretty things” so many people put aside. Susan encourages these very things, so naturally I feel an affinity for her from the outset. And you know how much I love beautiful things. So… how could I not love a Susan Branch book? Exactly!
Over the years I’ve reviewed more than one of her cookbooks for various publications, and all of those reviews have been glowing. Her books are ones you want to enjoy again and again.
“A Fine Romance” is a departure from the watercolor, handwritten cookbooks she is known for, but completely delightful nonetheless. It is like getting a peek into her personal journal of a two-month long trip to England, with the handwriting and art you expect when you see the name, “Susan Branch.” If you are a Susan Branch fan, you will want your own copy.
At the moment, the way to get a copy is from your local, independent bookstore. Susan and her husband, Joe, have been on a dot-to-dot trip across the country, with the dots being bookstores. They’re traveling in this amazing van.
Her other books were all published with Little/Brown, a large, traditional publisher. With this one she used a local publisher at Martha’s Vineyard, but made all the decisions herself about what the book would look like and what it would include. She has nothing but good things to say about the traditional publisher she has worked with for a long time, but the publishing world has changed dramatically since she started. She wanted to do something different and this is it.
I can assure you you’ll love going along on this journey with her. And if you get a chance to meet her, do! She is just as lovely as the pages of her books would make you believe!
I have posted more photos on my Facebook page. Please enjoy them at your leisure.