By Hannah Roveto
Amy MacKinnon spoke last night at her release party/first appearance/first reading of Tethered at Buttonwood Books. Friends from different points in her life were present: family, childhood, high school, college, neighborhood, and yes, from her literary career; many more who weren't able to be there in person were there in spirit. All the communities that have supported Amy through the years -- and that she has supported in turn -- were one as she stood alone, facing us.
Amy notes in her acknowledgments that writing is a solitary life, but that there are people who support a writer along the way without whom the final product would not exist. In her case, I don't believe that to be true, not completely.
Amy MacKinnon is fierce. She is gracious and intelligent and modest and devoted. And a force with which to be reckoned. Amy decides to do something and it happens. Not only that, but it happens the right way, because she will not not accept anything less. She asks questions, she involves people and makes them care, she finds out what is needed and pushes each venture forward. She makes people believe. Ask any of the people who were there last night.
Betsey Detwiler, owner of Buttonwood Books, told the crowd what a friend Amy has been to the bookstore -- a wonderful, welcoming, independent bookstore -- as did the store's events magician Totsie McGonagle. Authors -- teachers, cheerleaders, friends -- Hallie Ephron and Hank Phillippi Ryan of Jungle Red Writers drove down from Boston to share in the celebration. And as the crowd mingled later, a college friend spoke about how the roommmates in their house knew one of them would be famous some day -- and looking at Amy, she said not only is one on the way, but maybe more of them would still. Inspired, no doubt, by Amy.
Everyone there to see Amy at last in the full spotlight savored the moment when she stood alone before us. She believed she had a story to tell and found a way to tell it. She fought her way through a first chapter for six months. She found time in a crazy-busy life to get it all down, finish it, find an agent, revise it, work with a publisher, and now, to launch it into the world. The hard work is the part that is solitary, and Amy makes that happen. She has, she does, she will. Period. Everyone who knows Amy knows this moment, and every moment that is going to follow, is richly deserved.
Amy MacKinnon is fierce. She is many things to many people, and now she is a published author with a career ahead of her that will be long and sweet.