Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All for One

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.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. And I don't doubt a word of it! It sounds like last night was a wonderful evening for a wonderful writer and friend. Congratulations, again, Amy!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Oh, how I wish I could have been there. I hope you're still feeling the warmth!

Lisa said...

Verklempt. I can't even come up with a word in English that describes how this makes me feel. In Denver, we celebrated Amy too. I'll have a post up later of Carleen Brice, Karen Carter and me in front of "Tethered" on the "big table" at a local Borders. Our way of taking part :)

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

This blog is a huge part of the wonderful literary community we four lucky writers have been blessed to join. You were all there in spirit; we could feel it!


Wet Ink said...

I don't comment very often (why not? This must change...) but I just wanted to say what a beautiful post, and what a terrific group you are! I wish I could have been there last night, but will certainly be at other readings. I can't wait to read Tethered - how exciting. Thanks to you all for such a great blog.

Larramie said...

Hannah, your joy, love and pride fills every word of this post. Thank you for taking our "spirits" back to last night to be counted among all the IRL friends there for Amy.

And, yes, she is fierce, though that might be because Amy is a believer.

mohanley5 said...

Hannah, you are so right! (first I wrote "write" :) your post today really captures last night. It was so exciting, and so much emotion in the room. The pride for Amy and her work was palpable. Her family (how AWESOME are her kids!:) and her mum and dad were just so pleased!

Thanks to Amy, I have some sleep deprivation palpations, worsened by the 4 cups of coffee I drank to get through the day (so far) because I stayed up until 3Am on the couch in the parlor...which is where I woke up at 6, with my arm throbbing and tingling, hanging toward the floor,and the beautiful hard cover, which is Amy's, on the floor...I may have dreamed of a funeral.

Everyone who reads this blog...stay tuned. These 4 women are incredible, and an many successful, talented, smart people do you know who are so willing to share their gifts to help YOU improve your work! Buy Amy's book. Buy Lynne's book...and keep an eye out for Hannah and Lisa, because we KNOW they are next!
Thanks for everything you have all taught me :)

Anonymous said...


Your post truly captured the spirit of last night's launch party! It's evident how proud and supportive you, Lynne, and Lisa are of Amy. As one of Amy's college roommates who always knew she would "make it big" someday, I can't tell you how proud I was, too, to witness her dream come to fruition.

It was so nice to meet you and Lynne, and one day I hope to meet Lisa as well.

See you at the Cornerstone Bookstore reading in Salem on Sept. 13, Amy!


Sustenance Scout said...

Ditto what Lisa said (though I have no idea exactly what Verklampt means!). What she failed to metion was how effectively she shelf-elfed the Borders display so TETHERED was up front and face out! That cover still takes my breath away, Amy! Congratulations from another Denver fan, K.

Amy MacKinnon said...

So, so verklampt (overcome by emotion) at both Hannah's post and all of your beautiful comments. I am truly blessed to have each of you in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Unknown said...

Congratulations Amy! (for the book, but also for having such great friends and community)

I hope to be at Porter Square books for your launch there.


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