There’s a special place in the heart of Virginians for John Grisham, and for good reasons.
Go to New Dominion Books on the Mall in Charlottesville … or Griffin Bookshop in classic downtown Fredericksburg. There, preserved for all visitors, are whole shelves devoted to favorite son Grisham. His roots may be in Mississippi, but his heart is in the Piedmont (downtown Charlottesville office, 204-acre farm south of town). His fame, reached fully with potboiler legal classics like A Time to Kill and The Firm, is well established.
But he loves telling stories of selling A Time to Kill from the first press run of 5,000 copies in the early ’90s out of his trunk, going door to door for introductions, trying to find his audience. But the second book caught fire, Tom Cruise played Mitch McDeere, and two score volumes later, the rest is publishing history.
Not a bad tradition to be replicating, huh?
My summer’s endeavors to introduce Mother Fracker and Morningside Press to northern Virginia’s independent bookstores have resulted in nearly two dozen fine establishments taking a chance on this first-time novelist. Along the way, I’ve met some courageous people maintaining the tradition of brick-and-mortar book sales against the tsunami tide of Amazon’s engulf-and-devour tactics.
And so, introducing the Mother Fracker Network, stretching across five states:
Books and Books, Coral Gables, Fla.
Politics and Prose, Washington, D.C.
R.H. Ballard, Washington, Va.
Robert and Joanie Ballard
The Corner Store, Sperryville, Va.
Gadino Cellars, Washington, Va.
Stephanie Gadino Pross; Bill & Aleta Gadino
River District Arts, Sperryville, Va.
The Book Gallery, Winchester, Va.
Royal Oak Books, Front Royal, Va.
Second Chapter Books, Middleburg, Va.
Bookworks, Staunton, Va.
Books and Other Found Things, Leesburg, Va.
Allen Robinson and Nancy King Robinson
BJ’s Books, Warrenton, Va.
Beth and staff
Stone Soup, Waynesboro, Va.
Mary Katharine Froehlich
Over the Moon Books, Crozet, Va.
Anne and Scott
New Dominion Books, Charlottesville, Va.
Carol Troxel and Mitzi Ware
Books & Co., Lexington, Va.
Anna Lisa Fitzgerald
Around the Block Books, Purcellville, Va.
Griffin Bookshop, Fredericksburg, Va.
Eileen and staff
Park Road Books, Charlotte, N.C.
Books to be Red, Ocracoke, N.C.
The Book Loft, Lewisburg, W.Va.
Mark Twain Brewing and Moses Bates Public House, Hannibal, Mo.
Bill and Terry Martin
My thanks to each and every one of ya!