As the one-year mark passed on the Painted Queen book launches, we thought of the fun, even raucous, celebrations last year. On the East Coast, fans celebrated in New York City and Frederick (Barbara’s home town). The New York launch featured the one-and-only Barbara Rosenblat, doing her third reading from “Queen.” One she did prior to Barbara Mertz’s death, reading a draft chapter from PQ for the Maryland Library Association when it honored Mertz in 2010. The second reading was — well, the audio recording of the entire book! (Check out this interview of Rosenblat about PQ and Barbara Mertz — whom she loved to call “Ethel”…) And the third reading helped to launch the book: it occurred at Book Culture on Columbus in NYC.
Meanwhile, MPM’s hometown in Frederick Maryland went all out to throw a big party at the bookstore owned by one of Barbara Mertz’s dear friends, Chuck Roberts. Spearheaded by energetic “dear reader” and MPM fan Christina Startt, the launch party featured Emerson and Amelia in costume, as well as a talk by Dr. Ray Johnson, another dear friend of Barbara’s and Director of the Epigraphic Survey of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute at Luxor.
Copies of Painted Queen sold at Book Culture and at WonderBooks in Frederick had bookplates signed by Joan Hess and by the Barbara G Mertz Trust. (They may still have a few left.)