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Organic Books has its debut

The grand opening of our new bookstore on Saturday truly was grand, with hundreds of customers visiting and welcoming us to the Nob Hill neighborhood.

Other booksellers in town also visited, bearing gifts, which was much appreciated. We already feel like we're part of Albuquerque's book-selling community.

We sold a ton of used books, as well as lots of new books by local authors. Many of the authors stopped by for the grand opening and brought more books. Our 10-foot-long "Local Authors" table is groaning under the weight.

We've also received a number of donations -- dozens of boxes of used books -- that we're cleaning and pricing and preparing for the shelves. We have a trade-in policy for store credit, but most of the donors said they just wanted to help a new bookshop get started.

It's been many years since Nob Hill had its own bookstore, so residents are eager to support us. We feel like we've found the perfect niche.


Organic Books' Grand Opening Nov. 10

Organic Books is taking shape! We've worked furiously for the past week, getting 10,000 books onto shelves, and it's starting to look like a real bookshop.

We've still got lots of work to do, but we anticipate a "soft" opening in a week or so, in advance of our official Grand Opening on Nov. 10.

The store has been getting lots of interest from passers-by since the signs went up in the front windows. That's Max Brewer in the photo, posing with the logo he designed.

All those shelves in the background? They're full of books now!

Mostly, we'll carry all kinds of used books. But we have a long, antique table in the center of the store that we'll keep stocked with new books by local authors.

The Albuquerque Museum hosts its annual Author Fair on Nov. 3, and I'll be there as usual, but this time I'll be talking up Organic Books and encouraging local authors to drop by the store afterward to sell us their books.

Our website is still under construction, but you can see our origin story at www.organicbooks.net.

Nob Hill hasn't had a bookstore in years, and we're getting a great response from the neighborhood. Please help us spread the word.


The latest on Organic Books

Our new family-owned bookstore in Albuquerque's Nob Hill neighborhood draws closer to a reality with every passing day.

We now have a logo, designed by Max Brewer with input from the rest of us:

We love the open-book artwork, which fits with the Art Deco decor of the historic Nob Hill Business Center. We plan to put this design in our large front windows, and it'll be featured on our bags, bookmarks, etc.

Last weekend, the Albuquerque Journal carried a business story about our plans to open the store. You can read it here.

The store is almost ready for us to start filling with books. Electrical, paint and plumbing work was done this week, following some minor demolition and renovation. The 1,300-square-foot space, on the Carlisle Boulevard side of the shopping center, was formerly a nail salon.

We hope to move bookshelves and other furniture into the store next week. Once we take occupancy, even before we're officially open, we'll be taking books in trade and buying from local authors. I'll let you know when we're ready.

Lots of paperwork involved in starting a new business, and we're trying to get it all done quickly so we can have a Grand Opening in early November. Stay tuned.


We're opening a bookstore!

Wouldn't you love an airy, well-lighted bookshop with a great selection of used and new books? My family is opening just such a store in Albuquerque.

Kelly and I signed a lease yesterday for space in the historic Nob Hill Business Center on Route 66. In keeping with Nob Hill's all-natural hipster vibe, the independent bookstore will be called Organic Books.

Our two sons, Max and Seth, will work at the store, so it'll truly be a family business. We're a family who loves real books, and we hope Organic Books will become a gathering place for book lovers.

As the author of 31 books, I've visited stores all over the country, doing book-signings and talks. We plan to have a busy calendar of such events at Organic Books, where we'll feature new books by New Mexico authors as well as a curated selection of thousands of used books.

The Organic Books space has a 13-foot ceiling and huge front windows that let sunshine pour inside. It was formerly a salon, so there's a makeover under way, with some interior walls and fixtures being removed. We should move shelves and books into the shop by mid-October, and hope to have a grand opening in early November.

Photos and more details soon. Whee!


Summertime news

Other than social media posts, including my daily Rules for Successful Living, I haven't written anything in more than a month. And I'm okay with that.

All the writing advice says you should write every day, and that's good practice when you're starting out. But veteran writers -- I've been trying to write fiction for 30 years -- occasionally need a break to recharge the mental and physical batteries. Also, life intrudes. Sometimes, you've got to stop dreaming about your next story and deal with leaky roofs and family traumas.

My wife and I have reached that age where our parents are dying or making end-of-life decisions about assisted living. Our days revolve around their care and the required government and medical paperwork. I've driven to Arkansas, where my mom lives in a nursing home, seven times in the past year and a half.

Summer is often when I write a new novel. I disappear into the book for a month or two, and come out with a first draft that I polish during the school year, when part of my time and attention is devoted to teaching at the Honors College at the University of New Mexico.

Not this summer, though. Not only am I not writing a new book, I'm not even thinking about a new book. I wrote a couple of short stories last spring, but my head is pretty much empty of story at the moment. And that's okay. Because I've been doing this so long, I'm confident the next story will show up when it's ready.

My latest crime novel, COLD CUTS, is still fresh on the market, but I've been too distracted to give it the full promotional push it deserves. It did get its first Amazon review: Five stars!

Speaking of Amazon, I'm running regular sales on my backlist on Kindle. I try to keep at least one of my Kindle books on sale for 99 cents. Currently on sale is BANK JOB, which is in development in Hollywood. Give it a read and visualize who should play the roles in a movie version!

I should note that it's not all grief and drudgery at our house. 'Tis the season of the cookout, and we have wonderful friends. Our younger son is getting married next month, and the outdoor wedding should be an occasion of great joy.

The summer monsoons have arrived in Albuquerque, which reminds me of the climactic scene in COLD CUTS. But you'll have to read it for yourself.

Until next time, happy reading!