On the evening of June 23 at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, my novel, Teacher of the Year, was formally released. It was the culmination of nearly six years of a project that was originally going to be a short, creative nonfiction story but morphed into a 416-page satirical novel. Fourteen amazing bands and singer/songwriters donated their time and extraordinary talent to play songs featured in the book. Twenty years in the music scene provided me with the opportunity to make some life-long friendships with tremendous musical talent in town. My brother, Jim (an ass-kicking good guitarist, ceramist and teacher), pulled off the impossible by stage-managing so flawlessly that the event actually ran ahead of schedule. William Roth, the actor narrating the audio book version of TOTY (due out at the end of 2012), was a remarkable emcee and managed to keep nearly everyone’s attention (at a bar, no less!) by reading from five different passages of the book. An audience of friends, family and complete strangers filled the club, bought books and provided me with one of the most memorable evenings of my life. My daughters’ performances of three songs and my wife, Anne’s, beautiful cover painting used on the novel has made the whole project a family affair, though sadly, without Mr. French or Mrs. Beasley.