I was a ball of nerves the day of my very first book signing. I’d never written a novel before, so this is all terrifying new territory for me. Considering I write for a living, it might sound strange that writing “Ada Lovelace: the Countess who Dreamed in Numbers” was enormously difficult for me, but it was. It’s been years in the making, and finally finishing it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. I look back now and am baffled by why I procrastinated for so long, but hindsight is always 20/20.
Getting to sign my book during the Playa Vista Campus Dessert Social at the Central Park Bandshell on March 28 was a dream come true. This is a mecca for tech companies and computer aficionados, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when female coders came over to my table throughout the event, sharing their admiration for Ada Lovelace and taking home copies of my book. One woman even told me there was a boardroom named for Ada at her office. I was thrilled to hear it! After so many years of trying to explain who Ada was to friends and colleagues, I finally felt like I had found my people. It was a great feeling and my nervousness vanished.
Many people asked me why I chose to write about Ada for my first novel. Ever since I read about the daughter of poet Lord Byron and her precipitous vision of the computer age, I ached for the world to know her, too. She was a woman so smart, so brave, so talented, her name should have been kept alive through history. But she was a woman, and that barrier alone was simply insurmountable in the 19th century. This book is one small way to remember the woman considered to be the first computer programmer.
Thank you Playa Vista for supporting me in so many ways. Sharing my book with you has been one of the most exciting and positive experiences of my career. This is truly an extraordinary place, and I sincerely hope you enjoy this issue of Playa Vista Direct.
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