This is the first part of a two-part blog, the second part will follow on Writer’s Who Kill on Saturday, June 25th. Tricky, huh.
As a member of the Gulf Coast Chapters of Sisters in Crime I attended a marketing day at the Sarasota Barnes & Noble. I have to admit, initially I only did it because I thought I had to. Not for me, but for my publisher. First of all, Sarasota is 100 miles away from my home—and that’s a crow flies distance. Second, I had to be there by 9:45 AM. Third, like most writers, I’d rather hunker down in my cave and write. Fourth, the Florida rainy season has been hitting with a vengeance most days this week and the thought of driving an hour and a half through gator gushers… Why then, did a reasonably sane woman get leave her house at 6:30 AM with thunder lighting the western sky? Did I mention about my publisher? And, oh yeah, bookstores are catnip to a writer.
About halfway there with the GPS and the Eagles competing for my attention, Desperado’s turn came on the CD. It was raining. Not a gator gusher, but a steady rain that had followed me through and into the depths of the road construction. I glanced at the tree line on the western side of road and low and behold, there was a rainbow above me. Not just a rainbow, a perfect double rainbow. Talk about a sign!
With renewed hope, I arrived at my destination (yea GPS!) a mere hour early and discovered an IHOP across the parking lot. Fueled by a hearty breakfast, I managed to take my courage in both hands and move on into my first bookstore personal appearance.
My job was to be the first author for the intro/reading/q and a. Let me preface this by saying, public speaking never bothered me. A holdover from what we called forensics in my day (I was on the debate team—given my later profession, I WISH it had to do with forensics in the CSI sense of the word). In fact, give me a microphone, I’m good to go all day. That said, even in debate, I memorized my presentations. I am a lousy read alouder! My eyes go way faster than my mouth. The read aloud part had me flummoxed.
The crowd, given that I was first up, was very, very small. I knew after I finished, I’d be up at the signing table in the front of the store. My goal became getting to the Q & A part of the presentation. I did my little intro – who I am, why I am, and how I got there, then I told them that reading out loud was not my strong suit, and I apologized in advance. I opened my book and began to read. I’d selected the first chapter of Death by Blue Water. I wanted to introduce this group to Hayden, and her world. Inside of seconds I was reading out loud with emotion, enjoying the story and the audience reaction. The 10 minutes passed all too fast.
The Q&A was fun. I’m always intrigued by what readers what to know. Sometimes it’s personal questions, sometimes book questions. At this presentation, no one had read the book so the questions were about the characters and the Florida Keys locations. The audience made me so comfortable and welcome, that I didn’t want to leave to go do my book signing. It was fun!
Special thanks to the Sarasota Barnes & Noble bookstore for making us feel so welcome and for tracking down not only my Henery Press books, but Zoned for Murder as well!
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