Busy Weekend

Today I signed books in New Minas and tomorrow I’m off to Halifax. I’ll be missing the yearly potluck our church has but I’m making a dish tonight. I guess it’s impossible to be in two places at once.

This is going to be a short post until I have time to write more. New Minas was so much fun. I met a lot of great folks. Some friends and family members dropped in to say hi. I was served chocolate, hot chocolate, was given a gift of raspberry jam, had someone ask to have a photo taken of her and I, met another writer, reconnected with a guy I remember from elementary school and did I mention the chocolate. Oh yeah, I did that already.

When I have a bit more time I’ll elaborate. Needless to say there were many terrific moments during this day.

The Moments That Make It All Worthwhile

I have to say that every day there seems to be some highlight that brightens my day, an email or phone call that brings a smile to my face and lets me know that this whole book publishing experience is definitely worthwhile. From having my book given away for prizes last week on the local radio station, friendly email from people telling me they enjoyed the book, to people dropping into the house to get a copy of the book signed. I’ve been very busy and enjoying it all immensely.

Today I had another book signing— this time in Bridgewater. A lot of people dropped by to chat, some of them had already bought books earlier and wanted them signed, some had heard about it on the radio earlier in the week and a few friends from Dalhousie even showed up purposely because they knew I was there and wanted to show their support. One lady came by to have four books signed for Christmas presents. She has connections to Dalhousie and she said the book reminded her of certain things. She mentioned a particular passage that touched her heart. As usual some people will stop by and chat but don’t end up buying a book but as far as I’m concerned they are every bit as important as those who do. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a little talk and forget for the moment what you’re there for. And who knows these very same people may decide to pick up a copy some other time.

My favourite story for the day is of a little boy, maybe eight or nine, who was sitting on a bench beside his mother, perhaps twenty feet from the book store. He watched me for a bit and before I knew it he ran up and asked me how much the book was. I told him and he ran back to his seat beside his mother. Some time later another lady showed up and she, along with the little boy, approached the table where I was sitting. The woman and I chatted for a bit and then she told me that her grandson wanted to buy the book for his mother but she was sitting not far away. Once he decided he wanted the book for sure he ran back toward his mom and sat beside her. I saw her take some money out of her purse and give it to him. He came back and got me to sign the book and proudly walked up to the cash register to pay for it—a Christmas present for his mom. How utterly sweet. I bet she’ll sure be surprised come Christmas morning!

I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

First day of signings

I had a really great time at my first book signings. Everyone was so polite. I found the folks at Chapters in Dartmouth extremely friendly. One lady bought a book because she shared a last name with the family in “Bitter, Sweet.” She was curious to know where the name came from and I explained that I have a problem coming up with original last names and I usually check out names in the obituary column or the phone directory. In this case I found the name in the phone book.

I’ve never had so many people smile at me in one day I’m sure. There were also people who stopped to look but decided it wasn’t “their kind of book” and that was fine. They made me laugh and I thoroughly enjoyed their visit. I love meeting new people and hearing their story. Another gentleman decided the book wasn’t for him since he only reads non-fiction but we had a good chat about the book and before the day was over he slipped a hot chocolate on the table for me. A young family stopped to explain to their children that I wrote books as the boys were just beginning to read….. As I said a very friendly bunch of people.

I had a marvelous time. Next week I’ll be at Coles in Bridgewater—- familiar territory. Hopefully it will be another interesting day!

Signings

I’m posting a list of my upcoming signings. If you happen to come by  any of these places and see me sitting there with a stack of books drop in and say hello even if you already have a signed copy. I’d love to see yah!

12-2pm, Saturday November 14 — Indigo Sunnyside Mall

3-5pm, Saturday November 14— Chapters Dartmouth

12-2pm Saturday November 21 — Coles Bridgewater

3-5pm Saturday November 28 — Coles New Minas

12-2pm, Sunday November 29 — Coles Halifax Shopping Centre

3-5pm, Sunday November 29 — Chapters Halifax

So what’s it really about?

Before the publication of “Bitter, Sweet” my oldest daughter and I had a conversation about the book and I remember saying that I didn’t want this whole experience to be just about sales. I know what you’re probably thinking, sales are important. Absolutely. Writers need to make a living too, so in one sense sales do matter. Not to mention that the publishing company needs to make money in order to stay in business.

But is that all that really matters? I sure hope not. I hope that somewhere, somehow this little story I wrote a few years back will mean much, much more to me than a few royalty cheques in the mail.

My daughter reminded me of our conversation recently when I mentioned that “Bitter, Sweet” was temporarily of stock on Amazon. (I concluded that perhaps they only had about four copies of the book in stock to begin with. I mean who really knows what that means?) Okay….so I’ve been spying on my book. I’ll admit that.

So is it all about sale, the very thing I didn’t want this to become? I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I can say in all honesty that no, it isn’t. For me this book is about so much more. It is about a whole community working together the day of the book launch to make it the most memorable event possible and, the little notes I received the day of the launch, the flowers, the well wishes and emails not only from my family and friends, but from perfect strangers who know nothing more about me other than the fact that I’ve written a book. This book is about the other authors on facebook— Helene Boudreau, Steve Vernon, Shari Green—- who have been helping to promote my book by writing reviews, giving out links to my book on Amazon for everyone on their friends list to see. It is about a blogger friend, Carol Garvin setting up an interview to help promote it as well– a dear lady who took the time to think up questions for the interview and using her valuable time just to help out another writer. It is the looks of excitement on people’s faces when they let me know they’ve been checking out the bookstores and it’s about the people who have never before entered a bookstore, let alone purchased a book, wanting copies of my book. It’s about the people who have taken the time to actually read the book and to tell me how much they enjoyed it. How cool is all that? It is about people in the blogging community cheering me on, dropping in to read my post and taking the time to leave comment. So far, this little book has brought out the best in a whole lot of people.

So, it is about more than sales. I’d say this little book  is doing pretty darn good for itself.

Photos from the Book Launch

Caitlin Drake, my edtor

My editor at Nimbus, Caitlin Drake.

decorations

The community centre was all decked out

We were a bit crowded

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I read a bit from the book

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I was asked many times if I was getting writer's cramp

Interview with Carol Garvin

A while back BC writer, Carol Garvin, asked if I would like to do an interview with her for her blog. I’ve included the link for anyone who is interested.

http://careann.wordpress.com/

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