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Diary of a debut author, part I

9780778317227_TS_SMPMy debut, The Last Breath, hits stores and the world wide web on September 30th. By then, my publisher, agent, and I will have been working on the release for almost a year. You’d think I would feel more prepared. Heck, I’m hoping by the fall I will be. But for now, I’m a stewing mess of nerves and insecurities.

I imagine the questions that roll through my head on repeat aren’t anything every debut author hasn’t thought. How will people find my book? What if everyone who finds it hates it? What if I have a launch party and no one comes? Is there anybody out there who would fork over $8.49 for a copy besides me and my mother? The thing is, I don’t know. I don’t know, y’all! And that freaks the worrier in me way the heck out.

But in a couple of weeks, I will pack up my prettiest dress and highest heels and head up to BEA, the Book Expo of America, to hock my books. I will schmooze with my publisher and sign a million gallies and network with buyers and pass out swag to anyone who will take it. And I will do my very, very best to leave my insecurities at home.

So if you happen to be in NYC on May 30th, I’d love it if you came see me at the Harlequin booth.

Because, you know, I’m not entirely certain anyone else will.

My First Book Signing!

As an indie author and a debut one at that, the first book signing is a MAJOR event.  By my standards, anyway.  Not knowing what to expect, I went in full board prepared for everything and anything.  I mean, I had a drawing for a free copy of my next novel LUST ON THE ROCKS, a drawing for a child’s garden bag stocked full with garden tools, gloves, seed saving packets and recipe card (rosemary lemonade), plus business cards, stock piles of my current novel…

You name it, I had it.  Everything.  And I had a great support staff behind me who created a wonderful ambiance within the small gift store, served raspberry lemonade and pastries—generally sold my book for me!  Especially one very special lady by the name of Susan.  Without her, none of this would have come to pass and for that, I am forever grateful.  It was a fantastic turnout!

While I didn’t break any sales records I did experience the incredible joy of meeting readers who came specifically to see me.  Do not underestimate the joy factor here because as an author, I don’t exist without readers.  Sure I can write to my heart’s content but with no one to read my books, how far will I go?

About as far as the kitchen counter.  My daughter will read my books, I’m sure of it.  After all, they were written with her mind!  And if she doesn’t?  Well, I’ve enjoyed the process, each and every minute.  Remember:  this is the job where I can say “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!”

It’s that pleasant.  That rewarding.  That fulfilling.  So my book signing went well and I’m extremely appreciative to all who stopped by.  Loretta won the copy of my next novel and Manya won the kids’ garden bag — congratulations to them both!  And wanna know something really cool?

Miss America’s Teen stopped by to say hello.  Yep!  This beauty was gracious and sweet and stood by my side for pictures.  🙂  Helps that she’s the daughter of a friend of mine, good friends with my younger sister and of course one of my children’s favorite babysitters — she and her gorgeous sister.  Thank you, Elizabeth and Mary Katharine Fechtel!

It’s funny how life catches us by the shoulders, stops us in place and says, “Pssst… I want you to meet someone.” 

Prior to these young ladies, I must confess, I was no fan of beauty pageants.  Thought they sent the wrong message to our young girls.  But after meeting these two and their parents–particularly their mother—I learned a lesson.  While I cannot speak for the adult pageants, the training and preparation these girls go through is tough, from learning how to interview, ask questions, present and conduct themselves to demonstrate talent in their chosen field, ie. dance, music, etc. Plus they receive scholarships and once-in-a-lifetime experiences!

Now I don’t know about you, but I get nervous when it’s interview time!  Not these girls.  Their self-composure is incredible, not to mention they’re just plain good and decent people.  And while they’re too young for me to hand them my novels (adults only, please), their support is appreciated! 🙂  As is Peggy’s, the owner of the store hosting my book signing (shown above).

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