Author Rachael Phillips, left, with a couple of her popular Amish-themed books. But the book that captured my interest last Saturday was her "Kissing Bridges" novel, set in Parke County, Indiana. Thank you, Barb Dixon, for inviting me and for your interest in my projects. If I lived closer, we'd be pals.
When Upland, Indiana Librarian Barb Dixon invited me in for a signing paired with a favorite author from her area, Rachael Phillips, I wondered how that would go.
Rachael has several books in print, including an Amish-fiction series, and she gets contracts for them, besides. Yes, she’s solidly a part of that kind of rare-air territory that we indies dream about.
Last Saturday was the day, and three additional authors joined in for a small author fair. Right away, the people started showing up. Clearly, it was Rachael who was the attraction! I was seated next to her as the fans came to chat, visit, and buy her books.
But the nice (and surprising) thing about the three hours was that after fans had their time with Rachael, they glanced my way and several of them asked about what I write, or they picked up my books and flipped them to the back. This is always a good sign. I sold several – more than I thought I would, actually.
Two highs from the day: Rachael spoke about covered bridges and Parke County, Indiana, and I quickly learned that she wrote a small paperback called Kissing Bridges. The book is set in Parke County and she mentions real landmarks throughout the novel.
What delighted me about that is that my in-laws lived in Rockville and I have spent a large amount of time there through the years. Not only am I familiar with Parke County, the town of Rockville specifically, and the annual Covered Bridge Festival, but with other aspects of the county as well.
So of course I picked up a few of these to share with some family members who might appreciate them. I have no idea if these family members read my blog, but Linda, Karen and Dick and Carol, I picked you up signed copies, just for fun.
The second high was that a young man in college hung out around all five of the authors present for the three hours and asked us questions and learned a few things about writing and publishing from a variety of viewpoints. He said he wants to be a writer or editor himself.
I was fascinated that someone in his early 20s would take the time and interest to hang out with five writers who are each clearly on the far side of 50 … and to seem amused and engaged while he was there.
Right before the signing ended, he selected two books out of the 10 titles or so available that day and said he wanted to buy them. One of his selections was my second novel, and he said it would be a Christmas gift for his mother.
I told him that it meant a lot that he bought my book, him being a college kid and all. He is not my usual demographic, for sure, and I am honored that he put his hard-earned cash down on my book. I sure hope his mom enjoys it.
Tomorrow, my crazy-busy stretch begins. I’m heading to a wedding in Ohio and come Sunday, I’m on the communications desk at church early, and my life group is meeting Sunday night. I'm boxing up an Operation Christmas Child pacjage to turn in then, the deadline, I do believe.
The week ahead is the busiest of the entire fall regarding book promotions. Not counting my work schedule and Bible Study Fellowship, here’s what’s going on:
Wednesday, Nov. 16, I’ll be in the Centerville Library at 1:30 p.m. for a book-club discussion.
Thursday, Nov. 17, after work I head to Dublin for a 6 p.m. book talk at one of the cutest little libraries you’ll ever see. I'll bring the second book's signature pie, and need to find the time to make a couple of those babies!
On Friday, Nov. 18, from 6-8 p.m. I’m a vendor at the Flatrock Christmas Bazaar at The Gathering in Lewisville.
Saturday, Nov. 19, I’ll be in Liberty at the Extension Homemaker Bazaar in the Union County Middle School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Two libraries, two bazaars. Maybe I’ll see you next week at one thing or the other. I will say that both of the bazaars are quite stellar, and exceed whatever your expectations might be for small-town events such as those. I imagine I’ll be doing some retail damage myself.
Have a great week, everyone! I'll pop in again with a midweek post. Email me if you have any questions about any of the gigs: firstname.lastname@example.org.