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Hello, Everyone.  As promised, here is a report from my recent New Orleans trip.  With regard to my book, OUTSIDE CHILD (OC), set in modern, pre-Katrina New Orleans, I have to say things went well.  I did readings at Tulane and Dillard Universities.  A really awesome experience.  Especially at Dillard, in that I shared the stage with three other phenominal Black, New Orleans born and raised authors which included poets and published writers, Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy and Valentine Pierce, and the young author, Debra Johnson.  I can't tell you the thrill of being amongst such literary prominence. 

 And the young people.  I loved sharing my stories with and listening to the expectations of our young people.  I guess that's why I'm such an Obama fan.  It really touched me in a fulfilling way to see how the young people expressed the value of my words in relationship to what they want to accomplish.  Things like, "it's interesting how you used the character Big Dee to show literally how politics affect people's everyday lives." 

Wow!  That young woman got it.  I asked her if she planned to vote in the upcoming presidential election.  She said she'd been thinking about it because of all the Obama hoopla.  But when she read OC, she could see why the Katrina political fallout happened, she was definitely going to get more involed.

I have to say that hanging out and chatting with college kids really made my trip.  That and my television on-air conversation with Sally Ann Roberts, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, sister.  It was thrilling and I felt so privaleged to have 3-4 minutes air time to talk about my novel.   I don't mean to brag, but hey, that was something.  Hopefully, you can check out the video soon on my website, alicewilsonfried.com. 

As for New Orleans, the other main character in OC, there are still two cities.  Get past Gentilly and things don't look so good.  My son owns and operates a stone and granite company there  and it was intersting to see whose claims are being handled and whose aren't.  I might add though, that everyone is faced with insurace company delays.  However, those who have other means of rebuilding, be it an outside organization, churches or personal wealth, are treading through the process somewhat quicker. 

It's hard, though, to see how desolate and isolated many of the familiar communities still are.  Really putting into the limelight, the old saying, "the city that care forgot."  As I point out in OC, communication is an issue in my hometown.  And even with the Katrina "great reveal,"  it still is.  People are having  a hard time connecting with those who can and will assist them. 

But don't worry, though, the French Quarter is alive and well.

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congratulations on the successful book tour!

So glad it went well, Alice!  Sounds like a thrill, at many levels.  Congratulations!  What is the best way to get hold of OC ("brick-and-mortar" store if possible :-)

My Red Room page is now up, though "Accordion Dreams" isn't due out till December.  Starting to think about book promotion, so it's very helpful to hear about your experiences.



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book tour

Alice Wilson-Fried

Blair, hi.  I saw your Red Room page.  Congratulations.  Just want to say that it is not too early to think about book promotion.  Will your publisher help?  If so, ask to have a press release put out to as many papers and magazines as possible as soon as the book comes out.  It is really hard to get reviewed these days unless you are already famous, so the more feelers you have out, the better.  Pick out the papers and mags that make the most sense for your work and send them an arc before publication date.  Also, make sure that as many booksellers as you can communicate with know about your book.  Prepare a mass mail annoucement and send out as soon as the book is available.  Be sure to include information on your distributors and how the buyers can get the book.  Make sure your publisher or you research contests, etc. before the book comes out.  Most contests like to have entries before the book hits the bookstores.  I learned that the hard way.

Blair, I'm sure you know book promotion is very difficult.  And no matter how much help you get from your publisher, it is not enough.  You have got to be ready to do a significant amount of work on your own to promote your work.

I also suggest that you prepare your friend email address list and as soon as your book is available, send each and everyone an email complete with cover art, a sample chapter, and ask them to go to their favorite bookseller to order their copy.  Then they should send same to everyone on their friend email lists.

Thanks for your interest, Blair, in my work.  I look forward to reading yours.