It's been an extremely hectic few days, which began last Tuesday evening where I attended the book party for my friend PJ Campbell's book 101 Author Tips and continued yesterday at a book festival where I joined authors Brenda Janowitz, Ellen Meister and Saralee Rosenberg on a panel discussion for the Bergen County Book Festival. Fortunately, the sun finally showed itself for the day, but it did seem to need some coaxing early on.
Earlier in the week, my daughter, Natasha, and her boyfriend, Frankie, took the drive with me up to the Adirondacks where I met my brother from Maryland so that we could attend a Shawn Phillips' concert as a benefit for Inlet's emergency medical services. Shawn is an amazing musician and in the 70s he performed to packed theaters. Since then he has become very active as an EMT where he lives in South Africa, but does tour the US and Canada each summer. You tube this performer and give him a listen. I dare say you'll be impressed. His music has always provided inspiration for my writing and I let him know that after the concert the other night when I gave him a signed copy of Without Grace. I just got an email last night from him stating he had already begun reading it and he'd told me that the first few paragraphs already pulled him in and he would be in touch once he finished it. Maybe my novel will inspire him to write another song. Hey, a writer can dream.
After a quick overnight trip to see my Dad, who lives about 2 ½ miles north of where we'd been for the concert, Natasha, Frankie and I headed back to Long Island. I so wanted to spend the day on Saturday writing, but ended up playing catch up, as well as winding down. Sometimes getaways are more exhausting than not, but then the pace picked up again on Sunday when my friend, Peggy, always the navigator for my directionally-challenged driving, took the ride with me to the book festival where I was to meet the aforementioned authors for the event. It was cloudy and overcast when we left Long Island, but bright and sunny by the time we'd pulled into the New Jersey parking lot. I barely had time to say hello to my friends waiting for me when a woman came running up to me with a copy of Without Grace wanting to know if I would sign it for her. She'd said she heard someone talking about it on TV earlier in the week and just had to get a copy. "She heard someone talking about it on TV?" Yes, she said, but couldn't remember the particulars. This is exciting for any author to hear, but for the self-published author who's been promoting her writing for several years now, it was particularly satisfying.
Before too long, Brenda, Ellen, Saralee and I did our event and had the best time doing so. We've been on panels before and always seem to enjoy each others' anecdotes. We all come to the page in our unique way and yet there is a similarity among us, as well. I suppose it's because we are writers and therefore must write. Besides being the navigator, Peggy was also the photographer for the event. After our talk, we wandered over to the tent where our books were being sold and I signed a couple more purchased copies. Then a young woman approached me introducing herself as Terry Kate and asked if she could interview me for her site, "Romance in the Back Seat." (http://www.romanceinthebackseat.com/.) I gave her a raised eyebrow, but she explained that she's doing a series where she does 10-15 minute interviews of an author sitting in the backseat of their car talking about their book and their life as a writer. It sounded legit, so I agreed. I said goodbye to my fellow authors who were heading back home and then went to do the interview, which seemed to go well, but I'll know better after seeing the actual footage. Once that was complete, Peggy and I got back on the road and made our way back to Long Island.
Now it's Monday morning and I have a full day ahead of me while tomorrow I'll be heading to Indianapolis for a meeting with Author Solutions, since I'm on their advisory council. I can't help but think how fortunate I am to be living the writer's life, even though my books have not been traditionally published. Just like my counterparts, all who are traditionally published and were on the panel with me, we all realize that we must be the ones to market our books, even if it means traveling on a Sunday into Jersey from Long Island and fighting the traffic. With that in mind, we will also be together again on June 29th at 7 PM in Oceanside, NY for the Summer Gazebo reading. Please consider joining us for the fun. Meanwhile, check out the photos of yesterday's event on my Facebook page.