Yes, the past week has been a blur. The previous Friday, it was Empire Books and News in Huntington, followed by Borders Bookstore on South 4th Street in Louisville, and then Borders on Eastgate Blvd in Cincinnati. A couple days then to cram a week's worth of work in the office, and then off to Duckon this weekend in Chicago, and a signing at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines on monday evening.
Not the easiest thing in the world to undertake, but I'm managing to hold up still as I get ready for the third day of the Duckon convention in Chicago!
The three day swing in Huntington, Louisville, and Cincinnati went fairly smoothly, except for a fire alarm that went off about 45 minutes into the Huntington signing. The staff at each store really made me feel welcome, a definite godsend when you are making your first bookstore appearance in each of these cities (I have previously attended conventions in Cincy and Louisville, but had not yet done a store signing).
I had some activity, met some new readers, and saw some familiar faces. I can't state it enough how much it matters when you are on the road at a store signing like this and you look up to see someone that you know. It doesn't matter if they buy a book, it is the visit that really makes the difference for an author on the road. I truly appreciate the individuals that took the time out of their day to come out and make me feel welcome.
I left each store with a pretty positive feeling that the ball is rolling in those stores, and I am going to work to do a bookstore visit in Louisville, Cincy, and Huntington once a year.
Duckon is going fairly well. It is my first time in the Chicago area, so I am a very new face to the area and attendees. I did conduct a screenwriting panel/workshop on the first night of the convention, and then a followup panel on screen adaptations the next day. I have an exhibition table in the dealer's room as well. I am sharing the table space with my friend, the talented author TammyJo Eckhart and her husband Tom. The two of them are definitely favorites of mine on the convention circuit by far. So is Jon Klement, the guy who is easy to find at conventions because he is usually wearing a set of big purple ears, referencing his wondrous Smerdiverse. He's been very busy here at the convention, both for his writing endeavors as well as his podcast show, DragonTalk Radio, which covers Cons and features all kinds of guests.
At the reading hour I was given I met a pair of very cool individuals, one a guy named John Nicoulakos, who has been conducting some workshops and panels here, and a friend of his, Nate Defensor, who is the founder and head of a Filipino-Indonesian martial arts system. I really enjoyed visiting with these two guys, and Nate is going to be getting me up to speed on his particular martial arts system, perhaps for inclusion in future film projects or even writing projects. Nate is really doing some big things with it, as he was selected to represent the system at a big worldwide convention in Beijing that is coming up.
John and I are going to be keeping in touch in terms of some developments for next year, involving a new role that I apparantly am taking on here at Duckon! More on that shortly, as I get a little more detail.
I will be finishing out here at Duckon, and then off to Des Moines, where I am going to be visiting with Lettie Prell and her husband (Lettie's a fantastic fantasy author, who wrote Dragon Ring), as well as Shirley Damsgaard (writer of the Ophelia and Aby Mystery series), before doing a signing at Beaverdale Books on monday night.
Then, I will make my way back to Lexington, probably stopping for a lunch with Steven Shrewsbury and his wife (he just came aboard Seventh Star Press with his novel Thrall).
Definitely putting in a few road miles, but it is all part of the journey of an author! Next Friday, though, I am looking forward to the hometown signing and afterparty...time to kick back a little, and then sleep in for the first time in what seems like eons!