Monday, April 14, 2014

Reading and Signing at One More Page

The second reading and signing for Grind Joint took place last Saturday at One More Page Bookshop in Arlington VA. Perfect weather, a parking space right in front on the store, sufficient quarters on hand to feed the meter for the duration; not much more could be asked for.

That doesn’t mean more was not delivered. First, Terry Nebeker and everyone at One More Page could not have been nicer. Terry met us on the sidewalk, everything ready when we walked in the door. A nice turnout of folks from the Writers of Chantilly, the group of which I’ve been a member since I got serious about writing. Read a couple of chapters, told some lies stories, signed some books, and caught up with several people I’d not seen in too long, as well as making a new friend or two.

All writers have heard the horror stories of signings gone bad; I hope to have a career worthy of a few of my own. In my brief personal experience, I have had nothing but fun. The launch at Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont was legendary; I became a successful writer that day, if I never sell another book. A solo table gig at Greeting and Readings in Hunt Valley MD didn’t generate much traffic, but everyone at G & R was so nice I had a good time at what could have been a worst case scenario event for me: having to solicit my own customers. Not much traffic at 2nd and Charles in Newark DE, but that was the inaugural Meet Myster Write event and showed me the premise is sound, not least because these are fun people to be around. (Anyone on the fence about the 3C Conference in October, think hard. This shows great promise as a unique way to get readers and writers to mingle.)

Book events can be tedious, or a rare combination of entertainment and education, no matter which side of the audience one sits. The two keys are preparation by the author, and a friendly and supportive atmosphere on the part of the bookseller. I’m happy to do the former, and have been spectacularly lucky every time I’ve left the house on the latter, for which I am sincerely grateful to those who did their parts at each venue. Thank you all very much.

Another handful of stops are scheduled on what amounts to the Grind Joint World Tour:

April 27: Kensington Day of the Book Festival, Kensington MD. (If I’m not at my table, I’ll be as close as I can be and still see and hear The Nighthawks.)

June 7: Bowie Book Expo, Bowie MD

October 10 – 12: Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity Conference, Hunt Valley MD

October 30 – November 2: NoirCon, Philadelphia PA

November 13 – 16: Bouchercon, Long Beach CA

(Additional Meet Myster Write events to be announced.)

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