Thursday, May 04, 2006

Book signings galore!!!

Book signings are part of every published writer's life. Some call book signings a necessary evil. Others consider them to be golden opportunities. I've had book signings where flocks of people show up, and others where nobody comes. The book signings scheduled for me in the near future are golden opportunities. I'm so excited!!

The first book signing is at the Frankfort Kansas Public Library May 13 as part of the historic celebration of the Great White Way highway established in 1914. Since my latest book encompasses the time period from 1898 to 1989, it's a piece of history itself so will fit right in. My grandpa was born and raised on a farm near Frankfort, and he brought his new bride there in 1916.
I'm hoping to meet a few long lost relatives that day. And an extra bonus will be that I finally get to meet a writer I admire -- Tom Parker, author of Dispatches from Kansas and a blog of the same name -- and his wife Lori.

The second book signing will be June 3rd at the Marysville Kansas Public Library. I was raised in Marysville and lived there much of my married life. And my grandparents, memorialized in My Name is Esther Clara, lived in Marysville for 50 years or so. Marysville sits near the Big Blue River and has an interesting history. A ferry across the Blue served Fort Riley troops policing Indian Territory, and later provided crossing to pioneers heading west. Many friends and relatives live there and I'll enjoy seeing them whether anyone buys a book or not.

In the future I hope to arrange a book signing or signings in Iowa, my grandma's home state. She was born near Marcus Iowa, and also visited nearby Remsen Iowa many times throughout her life. A signing in that area would also be a golden opportunity to meet relatives I've never met, or haven't seen in years.

Book signings are not primarily about selling books. Yes, it's nice if people are interested enough in a writer's work to buy a book. But the joy of such gatherings to me is in seeing familiar, friendly faces on people who are glad to see me. Selling copies of the book is just an added bonus to the day.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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