Sunday, May 14, 2006

Frankfort KS -- library book signing

Of all the activities associated with being a writer, book signings are the hardest for me. I can talk with anyone about anything......just as long as the focus is not on me. When someone talks to me about me, my normally agile brain goes on vacation and I start stammering. Still, the Frankfort KS book signing was a delightful experience.

Frankfort is a pretty little town, nestled in the rolling hills of northeast Kansas where Highways 9 and 99 meet. As a child I visited my great-grandparents there frequently. Gathered almost every Sunday would be my grandma and grandpa, Mom and her little brood, Grandpa's brothers and families. Grandpa's family was a miscievous bunch of folks so there was always bantering and pranking. Frankfort today has progressed in the ensuing decades. They have a new library, for example, which is well organized and computerized. The physical layout is quiet, peaceful, and pleasant.

Alice Jones is the Librarian. She did everything she could to make my visit to her library comfortable. Alice wrote a detailed, interesting article about me and my books for area papers so the event had excellent promotion. As a result, a steady stream of relatives, friends, and strangers visited the library during the signing. My brother and nephew rode shotgun; that is, they chaperoned the entire event. Long time friend Jane Burkhead brought a breathtaking bouquet of spring flowers from her garden for the book table. Classmates Mary Long and Mike Simmons popped in to lend support and/or buy books. And I got to meet a writer I admire, Tom Parker, author of Dispatches from Kansas.

As an added bonus to an already lovely day, I met Nancy Schreiner, a relative from my grandpa's side of the family. I'm sure we have not seen the last of each other.

The event in Frankfort KS was my idea of what a book signing should be. I felt comfortable and relaxed in a pleasant environment. People purchased books if they felt like it, but chatted amiably if they didn't. I think book signings are not necessarily about selling books. They're about human interaction first and selling books second. This mostly unknown writer had a memorable experience at the Frankfort KS Public Library.

1 comment:

tom said...

I loved your part about meeting me... I mean, the part about book signings being about meeting people. Very true! I never take offense at the stupid sons-of-bi****, well, the people who don't buy my books. At least you're getting your name our there a little bit farther, and ultimately it will pay off. Or at least I tell myself it will. Meeting you was a high point of a very good 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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