Sunday, June 04, 2006

Marysville KS Library Book Signing

Left to right, Max Yoho, me, and Tom Parker at my Marysville KS Library book signing. Max and Tom are two of my top five favorite writers of all time. Both are exceptional in every way and better than most writers you will find on the New York Times best seller list. Max is a Kansas icon and Tom is a popular newspaper columnist as well as book author.

Marysville KS has a beautiful, modern, public library with every amenity imaginable. I was particularly pleased to do a signing there because Marysville is where I was born, raised, and lived for much of my adult life. Classmate and friend Leanna Stenglemeier made the initial arrangements with Kathryn Hatfield, Library Staff person responsible for technical services and interlibrary loans. This signing was a success by every measure.

I've said in a past blog that book signings are about more than simply selling books. They are about the new people a writer meets, the old friends who stop by to gab or show support, and the family members who stand beside a person in good times or bad. If a few books sell, that's frosting on an already tasty cake.

Don and Leanna Stenglemeier were waiting for me when I arrived. A gorgeous bouquet of white roses with burgundy trim from the Stenglemeiers and my high school classmates graced the table. And before the books were unpacked or arranged on a table, the area assigned for me filled up with people. Aunt Lois Ford Lueers arrived, and Emma Ford Suther close behind her. Lois is one of the stars of My Name is Esther Clara, and Emma's father Elmer Ford is a hero in the early years of my grandparents' marriage. Dora Jones, mother of one of my best friends and lifelong pals, was also an early arrival.

My sisters Jeanne Smith VanLoenen and Pam Smith Sutton drove in from Nebraska to help Aunt Lois ride shotgun. And our long time friend Karen (K.K.) Wiemers arrived shortly thereafter. A happy time was being had by all, with everyone talking at once or in small groups when Max and Carol Yoho meandered in all smiles and hugs from Topeka, followed soon after by Tom Parker and long time friend Jan Koll.

It bears repeating that Max and Tom are two of my favorite Kansas writers. Tom had already forewarned me via email that he expected me to read and that he planned to make faces at me throughout. Max and Carol joined forces with him and, much as I was reluctant to do so, I read a short section from Grandma's book. My reluctance to read had little to do with shyness and much to do with reading in front of two very accomplished writers. If Max and Tom enjoyed the same sort of publicity, promotion, and advance hype provided Brown, Frey, et al, they would be reigning in New York too.

After the reading, old friends Mina and Howard Zimmerman arrived, followed by another friend from high school days, Lynn Millenbruch. My alloted time passed swiftly and I think the Library staff was desperate for me to clear out. People were still coming and going at two, and I was still signing books.

This experience was exactly what a book signing should be: stimulating conversation; a pleasant atmosphere for folks to visit and mingle; a helpful library staff; and excellent advance publicity in The Marysville Advocate. This writer, who prefers to remain anonymous and shuns public appearances, was allowed to shine with the encouragement of fellow writers, family, friends, and readers. An added bonus was that I came home with an empty book box. Every book I took with me sold.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this signing a success. As Grandma and Grandpa used to say: "Thank you all so much until you're better paid."

6 comments:

Mitty said...

For those who couldn't make it to Marysville..u missed a good time for sure.I felt honored to be in the presense my famous sister..my younger sister Pam ,Aunt Lois,my life long friend KK and all the rest of the interested parties who came in.Its the first time I had been in the new library and the contrast between this one and the one I remember best as a child is amazing.In the olden days u had to climb steep steps to the second floor of an old downtown bldg..it was hot and musty smelling..dark around corners...what a pleasure to visit the new library which is bright and cheery and made even more so with Laurel Johnson..famous author in her own right and famously loved by the middle sister.....Mitty...my bouquets to u Lolly..

MrsDoobieSleuth said...

It was a pleasure to be at your book signing yesterday and get to see my beloved Smith sisters. I felt like a mouse eavesdropping when the authors were talking about having an author's heart. Cool!

Lolly, I think you could write a book about life in the 60's. You were a big influence to me during those years. You brought home all the latest dances and songs and crazes from KC and taught them to your siblings and friends. If I had not known you, I would never have learned all the words to all the songs from West Side Story!!! Who knows when that might not come in handy??? It could be a great book!

love,
KK
remember this one?

Be kind to your webfooted friends,
For a duck may be somebody's mother.
Be kind to your friends in the swamp,
For a swamp is very very damp!
You may think that this is the end.
And it is.

MrsDoobieSleuth said...

I bet you're wondering who in the hell is mrsdoobiesleuth??? I have spent the last hour trying to login and publish my comment, and was directed by this blog to a page that listed every identity my email address has ever had...you can see that mrsdoobiesleuth is one of my stranger blog experiences. It has made me famous, however at some of the larger blogs, where I have been one of the crazy 'pyschobabesfromhell' and also kicked off RhielWorldView blog, but allowed back on after apologizing to Mr. Rhiel. All the psychobabes got kicked off, but not all apologized and got back on. I no longer post there.

Just a little explanation why the strange name. I have tried to find a more familiar name, like the one I used to create this account, which this account cannot seem to find.

I will have to just sign myself out as KK, so you will know who I am.

KarenW said...

I am going to try to get rid of the mrsdoobiesleuth...bear with me...KK

Josh said...

Excellent! I'm glad it was a pleasant experience :o)

tom said...

Wow! Great photo of Max and yourself. Too bad that other fellow had to ruin it!
I wanted to comment that your reading--reluctant to be sure--was very enjoyable. You did so well you need to consider doing it all the time. I can now hear your voice whenever I pick up your books. Which is what it's all about...
Your friend, tom

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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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