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."
Other Blogs I Read
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- EL Burton
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- How to Write Your Heart Out
- Jesus In Song
- Josh Sutton
- Nancy Mehl
- New Works Review
- Poet Ed Galing
- Quill and Parchment
- Shadow Poetry
- The Time Garden
- The Woman With Qualities
- Tom Parker
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