A delightful blur

Fall 2023 has been a delightful blur.

Sure, I’d been told (warned?) that writing a competent book was just the first (and maybe, the easiest?) step on my journey. Those who travelled this road before me advised that getting my book into the hands of interested readers was the greater challenge. And I have certainly had to learn a new set of skills in that regard, but I am slowly embracing the marketing side of my work. I enjoy connecting with readers on Facebook and at events. I am getting good at developing posters and digital ads for my book. I am striving to improve my communication with readers and supporters who’ve signed up for my newsletter. I have even *gasp* approached real-life staff in a real-life library to ask for advertising space.

Here are some highlights of my Fall.

Collage of photos
Some Events, Fall 2023

WFWA 2023 in Chicago

My first stop was the WFWA 2023 tenth anniversary conference in Chicago. Initially, I’d planned to take the train from a suburb of Detroit to downtown Chicago (as I’m a bit of a chicken-driver and was intimidated by Chicago highways and traffic). But, my train was cancelled at the last minute, so I hopped in my car and drove the five to six hours instead. During my travels, I “read” the audiobook version of The 7 P’s of Publishing Success by Mark Leslie Lefebvre. (It’s a short, excellent and often-amusing primer offering tried and true tips for especially newby-authors.)

For the next four days, I met with authors from mostly North America and we talked about craft, our projects, our struggles. The organizers — all volunteers! — put together a jampacked schedule of relevant sessions and keynotes, alongside agent and small press pitch sessions (for those pursuing a traditional publishing route).

I’m so impressed by the talent and dedication of this group of women. Their generosity with their time, experience, advice is something I try to emulate.

Book Launch

A Mercy of Widows was formally launched into the world in early October. It was my first ever book launch, and in preparation for it, I crashed the launch of an illustrious and generous local author, G.A. Gristenthwaite, at the also fabulous Windsor bookstore, Biblioasis. I confess I copied my homespun launch agenda entirely from his program, and it included an intro (from my friend, Janet), an emcee (my brother), a Q&A (some of which has been repeated here), a reading (pages 82 to 85), book signings, and fabulous snacks prepared by friends.

I had hoped 25 people would come, but prepared for 30, and was overjoyed when more than 40 people chose to come hang out with me for the evening.

Meet the Author Event

In November, the local arts society asked me to spend an afternoon in their gallery for a drop-in meet and greet. The gallery is normally quiet on cold, blustery days, and so I was genuinely tickled that people showed up to meet me. People asked such insightful questions, and explored a strong connection to my story and topic. My greatest thrill was learning that one young aspiring writer sent his mother to pick my brain about writing craft because he couldn’t attend himself; she and I had a long and lovely discussion.

Upcoming Events

  • Local Authors’ Book Sale (featuring about thirty local authors) – November 26, from 10 to 3, at the Tecumseh Legion (12326 Lanoue Street, Windsor)
  • Book Clubs. If your book club is reading A Mercy of Widows and you’d like me to join you (virtually or in-person), please contact me. I’m booking into January at the moment.

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