Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Line Up ...

Last night I attended a book signing that I had been invited to from a popoular book store in one of the norhern suburbs. Another dozen authors accepted the same invitation. Thus the title ... The Line UP.

Mapquest gave an hour, thirty minute drive to my destination. But the Chicago expressways were not expressing speed, not while I was traversing the thoroughfares. And I became a part of another line-up. I must say I was probably one of those anxious drivers you hate to see on the road. It's been years, maybe decades since I visited the northern suburb arena. As an orderly person I feel compelled to go back today and post a few more signs ... don't worry you are still on the right road ... I-pass doesn't mean speedy access to the other side of the toll ...
and ... YES, I-355, I-290 AND 53N is just one long stretch of road! Geesh!

Even though mapquest told me to turn right on Rand, I realized a few miles later they really meant left, I improvised and turned around, only after talking to the clerks at the bookstore in that town. They all thought it funny that I had turned the wrong way. "It's several miles back the way you came." And once calling the store to tell them I'd been caught in a long snake like traffic jam, and was now tip-toeing through their many a splended traffic lights, the gal informed me the correct store sat on the northwest corner of the mall. Of course they had moved it in that half-hour span because I found it on the southwest side.

At the intersection across from the bookstore, I took my departure from the long line of cars I had been a part of. At last, away from the hub-bub of congestion I could concentrate on selling a few books. Of course I was late, but with traffic like that, surely there would be plenty of folks out and about ready to buy books. After all, the community service manager of the store informed me she had put ads in the local papers announcing her author night and she would have plenty of advertising in the store.

Why do I continue to believe in fairytales? I should probably end this blog right here. You know what happened. It always happens. Once entering the store, I saw no signs promoting the event. I heard no announcements from the PA system as to our location in the store. But I had commited the evening to my writing career. I was ready to sell books!

I became another link in the long line-up of authors smashed against the outside wall. Nary a space existed between the authors for an easy escape. After squeezing behind several folks, knocking over a poster perched on the shelf, I climbed over numerous briefcases and tripped on a particularly lovely scarf. But I had reached my seat at last.

I chatted, I smiled, I handed out my brochures to the few customers who stumbled into the long line of authors hoping for a sale. All the time, I wondered where had all the people gone? The store was nearly deserted, well, our side of it anyway. I sent my friend through the store to hand out my brochures. I like to do that ... but I really didn't want to ruin that scarf and my chair had already attacked it once.

Now I had intended to tell you about my novel, Promises To Keep. It's a great book, a family saga historical, set in 1840's Kentucky. Many call it a romance, I call it true to life because it has grit born of romance, but it is much more than a happy ever after story. It deals with gambling, infidelity and family secrets. My characters don't always do the right thing, just like many of us, but they don't give up either. I like my characters, flawed as they are, they seem more real than many people because I know their secrets. If you buy Promises To Keep, you'll learn their secrets too.

If only I could commit my pitch to paper when folks ask me about my latest book. But most people want words from my mouth before they look at my brochure. I need practicing my pitch, one of the reasons I agreed to this book signing. Too bad I didn't get the chance to work on it. By eight o'clock most of the book buyers had gone home or out to the bars. So my stack of books, only a few short of what I had started with became another long line-up of books left for the bookstore clerks to shift to the shelves another day.

I hope folks in the northern suburbs get the chance to find my books. They're all signed. I didn't get to talk to many readers or tell them my book got great reviews, or that it's been given a five star rating on I hope they stop by in the days to come and buy Promises To Keep, by DL Larson. It's a great summer read.

Til next time ~

DL Larson

PS: My first book, Memories Trail is another great read and a five star on ... but more on that another day.


Norm Cowie said...

Hey, Deb,

I don't sit at the table they give me. I might leave a critter (a daughter) at my seat to tell people where I am, but I go through the store handing my book to people.

At a Borders I sold half of the fifty books they had on stock. Two months later they had me back with fifty more books and we sold them out.

It works.

Deb Larson said...

I like that idea! I usually walk through and hand out my brochures ... I'll take my book next time.
Thanks for sharing!