Friday, November 16, 2012

A Book Fair and A Vacation

Recently I participated in the 31st Annual Kentucky Bookfair where my husband and daughter joined me. I can't think of anything lovelier then turning an enjoyable business arrangement into a mini family vacation especially when the weather turns unseasonably warm.

The beautiful weather made it pleasant for all those attending the book event and pleasant for me to walk from my hotel to the convention center which was basically out the Capitol Plaza's back door. The downtown area was also within walking distance from our hotel where my husband and daughter spent many happy hours while I was otherwise occupied. While I was busy signing books and schmoozing with fellow authors like Lori Moore and Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton they were visiting quint shops and cafe`s.

Signing Books

Lorri Moor and I
Laurie Lazarro Knowlton and I
Once I was done for the day I was able to join my family in exploring downtown Frankfort. We made the most amazing discoveries like the singing bridge which sounds like it's humming when the cars pass over. There are walkways on either side and you can even feel the vibrations through your shoes. On the other side of the bridge was my husbands favorite find of all ~ Cajun Ricks White Light Diner which was featured on the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The barbeque was delicious and Cajun Rick was quite entertaining as he regaled us with stories of his rise to fame and his brother's famous Cajun hot sauce.  

Downtown Frankfort

Singing Bridge

Cajun Rick's White Light Diner

On the way home after the book fair, we managed one more stop at the Newport Aquarium. I'm not sure who had more fun, my daughter or I. She and I visited the penguins up close and personal which is a once in a lifetime experience we couldn't pass up despite the price tag. We saw many other interesting creatures both large and small and my daughter even survived being attacked by a large squid. I can't remember when I've had a more enjoyable time. So if you ever have a chance to visit Kentucky, I'm sure you will have an equally wonderful time!

Swordfish Statue

Penguin Encounter

Ginning Shark

Sleepy Crocodile

Touch Tidal Pool

Fish and Coral

Jelly Fish

Lil' Eels

Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Don't Be Shy ~ Just Speak "Write" Up

Just in case you are wondering, I know that the title should actually be Don't Be Shy ~ Just Speak Right Up; but as a writer, it's sometimes fun to use a play on words. That aside, I really do wish to encourage all new authors to speak up when it comes to their book or books. Sometimes we have the tendency to allow opportunities to pass us by because we are uncomfortable about sharing with strangers. We often make excuses like there were too many people in line behind us at the cash register, or the other person was in a hurry, etc... But most of the time, that's exactly what they are ... just excuses. 

Take for instance the opportunity that I passed up last week. The day started out cold and rainy and  to top it all off, I forgot my jacket while trying to remember everything else I needed to take for the school field trip on which I would be joining my daughter. The field trip turned out to be lovely, despite my nearly freezing, and soon it was time to go home. On the way home I decided to stop at Sam's Club to fill up the old gas tank. While pumping my gas, the attendant noticed the magnet on the back of my car announcing my book, my name, and my website. He asked if I was the author of Fern Valley and proceeded to show interest in the fact that I was an author. Soon my tank was full, I said goodbye, and proceeded to get in the car.

As I sat down my seven year old daughter handed me a business card which she had pulled from the deep recesses of my large black purse and said, "Here mommy. You need to give him this!" I declined and told her I was cold and tired and just wanted to go home to which she replied, "You just don't want to sell any books do you?" It's hard to believe that such wisdom came out of a seven year old mouth, but there you have it. She was correct. I allowed my insecurities to rob me of a possible sale, and not because I was too tired or cold; but because I just didn't want it badly enough. I had thought about giving him a card before getting back into my vehicle, but had talked myself out of it because he had not specifically asked for information.

So you better believe when I had opportunity this morning I made a better choice; I made a choice to speak up. I was at a Kroger store picking up a few groceries on my way home from dropping dear daughter at school and decide to use the self checkout. The cashier in charge is always the same and so we have spoken briefly in times past. I knew from a previous conversation that she is from the town that is hosting the craft fair where I will be signing my book this weekend. I asked her if she was going to the fair and mentioned that I would be there signing my children's book.

She exclaimed that she didn't know I was an author and this led to me giving her a post card about my book (which I have printed at Vistaprint). She became very excited and wanted to buy one for her seven year old grandson. I didn't have any books on my person at the time; so I am taking her one tomorrow morning on my way home from school. An unexpected sale occurred (or will occur tomorrow) simply because I spoke up. :-)So there you have it my friends, advice from a wise seven year old that I heartily encourage you to take.

Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!