So, I’m home from my first readings of Shanty Gold in Albany, New York. Reasons Why Albany?:
- I lived there for 28 years and have many friends.
- My daughter lives nearby in Saratoga, NY, and has a spare bed.
- There are tons of Irish folks in Albany.
- I have a bunch of books to sell and plan to do a lot of traveling to accomplish that.
Matt and I flew out on a Tuesday. My first reading was Wednesday. It was at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall. How was it? A blast! I knew no one there except for a gentleman named John Carswell who is their communications/PR Director. John is an ace to work with—organized, sweet, and thoroughly honest. After I wrote him several months ago, we exchanged emails to plan everything. John gave me my first Amazon 5-star review.
As of this writing, I have eleven 5-star reviews and one 4-star review. Whoever posted that last one said, “Good story, fair brogue”
Huh, who is this person? And what in hell was wrong with the brogue?
Shake it off, Jeanie. You can’t control everything.
Anyway, back to Albany and the AOH. I had planned to have a short Irish trivia contest, sing a couple of lines from an old Celtic song, read the first chapter and then take questions. John stopped me in the middle of the questions and whispered, “They want more of the book.”
Okay. Lesson learned. I quickly chose two other short, exciting chapters and expanded my reading time.
I am blessed to be a ham extraordinaire. Years of community theater have taught me how to dramatize a reading, and I acted my little heart out for those folks. Fun!! My heart aches for authors who dread readings. To me, they are the crème de la crème of my life as an author.
I sold a ton of books.
I spent Thursday copying those two new chapters into a more readable format and cooking pork tenderloin for my daughter, her sons, and some pals. That’s another thing I love to do—cook. Maybe next, a cookbook? No, I’m deep into the second book of my trilogy, Lace Curtain. It’s half written.
On Friday evening, I read at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza—a wonderful, independent book store much like Malaprops here in Asheville. This reading was packed with my friends and my daughter’s friends. So, it was a very friendly crowd. At this reading, I served wine, cheese, crackers, and chocolate. I will do the same at Malaprops.
Matt’s daughter and granddaughter and son and daughter-in-law attended. After the reading, we all went to a huge nightclub for snacks and wine. Wonderful when you can entertain old friends with a reading and spend time with family, too.
On Saturday, we went to a birthday party and on Sunday, a real old-fashioned clambake. I haven’t had clams in ages. Delish!
John Carswell wrote me this morning. He said, “The people who bought Shanty Gold tell me that once they started it, they couldn’t get anything else done. They couldn’t put it down.”
Music to a writer’s ears.