Tag: Book Release

23
Mar

Dream Come True

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Wow.

Just, wow. I don’t know if I have the words to describe how amazing this past weekend was. The book release party was better than I ever DREAMED it could be–and that’s saying something. I still have a GIANT smile on my face that probably won’t come off for a good long while. Just thinking back on the whole thing makes me do a happy dance all over again.

The Recap

We drove down to Brainerd on Friday night to spend the evening with family and friends that drove in from out of state. My first order of business was taking everyone to Rafferty’s Pizza (the BEST pizza I’ve ever eaten) followed by a long soak in the hot tub. Just talking, laughing, and hugging all of my family and friends was awesome enough. But the best was yet to come!

Saturday morning began with the official breaking in of my Published Author mug (here’s the picture you asked for, Sheila! In the style of Morning Meanderings, of course!). So many milestones that day!

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After breakfast, I got a fancy new author haircut (short and sassy). I have to laugh because I was so excited that I gave all the hair stylists business cards and told them ALL about my debut novel. Whether they were just being nice or not, they seemed interested¬†in the book. ūüôā After the haircut, I also got a manicure with my mom and two of my best friends from high school. Finally, it was time to go back to the hotel, put on my dress and make-up, and go through my talk one last time (insert panicked hyperventilating here).

To say I was a little nervous about the speaking part is an understatement. I spent a lot of time planning what I would say and practicing my reading to get it just right. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about! I had a BLAST! I just talked to a room packed with my friends and family, and got asked some great questions during the Q¬†& A. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

After practicing, Shane drove me over to Prairie Bay. Now, anyone who knows me also knows that when I’m nervous, I tend to show up early. Really early. We were the first ones there, and I got to survey the empty room, imagining how it would look full, praying that people would be sitting in those seats.

It wasn’t before long that people started showing up, filled up the seats AND THEN SOME! We had a FULL HOUSE, and had the wonderful problem of needing to grab more chairs. I can’t tell you how wonderful it made me feel or how my heart swelled to see so many people who loved and believed in me. Somehow, I managed not to cry during my talk!

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After a bit of mingling (I tried to give each and every person who came a BIG hug!), Chip and Jean¬†did a¬†fantastic job introducing¬†me. By the time I got up to speak, my nerves were all but gone. The more I talked, the more comfortable I became. It was great–the part I was nervous about the most ended up being the most fun. ūüôā

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Then, came my favorite part of being a PUBLISHED AUTHOR: signing the books. My friend Katie and I used to practice our “author signatures” during English class. I could not get over the fact that I was actually signing MY books for REAL! AND THERE WERE SO MANY TO SIGN! I could not BELIEVE how long the line was! It was AMAZING (I’m running out of adjectives to describe how happy I¬†am and how incredible the night was)!

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People kept asking me if I was getting tired of signing books.

NEVER! I was so pumped to be signing books–and I couldn’t believe how many people bought copies! I loved every signature and every second of it.

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After the last book was signed, I ate a lovely celebratory dinner and spent a LONG time in the hot tub. One final night of games and fun with friends and family, and I am back in Bemidji. And I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll probably never stop saying it: THANK YOU. Thank you to everyone who came out to show support, or bought a copy online if they could not attend the book release. I can’t wait to hear what you think of my book! Spread the word! ūüôā

Love, from the happiest author in the world!

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06
Mar

Friday Favorites: It’s Real!

Book 3

My favorite thing this week?

Book 1

I think it’s pretty obvious.

Book 2

Have you guessed yet?

Getting a copy of Seven Stones in the mail on Wednesday suddenly made everything very real. The book is being published. Soon–fifteen days, exactly–other people are going to hold it in their hands. Will they love my novel as much as I do? I’m not sure if that’s possible. Since the book arrived, I’ve been carrying it around like a small child carries around her favorite blanket. When I left a room, the book came with. I took it to work, showed everyone, and read it before I went to bed. In the morning, the first thing I did was pick up my book and smile. I can’t help it. I’m in love.

The overwhelming support, enthusiasm, and excitement since I posted pictures of my book has been absolutely incredible. To everyone who called, texted, liked, tweeted, and shared: THANK YOU. The outpouring of love made my heart so full I’ve been walking on clouds the rest of the week.¬†Seven Stones would not be possible without you. The fact that I am going to be a published author would not be possible without you.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy the story that I’ve created as much as I do. Thank you for wanting to be a part of it.

04
Mar

How to Be a Rock Star and Sell Oodles of Books

CHX

It better not blizzard the day of the book party. As I write this post, a white wall of snow is blowing past my window and rattling the frozen tree limbs against the house. It is cold, people. A blizzard blew in on Monday night and buried us in a few more inches of snow and cold. This is fine with me, as long as Minnesota doesn’t play any cruel winter tricks on me or anyone traveling to get to the book release party on the 21st. Which is 17 days away. In case you didn’t know. If you haven’t, you should grab a calendar and circle the 21st in red sharpie. Add some exclamation points and a few stars for good measure. Good. Now, all you have to do is come on down (or up) to Prairie Bay in Baxter, MN from 4pm-6pm for good food, a good book, and a great time.

Meanwhile, I’ve barely noticed the cold. Why? I’ve been busily searching for tips on how not to be boring. Because, while I consider myself pretty good with the written word, the spoken word intimidates me a bit. You might think that after teaching acting classes I’d be totally at ease before an audience. Here’s a secret: my palms get sweaty and my¬†blood¬†pulses so¬†loud in my head I’m worried I’ll have a heart attack. I usually deal with my nerves fairly well, but they are always there. The book release party being a momentous occasion, I really want to get it right. The same can be said for the author events I’ll be speaking at in the future: I want to make sure what I say intrigues people and gives them an unstoppable desire to read my book.

Most of the tips I’ve managed to find on author appearances are incredibly simple. Make eye contact, don’t read your speech, have good posture, etc. are things I’ve heard before. I need¬†to find a book¬†entitled, How to Be a Rock Star and Sell Oodles of Books. I’m looking at you, J.K. Rowling.

Until I find such a resource, I’ve just been mulling over what to say, trying on my book release dress (very important), and trying to choose which pages to read on the big day. I am also happy to say that I’m still healthy, despite Shane’s nasty cold continuing to get nastier (he actually asked me to call the doctor and make an appointment. For anyone who knows Shane, you’ll understand how concerning this is). Between batches of honey garlic lemon tea, I’ve been sipping one of my favorite soups: Stuffed Pepper Soup.

I love this soup more than the traditional dish and, though I crave it all year round, it is especially satisfying in winter. I like the taste of stuffed peppers, but I don’t like how squishy and rubbery the peppers get during the roasting process (I’m weird about cooked vegetables. I like them raw). The soup has all the flavor of the stuffed peppers, comes together quickly, and is a hearty, wholesome meal.

I adapt the recipe for my slow cooker and it couldn’t be easier. Brown the meat, drain the fat, pop all the ingredients in the slow cooker before you leave for work, and have a lovely dinner awaiting you when you get home (cook for 8 hours on low, 5 hours on high). Serve with a big slice of crusty bread and you might be in heaven.

Happy Wednesday!

02
Mar

Immunity Boosting Tea

A cup of tea can do a world of good

A cup of tea can do a world of good

It’s finally March. My new favorite month. In just nineteen short days, my book will be released. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I still can’t. The whole publishing and planning process has kind of felt like planning a wedding: you spend so long preparing for the event, it doesn’t ever feel like it’s actually going to happen. I don’t think the fact that I will be a published author is going to sink in until I have a copy of my book in my hands. It’s just too surreal, such a dream come true, it is difficult to believe.

Now, the stress and anxiety, those things I do believe. Because while becoming a published author is a life dream, it is also a crazy amount of work. And, like anything worth doing, it scares the hell out of me. I have many doubts and fears. Ask any of my poor family members or friends who have been subjected to my worries. Will the book sell? Will people like it? What if no one shows up to my book signings? What if my book talks suck? What if, what if, what if. These questions hang around my head as I write this post and follow me throughout the day. And that’s okay. Because, while some of the things I’m worried about might actually happen, I’ve got to try anyway. I am getting the chance of a lifetime: the chance to be an author. Nothing is going to stop me from putting 300% of myself into writing and promoting my work. If I’m lucky, it will all pay off. No matter what, it will be worth it.

And that brings me to the recipe I am sharing with you today: Honey Garlic Immunity Tea. Because if I’m going to give being an author my all, I’ve got to feel my best physically and mentally. The germs of the world, however, seem to have different plans. In Minnesota, we’re still deep in the trenches of winter and colds are plentiful. This past week, Shane caught a nasty one. In response, I’ve been making huge vats of this Honey Garlic Tea.

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Sound weird? Honey (especially raw honey) is antimicrobial, has been used as a remedy for sore throats for centuries, and is supposed to boost immune systems. Garlic is incredibly medicinal, a cough inhibitor, clears your sinuses, and also boosts immune systems. The lemon juice adds a citrus kick, feels great on a sore throat, and is supposed to reduce mucus production. Put all those together, and you’ve got one powerful cold buster! The tea couldn’t be simpler to make and actually tastes really good (if you like garlic, which I love).

Stay healthy everyone!

See you at the book release party in NINETEEN DAYS!

21
Jan

My First Post!

On the scene with Catherine Silver!

On the scene with Catherine Silver!

This is my first blog post EVER. Can you feel the excitement? Well, then,¬†get ready for some more: it is officially two months until the release of my debut novel, Seven Stones!!!! If you are reading this, thank you so much for checking out my website. Though you cannot purchase the book quite yet, I will announce as soon as we begin taking preorders! Feel free to look about and contact me–I’d love to hear from you.

This blog will be a place where I post updates about the book, upcoming events, book giveaways,¬†and daily tidbits into my writing life. I’ll also be sharing the occasional recipe and yoga poses.¬†I absolutely LOVE food, and try to find healthy, tasty recipes to make for my husband and I. Yoga is another big passion of mine. It helps center and calm me when I feel like I can’t focus. I find that getting creative in the kitchen and on the mat¬†helps foster creativity in writing. Plus, then I have a tasty snack to eat while writing, so it is a win-win situation.

Other exciting news: I was featured in the news! Lakeland News did an In Focus story about me and my upcoming novel. For those of you living outside northern Minnesota, In Focus is a weekly news segment that features local artists. It was such a thrill and honor to be interviewed by the great Catherine Silver. Here is the link, if you’d like to view the story! Two months and counting!