Tag: Prairie Bay

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
Feb

Lunch with The Publishers!

Snl-so-freakin-excited

Phew! After a long, glorious day, I am finally back in Bemidji and ready to blog. Today, I drove down to Brainerd to have lunch with my fabulous publishers and plan the final touches for the book release party. Some topics we discussed:

  • A new cover design
  • Book Release Invitation Postcards (when they are going out and who is getting them)
  • Preorders
  • Agents
  • The Sequel
  • Contacting booksellers
  • Reviews

We met at Prairie Bay–my absolute favorite restaurant AND consequently where Chip, Jean, and I met. *Cue flashback music and dissolve* It all happened three years ago…

Chip and Jean (owners of RiverPlace Press) were speaking at a publishing panel hosted by Prairie Bay. While they were talking about their company and giving aspiring authors tips on how to get published, I just kept thinking, “I have to introduce myself to them.” After the rest of the panel finished speaking, there was a “meet and greet” mingling part of the event. I took a deep breath and marched myself up to them, being as charming and sophisticated as humanly possible while totally freaking out and trying not to hyperventilate.

This is about how cool I felt.

This is about how cool I felt.

I introduced myself, my book idea, and somehow managed to form full sentences. I told them that I loved the sound of their publishing house and wondered if they could give me any tips on how to get my unfinished manuscript published. For reasons I still cannot fully comprehend, they said, “Sure. How ’bout we meet up for coffee sometime?” I almost passed out.

A few weeks later, I met Chip and Jean at Coco Moon coffee shop in Brainerd. I was dressed in heels, a business jacket and matching skirt, and clutched my synopsis in my awkwardly sweaty hands. They came on bikes and wore jeans. We talked about the publishing business, my aspirations as a writer, and my writing background. Then came the question: “What is your book about?” Luckily, I just happened to bring that sweaty synopsis. After reading it and listening to me babble, they asked me to send them the first few chapters. I emailed it to them as soon as I got home.

Over the next few weeks, I worked on my manuscript and obsessively checked my email. Nothing. “Idiot. As if they would actually publish your book.” At this point, there may have been a lot of binge ice cream eating. *Cue 80’s music and montage of empty ice cream cartons and chick flicks* One day, one glorious day, I received an email from RiverPlace: they wanted to see the whole manuscript. I went into hyper speed. I finished writing and the first round of very rough edits and sent the completed manuscript of what would become Seven Stones to RiverPlace Press.

*End of flashback*

Which all lead to today! The location is booked: Prairie Bay, where our story began, is going to be the venue for the party! We will be accepting preorders in the next few weeks (don’t worry, I will announce the SECOND it becomes a reality), and invitations will be sent out toward the end of February! It is all falling into place! SO much more to do, and so much to plan for the book tour after the release, but I am beyond grateful for the amazing opportunities I’ve been given. Thank you for supporting me and sharing this epic journey to becoming a published author!

Happy Monday!