Monday, December 17, 2012

South Carolina Book Tour and 12/12/12 Wedding

I guess one might say I have just completed my very first book tour. And it was fun! The inspiration was the wedding of one of my dearest friend's daughter who wanted a destination wedding. The bride and groom chose Charleston as the destination and 12/12/12 as the date. Magnolia Plantation set scene for a lovely wedding and Catherine Buck Corell was a beautiful bride.

It was logical to set up a few book events. After spending one night with my husband's brother Bill and his wife, Joyce, we set off on our adventure. Spartanburg was first on our stop. The venue was the Hub City Bookshop (which has the unique feature of being both publisher and book seller. The shop serves many purposes: Writers Project, Publisher and Book Shop encouraging writers and artists, publishing and promoting their work.

The interesting thing about this book tour thing is that you do not know who your audience will be until they appear. That night an English teacher offered extra credit to those who would go and "hear the author." The old English teacher came out in me and I thoroughly enjoyed my audience. A father who decided to come in rather than just wait in the car paid me an enormous compliment by saying he found my talk on the book extremely interesting and he bought his daughter the book. I got lots of questions about writing which pleased me no end. I asked them to let me know whether they thought the book appropriate for a young adult audience. My publisher had once considered marketing Swimming with Serpents as young adult because of the age of the hero and heroine.

Tuesday took us to Greenville and a luncheon event at Twigs hosted by Fiction Addiction and Jill Hendrix. Jill's father Jim McPherson is an author who has written a novel based on his ancestor Penelope who came to America as one of the early settlers of New Amsterdam. That novel has proved interesting to me because of the genealogical connections to my own ancestors (Newkirks and Slechts) who settled in New Amsterdam. Sitting at my table was an old Dothan connection, Cathy Roberts, who once lived in Dothan and served at one time as President of the Dothan Service League. Though she still has family in Dothan, Cathy and her husband have moved to Greenville where she has become a book blogger! is where you will find her.

Wednesday was wedding day so we took the day off from book events and just enjoyed Charleston. Charleston is understandably renowned for food. We started off at Toast ( where I had the Eggs Meeting Street, fried green tomatoes topped with a crabcake, poached egg and covered with remoulade sauce. Fantastic!

For lunch we had the very best she crab soup ever at 82 across the street from the Mills House where we stayed.

Friday was Blue Bicycle night (http://blue where we not only got to see Catherine Ford Fancher's daughter Crystal (only a year and a half away from completing medical school in Charleston) but we got to see old friends Bob and Frank Hardie and meet, for the first time,  Bob's wife, Gail. Bob spotted the note Crystal left about her cousin's (on the other side of the family) restaurant, Carter's Kitchen. Article in the Post and Courier:  ( The note caught Bob's eye because he lives in Mount Pleasant only blocks from the restaurant. So, we followed Bob and Gail to Carter's Kitchen and then followed Frank back downtown where he lives with his wife (unfortunately busy that night) in a condo on the water. Retirement is looking good on these guys.

The book events have many benefits beyond the actual book sales. I enjoy people. We met lots of new people and rekindled old friendships. Couldn't have had a more successful week! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Looking a lot like Christmas

Well, It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Today my daughter remembered the story I wrote about the Christmas Elf named Alliwishus. She asked if I had sent it off lately because she thinks it is a super story that others, outside our family, would enjoy as well. It is the story my mother told me about an elf she met on the battle field of France during WWII. She was a nurse on a hospital train on the way to the Battle of the Bulge. I told her I had sent it off to an agent and would continue sending it. It meant a lot to me that she remembered that story.

Alliwishus looks a lot like this elf sitting in our tree. That's where he listens to the prayers of those whom the Master has entrusted to his charge -- in the tree outside their bedroom windows.  That's what my mama told me.

We're having lots of fun with the grandchildren. George, our oldest grandson, thought he needed a tree.

I've been traveling a lot with a great schedule of events. Kathie Bennett of Magic Time Literary Agency has been my greatest asset -- my publicist.  While you always hope for a good crowd at your event, Kathie makes the point that getting your name and your book before the public is always a major reason for participating wherever you might go. At SIBA I was told of one author who attended an event where only 2 people showed up. He took them out for supper.

This is the lineup. If you're nearby, please come!

SIBA Panel by Invitation

Book Launch for Swimming with Serpents Speaker

Ladies Auxilliary St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club Speaker

Books Alive Local Authors Keynote

Public Radio Guest

PC Writers Guild Keynote

Supply Store U of A Auburn/Alabama Book Signing

Beach Library Bag Lunch Author event Keynote

Hub city Books Book Signing

Fiction Addiction Keynote

Blue Bicycle Book Signing

Something's Cookin' Book Signing

Bay Point Woman's Club Keynote

Wilcox County Historical Society Keynote

Panama City Genealogical society Keynote

Chatauqua Faculty Speaker

Litchfield Books Keynote

Alabama Historical Society Member

Southern Kentucky Festival Panel by Invitation

Daughters of the American Revolution Speaker

South Carolina Book Festival Panel by Invitation

Florida Historical society Member

Georgia historical Society Member

Historical Novel Society Panel by Invitation

NEST OF VIPERS IS RELEASED Events to be announced