I got up at 3 AM yesterday and left the house for the drive to the Inverness Book Festival. I live in Deland, Fl, on the East coast just inland from Daytona. Inverness is on the West coast. You know how some people ‘hunt & peck’ on keyboards, right. Well, that’s how I navigate Florida roads…
Inverness finally showed up in the windshield at 7:30. I checked in with one of the boss ladies, found my table and spent the next forty minutes getting all my little rubber duckies in a row. Between catching up with a few of the other authors I knew from previous events and meeting lots of new ones (and drinking another much needed cup of coffee), I was ready a few minutes before the hordes of readers started to trickle in. And we were all busy for the rest of the day.
Not only was the room packed with authors and readers, there were two rows of marquee tents set up outside. It was one of the very best-organized events I have been to in the last few years.
Inverness, in case you are not familiar with it, is a small town just inland from the West coast of Florida, close to Homosassa Springs, It is also the center of several retirement communities in the area and folks over there just love to read (oh, goody!)
Kathleen Walls, my tent mate at several events last year, is not only an author, she is a publisher of other authors. I was able to get into the Inverness Book Festival through her connections with the festival. Thank you so very much, Kathleen!
Kathleen is also going to be my publisher for “Lonesome Cove”.
One of the first visitors to my table spoke with me for a few minutes and then wandered off to look around for a bit. I suppose there were thirty authors in the room with me; authors of books on living a spiritual life, poetry, making a business out of your music, historical fiction, mysteries, how-to politics and so on. quite an eclectic groups, actually.
Well, that lady I mentioned above came back about half an hour later and bought all three of my novels. That one sale covered the cost of my trip across the State. Then all I had to do was sell one more book to cover the gas back to Deland and another to cover my lunch and I’d be all set.
By the time I left Inverness that afternoon I not only covered the cost of the day in Inverness; I came home with plenty of cash.
I stopped in Silver Springs on my way home, to see the cover art for “Lonesome Cove”. Mickey Summers is an amazing fellow; former educator (art) in the Marion County school system (30 years), former Ranger with the Florida Park system, naturalist (he spends every minute he can outdoors, and in Florida that means walking in forests, swamps and bogs) and he knows the history, geology and ecology of Florida better than you know the back of your hand. And he paints, too. He is a naturalist painter who can tell a very long story ( a picture is worth a thousand words, you say? That’s nothing to Mickey’s paintings) with a single picture.
Well, I didn’t have my camera with me, so the cover art is now here in Deland, waiting for me to pull it out of wherever it got packed for the move down here. It’s here, somewhere. I know it is. And I also picked up the MS for “Lonesome Cove”, as well. Mickey not only does my cover art; he is my first line of defense against my own stupidity in things like ‘choose’ instead of ‘chose’ and ‘bored’ instead of ‘board’, and having a character driving a red Ford pickup in one para and then putting him into a gray Buick sedan in the next.
Mickey checks dates, places and timing with a calendar, map and stop watch. And then he’ll draw a sketch, if he needs to, just to figure out if my descriptions of the layouts of scenes, rooms and the movements of characters is a bit too confusing for him. No kidding. he has saved my butt this way too many times to count.
So I’ve got my work cut out for me for the rest of this week; review the editing and make corrections, and then get the cover art photographed (yes, I can do a pretty good job with a camera and some photo editing software).
Then I print out a hard copy of the MS and get it up to my good friend Lesley in Jacksonville for a second look-see before sending it off to the publisher, who will have her own editor go over the MS before they start pre-production work
Have a great week. Oh, yes. I forgot. For those of you who plan to watch the Super Bowl today, I do hope you enjoy the game and the commercials. I’ll be sitting on the couch, too. And my team is guaranteed to win, so there (and no, I’m not going to tell you who that is).
I’ve posted a few blogs about moving my web site over to Microsoft’s Office 365 servers, so here is the very last on this issue: my new web site is finally up (www.garyshowalter.com) and everything – including my business email, works just fine, thank you so very much. At least, I think it does, which leads me to a request I have for you.
If you’ve stuck with me so far, please do me a very big favour ; on my web site there is a “Contact the Author” button on the left side of the window. It opens a short contact form where you can enter your name, email addy and stuff like that, and add a little note. Please do that for me. I
f you would like to be kept abreast of the progress on “Lonesome Cove: and further writing ventures I have lined up via a Notification List of readers I maintain, please let me know that specifically in the text box provided on the form.
If you do not make that request, I promise I will never send you an email for any reason (not because I do not like you and appreciate you, because I do. But if you do not request to be added to that notification list, I will not harass you with unwonted emails).
On my part I promise to never, ever, buy, sell or trade your email address to any person or agency or otherworldly being for anything, including gold, silver or Cheetos. Ever, I promise.