Saturday, March 19, 2016

Springing Forward With New Readers and Revisions

Some of the CIR authors that I met in Indianapolis
 (and me in the front, third from the right)
   It's spring break here and it couldn't have come sooner. Since my second novel released in early February (THE UPSIDE OF DOWN), I haven't had time to give it the attention it deserves. The week it was set to debut, I was called to begin covering a long-term, substitute-teaching job, three weeks earlier than expected. I considered the last-minute effect of delaying its publication. But I had already started the ball rolling with a paid promotional ad, word of mouth,  and an already-in-progress contest. What would have been the effect if I had pushed the release date back a month? 
     The book did get some love at the Clean Indie Reads Author Fair in Indianapolis on March 4th. Readers poured into the community room at the Irvington Public Library to walk among the 20 authors' tables. It was a great audience, and I was able to finally meet some of the people I've met through conversations on Facebook. 
     An invitation to two first-ever literacy nights at a grade school and a junior high were also highlights this past month. Visiting with two different age groups was great fun. I sat inside of a tent, strung with lights, for story time with K-5th graders (camping theme), and talked about the publishing process with kids and parents at the other event (superheros theme). One of my favorite parts of getting kids together in these kinds of celebrations is asking them what they're reading, or who are their favorite authors. Of course there are the perennial favorites (Riordan, Rowling, Kinney), but also titles and authors I've never read. As an author, it's a plus to have a finger on the pulse of the readers themselves. 
     Late last month I was at a writing workshop in Austin, Texas, getting feedback on a manuscript that I worked on during NaNoWriMo. A revision is my priority this next week, with wide-open days to spend in immersion. This is my favorite part of writing, having the bones of a story already in place and waiting to be fleshed out. Wish me luck.

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