Author Meets Illustrator

Wow, so long time no see, my dear readers!!

During this several-month interlude, much has been in the works. I am cranking out a new Zelda fanfic for my eager fandom, finally completing my first series for re-publication, The Gailean Quartet, came out with a new kids’ book, The Puzzle of the Two-Headed Dragon, and have been looking into new marketing ideas–including the awesome book-signing I had yesterday, which I am fixin’ to tell y’all about.

straw5This was my second year doing a signing at the Trinity Farmstead and Garden’s Strawberry Festival. I actually work at Trinity, located in Mascoutah, IL, which means I have basically the coolest day job ever. I mean, if you’re forced to be a starving artist, may as well have an awesome day job in the meanwhile, right? I work with folks with autism and developmental disabilities. They are some of the coolest, most loving and fun people you will ever meet. I get to help them with art projects, music, cooking, gardening, and learning life skills that will help them become more independent.

straw1.jpgThe Festival itself was a huge hit. The weather was perfectly beautiful, and it was overall a great time with great people, great food, great bluegrass music, and lots of selling of strawberries and the clients’ amazing artwork. straw2.jpg

 

And of course, there was the book-signing itself. Twenty-five percent of my sales always goes to ALFA (Abundant Living for All), which is the local charity that provides funds and volunteers for the many programs our folks are involved in. I was able to sell a lot of books, making a nice profit for not just myself but for ALFA as well, which always makes me happy. Every little bit helps our folks, and one of my goals as an author is to help raise awareness for all the wonderful work going on at Trinity.

My favorite thing about signings is always the people. I had two other local authors come up to my table, one of whom expressed interest in the possibility of starting a local authors’ group. I love meeting new people and talking to them. I love it when the kids come up to my table and touch the books and look through them and know exactly which one they want.  I love the power God has given me to connect with and inspire so many wonderful folks simply through the written word.

straw9One of the biggest highlights of the day came when my illustrator for The Puzzle of the Two-Headed Dragon, the very talented and lovely Karen Swartz, showed up along with her boyfriend and family, including some of his family visiting from New York. It was the coolest thing getting to meet all of them, they were the most gracious and sweet family! Karen has been such a pleasure to work with, and we look forward to doing another project together. Who knows? Perhaps together we will just keep making cool things and ultimately take the publishing world by storm. Watch out, readers! ‘Cause here we come.

Overall, God blessed me and everyone at the Farm with a truly beautiful and successful day. I even got to hold a baby bird. And go bowling afterward. Can’t go wrong with bowling.

Well, I’m off to the grind. Next stop is finishing this darned Zelda book before my fans have a conniption.  Then, it’s time to start planning some real marketing tactics. And after that, who knows? I might just be off to tour the world before you know it.

 

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