Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Great surprises

I love long as they're the good kind. For the past week, I've been trying to improve my novel, Crossfire, in preparation of it being considered for publication. I had submitted it to my publisher back in April, and finally all of the evaluations were in.

I always look forward to reading the evaluations. Usually the evaluators have at least something positive to say, but more than that, they also point out what I can do to make my book better. And I'm all about trying to get better.

So, assuming that it would be a couple of weeks before my book would be presented to the committee, that group of individuals who would ultimately determine the fate of my new book, I set about incorporating the advice that had been passed on to me.

A few obstacles had appeared this week, so I wasn't as quick in my editing as I had hoped to be, but this morning I finished up the latest version of Crossfire. Knowing that I should read through it one more time, I decided to e-mail my editor to let her know that I would be resubmitting my novel to her tomorrow. Then I opened my e-mail. Among the two dozen other new unread e-mails was an e-mail from guessed editor. The subject line: woo hoo!

Of course, I had to open it up. Sure enough, it was the good news I was hoping for without even knowing it was possible yet. Crossfire has been accepted. Although publication dates are always prone to shift throughout the year, it looks like it will be coming out in January 2010, which is more than I could have hoped for.

So now I'm going to get back to reading through Crossfire one more time. And if all goes well, my editor will enjoy reading it tomorrow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mr. Sticky Guy

A question was posted to my online writers group today asking for advice on how to have a successful book signing. I am certainly no expert on how an author should act at a signing. When I have one, I see it as an opportunity to meet people. I might sell a book or three, or I might not, but I typically enjoy myself because I see signings as a social event.

Still, the question got me thinking...and remembering. Often when I go to a book signing, I take a little treat for the bookstore staff. After all, what success I've had is due largely to these people who have taken the time to familiarize themselves with my book and who are interacting with customers day after day.

Last August, I visited a lot of stores in Utah and Idaho. In the goodie bags I made up for the bookstore staffs were those little sticky men that you get in the party aisle in Wal-Mart. One of the books I was promoting was Freefall in which one of the main characters was literally trying to climb up the side of the building during a hostage rescue situation. I thought the little sticky guys would be fun and they actually had something to do with my book.

It turned out, I wasn't the only one who had fun playing with these little toys. Booksellers, store managers, other authors, patrons, and, of course, yours truly had a blast throwing these sticky guys at windows, walls and doors. Perhaps the best adventure with my creative gift came after I left a signing at the Seagull Bookstore in Taylorsville. Someone was playing with one of the toys and threw it too high...and it stuck to the ceiling. And didn't come down.

After a few days, I received an e-mail from Paige who was on staff there to tell me about a poll they were having about how long Mr. Sticky Man would stay up on the ceiling. Crystal, the manager, won that particular contest with her guess that he would stay there until he was removed by force. As far as I know, he's still there.

Ironically, when I went to a book signing in Spanish Fork in April, I looked up and guessed it...another Mr. Sticky Guy. Apparently, he too and ended up on their ceiling, also refusing to come down without being physically removed. I laughed when they opened up the latest goodie bag and found a second sticky man. This time I hadn't even left the store before Mr. Sticky Guy, Jr. had joined Senior up on the ceiling.

If nothing else, I have fun at book signings. And I'm remembered long after I'm gone!