Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Holiday Author Event: People, Pitches, and Panaché

Book lovers, authors, friends and family converged on The Pressroom in downtown Phoenix this past Saturday afternoon (12-06-14). When we arrived at the parking lot next to the venue, we noticed some streets were blocked off with orange cones. It turns out the city of Phoenix started early to block streets for the Electric Light Parade taking place that evening. In addition there was at least one auto accident nearby that closed an intersection briefly. Roadblocks couldn't keep away people hungry to meet authors, buy books and get them signed and soon the large space was filled! You can get an idea of the size of the hall from the picture above taken before the doors opened. 

 My husband Frank agreed to be my side-kick and cashier for the day. In keeping with the Arrowstar Series theme of the Wild West, Frank dressed cowboy style and donned a black cowboy hat with a silver band. One of my friends commented on a photo she posted on her Facebook page that even though he wore a black hat, there was nothing sinister about the Italian cowboy.

Seventeen people entered the drawing to win the complete Arrowstar Trilogy, and I happily delivered the trio to the winner on Monday. Besides the drawing generating interest in the books, two big posters flanked our six-foot table. One sported the Arrowstar arrow from the book covers and advertised the drawing, while the other showed the horsewoman slinging her rope from the cover of The Storm Women, inviting event-goers to Join the Adventure!

Gathering almost 70 authors in one place for a huge event such as this one is the brainchild of Laura Orsini, a marketing guru and leader of the Meet-Up Group, Phoenix Publishing and Book Marketing. Her husband, Mickey serenaded the gathering with his own guitar accompaniment, and Molina’s of Scottsdale made lunch a real treat with several kinds of burritos and rice and beans alongside tortilla chips. Drinks for the crowd were plentiful from the bar at the back of the hall.

My first book signing ever gave me a chance to think up some witty one-liners to use with my signature on the front page of the Arrowstar books. My favorite one is short and sweet, Giddyup! I enjoyed personalizing books for readers, and I sold more books than I had anticipated! A very nice woman who shall remain nameless found a comfy couch out of the hubbub of the room and began reading Arrowstar, the first book in the series. My first reaction was one of sheer terror that she wouldn’t like it, but she kept reading for quite some time. Whew!

Getting ready for the event, publicizing it and interacting with readers all day long falls under the category, “Take a chance; amaze yourself.”  I certainly ranged outside my comfort zone in many ways. The experience brought me face-to-face with readers, and for that opportunity, a little discomfort was well worth it!

Today’s Tidbit: Authorship requires far more than mastering the craft of writing.

Read On!!

Cheryl (aka C. K.)

Photos by Frank Del Monte and Dianna Renfrow