Sunday, February 8, 2015

Chasing Echoes Sweat Shop

That ridiculous grin above pretty much sums up how I feel about my book signing event. I honestly expected, like, five people to show up. Instead, it was a whirlwind of people! At the library. On a Saturday. The day before the Super Bowl. Who knew?  I will say that I would have been totally overwhelmed if my family wasn't there. Especially Shan, who handled sales while I was autographing books and interacting with visitors. My parents stayed the whole time too for moral support, and just having them there was awesome. I feel so grateful that I forever have this event banked as my "first" author's event, because as far as firsts go, this one rocked.

Note for next event though: Bring WATER. And maybe a snack. But mainly H2O. There was never a stopping point for me to fetch something to drink, and my throat was so dry by the end of the event that I'm sure I sounded like some hissing she-demon, or like I had sucked in sulfer hexafluoride (okay, clunky metaphor, but that gas has some pretty funny effects). After it was over, my family and a few friends went to Chili's for an early dinner, and the first thing I did was march to the bar and guzzle down a glass of water. Which is saying a lot because I really don't drink water, so a glass of water for me is like a pitcher for you (I did follow the water with a giant margarita chaser just to make things right with the world again).  

Now that I've made it through my first author's event, I'm chomping at the bit to do more. So Clint and I have been researching different possibilities for community events. Sadly there's not much in my neck of the woods, but starting in May, in my local mountains, there's THIS:

Okay, I swear I'm not a lush, even if my choice of book-promoting venues might beg to differ. Anyway, this event takes place the first Saturday of every month from May to October. Here's the description on the Chamber of Commerce's Calendar:

"Walk up and down Lake Drive through unique antique shops and artists' booths; stop, sit and enjoy tasty wines, beers and snacks while listening to music and enjoying the mountain air."

I REALLY want to do this. If I create some kind of crafty item to go along with my book, then I qualify to participate in this event as a vendor. So Clint and I came up with the idea of creating Sands of Time necklaces--each with a small bottle containing the same sand as the necklace that Uncle Kiel gave to Taz. Clint came up with a simple design that only costs us about $1.60 per unit to make, and each necklace would come with a small "ancient" scroll that tells the legend of the Sands of Time. In addition, my mother in-law is working on a prototype for some gorgeous stationery representing the four seasons. She's also making beautiful scented Krystal, Phoenix, Topaz, and Aviva soaps, each packaged with a seasonal charm. So we've got this crafty stuff covered. The problem is this Wine & Stein event is so NOT the target audience for my book. Originally I had imagined that anyone could walk into the event and peruse the various vendors, and that the wine tasting component was totally optional. This translated to families with kids/teens visiting my booth. But I just discovered that there is a $20 cover charge just to enter the event. Translation: No kids, no teens; not even young adults (how many 21 year olds do you know who go to wine tastings? They're still in the honeymoon phase with BARS). Basically at the core of it all this IS a wine tasting, so I'm totally bummed.

Even after discovering all of this, I might go to the first one anyway (there're six total), just because it sounds so cool. 

No matter what though, I still want to make all the crafty stuff. At the minimum I can still attend Jamboree Days in July, and Tumbleweed Days in September (it's not really called Tumbleweed Days, btw. I'm just in the habit of calling it that). Plus I love the idea of having little trinkets representing my book spread out on my table, just to highlight the whole homespun small-house publishing look. So Clint and I ordered our supplies, and sometime next week we'll start our own little Chasing Echoes Sweat Shop. I am SO EXCITED.

And based on the frozen shell-shocked stares coming from my kids, they are so excited too!

Wish me luck gluing stuff together. And finding more appropriate authors' events that don't involve stumbling through a mile of pine trees buzzed.