I so appreciate those who have continually had faith in my writing abilities, even when I was doing nothing to earn it. My husband. My kid. My mom, dad, and stepdad. My inner circle of friends. Debbie, Stephen, and Sue, and the few of you who have been reading this blog.
And my county’s local farmer’s market lovely coordinator who sent me an email back in October that started with …
It is that time of year again where we would like to invite you to participate in our Annual Author’s Day event at the Farmer’s Market!
… despite the fact that I haven’t participated since 2012 and I’ve politely declined every year since, so I appreciate her not crossing me off the list!
I’ve participated in this event twice. I can’t remember my first year despite scouring my photo and document files for any proof. Maybe in November 2010 since I had just signed a contract with Farrar, Straus, Giroux for my second novel, Just Flirt?
Wow. Look how young I looked! #iwouldkillforthatskinagain
Anyway. Moving on.
I do have photographed evidence of my second time in 2012, the year Just Flirt was published, and it was lovely! My husband joined me, I decorated my table with cute autumn decor, we chatted with other local authors, and we shopped at other vendors, buying fresh bread, goodies, and early Christmas presents.
But after 2012, I’ve never been back.
Some years, I did have a good excuse.
Six of those ten missed years were because of runDisney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend being held that same weekend. Covid knocked out 2020. But here’s the truth:
Even if I could have gone … I wouldn’t. Because in my mind …
What’s the point if I didn’t have a new book to promote?
Why go if it’s been ten years since I’ve last published a novel? And who will care about my two books that are now sixteen and eleven years old?
See, in my warped mind, my author card had long expired, not available for renewal until I publish another novel. It’s the same with running or any kind of identity label. Despite me running a full marathon, (that was part of a four-day, 48.6-mile challenge,) and the fact that I’ve completed nine marathons total, I’m now having a hard time calling myself a true “runner” since I’ve been on a training break since September.
But none of this is true.
The only person who can define my identity is ME and nobody else. And according to a quick Google search…
To date, I’ve written fourteen novels, some of them edited, some of them in rough draft, some that have a future and some that shall remain buried forever.
Authoring fourteen novels surely qualify me for the title of Author.
And if that’s not good enough for anybody else … well, screw them.
Besides. I am working on a six-book series based off some delightful characters, The Gray Widows, from my first novel, Beauty Shop for Rent that I plan on self-publishing in upcoming years. And like my husband pointed out, the author event would be a great time to gather email addresses from potential readers for my newsletter, so they can be notified when the first novel, Beauty Shop for Sale, is being released.
So. Instead of responded to the farmer’s market coordinator with my usual, “Thank you so much for thinking of me, but unfortunately, I cannot attend this year’s event,” I sent back an enthusiastic…
Yes, thank you! I will be attending!
And I also bought myself a Taylor Swift inspired tee-shirt to wear for the event:
How did it go?
As usual, I was late, but to my delightful surprise, I was seated beside two dear friends, Edie Hemmingway and Lois Szymanski … two AMAZING writers, who I haven’t seen in about ten years! It was so fantastic being able to catch up with them!
I had to buy their latest books, Edie’s The Smudge of Smoke, and Lois’s, Chincoteague Pony Tales Volume 1 and Volume 2! I also met a local freelance editor who edits women’s fiction that I’m definitely looking into. How cool would it be if this event is how I met a future editor?
My wonderful husband was a huge support … as always … by helping me set up, getting me coffee and lunch. It was lovely chatting with him!
My tee-shirt? A bit hard to read but still fun!
I also snuck a little work in during slow times, like for this blog post!
As for book sales … I did okay! A total of twelve priced at a low $5.00 per hardback since my inventory of remaindered copies is huge and I will be purchasing new covers next year for the eBook versions. My goal wasn’t to sell lots of books … it was a way to get back into the game, mentally and physically. And I got four email addresses for my newsletter, so mission accomplished!
So, thank you, Carroll County Farmer’s Market, for hosting such a lovely event for local authors! It was very much appreciated, and I look forward to coming back next year … with some new books!