I’m pleased to announce that not only did my second proof copy of Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 2 arrive in a timely manner, but it was also in fairly good order!
The cover is now a reddish-brown instead of dark brown. (I don’t think I’ll try to self-publish any more books with a red cover! We all learn from our mistakes.)
There were still a few formatting errors that resulted from the last “chapter” (my research notes) being almost 30,000 words in length, but at least Carl Higgins’ World War II B-26 bomber was flying horizontally on page 467.
Although the manuscript was proofread and corrected several times, three typos got past me. I strive for perfection, but I’ve yet to see a perfectly printed book. I can live with three typos in a 536-page book.
Available on Amazon!
Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 2 is now available in paperback and for Kindle from Amazon. Click on https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BW2QMLHC/ for the paperback or click on https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BXBQ1F79/ for the Kindle book. I shortened the Amazon URL so they wouldn’t look so intimidating. If they don’t work, just put the name of the book in a search on Amazon.
Available soon at Second Look Books!
The paperback book will be available in a few weeks at Second Look Books in Harrisburg.
The first issue of my newsletter!
Those of you who read my blog post last Monday and subscribed to my newsletter before March 1, received the first issue of the Janet Morrison Books Newsletter (clever name, eh?) on Friday. I hope you enjoyed the variety of information it contained.
If you’ve read my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, you were able to answer the trivia question near the end of the newsletter.
Please subscribe to my newsletter & receive a free short story!
I’m working hard to get my writing career off the ground, so please subscribe to my newsletter. I plan to send out a newsletter every other month, so be sure and visit my website, https://www.janetmorrisonbooks.com and subscribe so you won’t miss another issue. You’ll also receive a downloadable copy of my short story, “Slip Sliding Away: A Southern Historical Short Story.”
Thanks for being on this journey with me!
All these recent accomplishments are the culmination of a lifetime of studying local history and learning how to research and document it and 22 years of studying the craft of writing.
It’s been a bumpy journey. Thank you for having faith in me and offering encouraging words along the way! I have some loyal lifelong friends and just as loyal friends I’ve made through my blog and Facebook. I value each and every one of you.
Buckle up! I’m just getting started!
I’m working on a family cookbook, more historical short stories, and an historical novel. With my two local history books and first short story published, I look forward to concentrating on my fiction writing.
Until my next blog post
I hope you have a good book (or historical short story!) to read.
What comes to mind when you hear author’s platform? Two-by-fours and a hammer? Actually, it’s how an author connects with his or her audience.
I’ve been trying to build my author’s platform for years, but building a name for myself as a novelist before any of my novels are published has been a challenge. I could probably write a book about how not to build a author’s platform.
Six months or so ago I made the decision to publish my local history books before concentrating on my historical fiction writing. I reasoned that proving to readers that I’m somewhat knowledgeable about history would lend credence to my historical short stories and historical novels later. That remains to be seen, but I hope I made the right choice.
I’m not tech savvy. I tend to procrastinate, especially when it comes to doing things out of my comfort zone.
Where is my comfort zone? It’s sitting in the chair at my computer desk doing research, reading about how I can improve my writing skills, and writing.
My comfort zone is not talking on the phone, trying to figure out something clever and helpful to Tweet, Instagramming (I have an account, but I’ve never used it), Tweeting, or Facebooking. I tend to go down rabbit holes when I get on Twitter or Facebook, so I’ve been using them less and less recently. I like Goodreads.com, but I don’t interact much with other readers there.
I started writing this blog post months ago. I’ve scheduled it and rescheduled it more times than I want to admit. Today is the day for it to see the light of day. It’s all part of my journey as a writer.
In a nutshell, Ms. Norman’s blog post opened my eyes to the fact that as a writer I don’t want to attract every reader and, specifically, I don’t want to attract everyone to my website. She presented four reasons, but the thing that really grabbed my interest was in the introduction. Ms. Norman said about many writers, “They have a unique take on life and story. But they also want everyone to like them.”
She then makes her point by quoting from the book of Revelation in the Bible, chapter 3, verses 14-16: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”
It doesn’t get much clearer than that!
Instead of being neither cold nor hot – by not stating clearly on my website what I write and why I write it – no one knows enough about me and my writing to know if they like me and my writing. In that situation, they’re likely to move on to another website – one they can identify with.
Joel Friedlander’s Perspective
On WriteToDone.com, Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com wrote in the Creating Author Websites: The Definitive Guide | WTD (writetodone.com) post, “The key things to consider when building an author platform are the persona you plan to inhabit; consistency of message, branding, and tone; and focusing your efforts on the places and methods of communication your specific readers prefer.”
Kimberly Grabas’ Helpful Articles on the Topic
Kimberly Grabas puts lots of helpful articles about the craft and business of writing online. One of her pieces that appeared to be written just for me was titled, “How to Build a Writer’s Platform with No Time, No Credentials and No Book.” Here’s the link to it on WriteToDone.com: How To Build A Writer Platform | WritetoDone.
Reading that article recently helped me to at least get my writer’s platform back on my radar. Here are my thoughts on the topic.
Reading Ms. Grabas’ article inspired me to do better. At least, I did better for a little while. The first thing she addressed was “No Time.” I thought about skipping that section because time is not my problem. I have plenty of time, but I decided to read that section anyway.
Glad I did. It wasn’t about trying to write a novel while also having a full-time job, which was my assumption. You know what assuming will get you! What Ms. Grabas was talking about was committing time to building your writer’s platform.
The nitty-gritty of what she said is that I need to get out of my comfort zone and put in the work and the time. In other words, it means I need to schedule and commit to time for social media. It also means I need to toot my own horn and make my goals known.
Truth be known, I spent last summer with daily and weekly to-do lists regarding my writing. I tried to Tweet on a schedule. I hated the whole process, so I failed miserably.
On the other hand, it seems like the last couple of months have been consumed with getting my new website up and going. That means learning a lot of new technology so I can answer the website developer’s questions and supply him with what he needs from me.
Before that, I learned how to use Atticus.io to format a book to publish on Amazon. I also learned on BookBrush.com how to create a book cover, a QR code, memes, and bookmarks. I’ve learned more technology in the last six months than in my entire life up to that point. Of course, my technology bar was set very low.
More on social media later in this blog post.
Next, Ms. Grabas addressed “No Credentials.” She said a writer needs to “focus on earning credibility by providing useful content to your audience.”
I think I’ve been going about this all wrong. I’ve been thinking I didn’t have anything to offer another writer. It’s not about me! I need to spend more time writing reviews of the books I like and letting those authors know I enjoy their work.
Writing blog posts about the books I read isn’t enough. I’ll continue to do that, but I need to write more reviews on Goodreads.com, Amazon, and public library websites.
Since I’m writing historical fiction, I need to find my target audience. To do that, I need to figure out where they hang out. I need to learn which keywords they use when they’re looking for 18th century American historical fiction and use those keywords in my blog posts and Tweets. I need to find out what my target audience wants to read and then write it. Since this is the genre I like to read, I should be able to figure it out.
My first thought when I got to that section of Ms. Grabas’s article was, “Yes. The only books I’ve published are Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1; The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina (a vintage postcard book); three Morrison genealogy books (along with my sister); and several booklets related to the history of Rocky River Presbyterian Church. Until I publish my first novel, how can I establish my writer’s platform?
Ms. Grabas explained that it’s not about selling books, it’s about forming relationships, defining my author brand, and locating my potential readers.
These six items were my takeaways from Kimberly Grabas’ article:
4. Start building my author email list for my newsletter;
5. Determine where my target audience hangs out on social media;
6. Hang out where my target audience hangs out.
First things first
#3 – I’m in the process of having my website redesigned. I have a new direction for my writing and it was time for a fresh look. Look for the unveiling of the new website in early February.
#4 – As soon as my new website goes live, I’ll start actively building my email list. Stay tuned. There’ll be a free gift for everyone who signs up, but please wait until I announce the new website is up and running.
#1 – I hope my new website will go a long way in defining my author brand.
#2 – My reader is someone interested in history – primarily in American history. As I turn from creative nonfiction, such as my local history books, to fiction, you’ll find that I’ll concentrate on southern historical fiction. When we peel away all those layers, my reader is someone who loves to read southern historical fiction.
That leaves #5, and #6. I’m learning where that lover of southern historical fiction hangs out and I’m making an effort to hang out at the same places on social media.
In a future blog post I’ll share Colleen M. Story’s perspective on the topic of author platform and Penny Sansevieri’s thoughts on how to balance the venues I should focus my efforts on.
Since my last blog post
I’ve learned more technology as the process of having my website redesigned is progressing. My brain hurts from all this new knowledge. I hope I can remember how to do a fraction of it.
I’m still formatting Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 2.
Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 continues to sell well on Amazon and at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, NC.
Where did January go?
Until my next blog post
I hope you have a good book to read. I’m listening to The Diamond Eye, by Kate Quinn.
I’ve tried to camouflage my New Year’s Resolutions by calling this blog post “A Look Ahead to 2020” or “Physical, Spiritual, and Emotional Balance in 2020,” and finally, “Contentment and Peace in 2020.” I’m sure no one was fooled.
The title “A Look Ahead to 2020” seemed less daunting, less frightening, less set in concrete than “My New Year’s Resolutions.” “Physical, Spiritual, and Emotional Balance in 2020” sounded too braggadocious.
The more time I spent contemplating and writing today’s blog post, I realized that by addressing four or five areas of my life, perhaps I can find a higher level of peace and contentment 2020. I concluded that is “the bottom line.” That is what I’m trying to attain in the new year.
I live in a peaceful community and a peaceful home. I’m on solid ground in my faith. I don’t yearn to have material riches. As long as I have the basic necessities for life, in that regard, I am content.
What are some things I can address in 2020 in order to find a higher level of contentment and peace?
Get My To Be Read (TBR) List Under Control
There are 302 books on my “want to read” list on Goodreads.com. This is ridiculous! Back in October, I read a good blog post about how to attack one’s TBR. We’ve followed each other’s blogs for a year or so. She is black; I am white. She is a young adult college student; I’m 66 years old. What we have in common is a love of books.
On October 14, 2019 she wrote the tenth in a series of blog posts about tackling her TBR. I should have heeded her advice that very day, but I have procrastinated. (No one who knows me well will be surprised by that admission!)
Her October 14 blog, https://educatednegra.blog/2019/10/14/down-the-tbr-hole-10/comment-page-1/#comment-3704, resonated with me. I like her suggestion for purging one’s TBR by reading the Goodreads synopsis of a few books at a time on your TBR. After reading the synopsis, you’re bound to be able to delete some of the books from your list. As I scan down my TBR, there are many books there for which I have no idea now why I ever put them on my list. If I no longer know why a book is on the list, perhaps it’s time to delete it and get rid of the clutter.
If you haven’t discovered the beauty of Goodreads.com, I invite you to check it out the first chance you get. It’s a place where readers and writers cross paths and readers like you and I (not professional book reviewers) rate books on a one- to five-star scale and can leave an optional review. You can keep a list of books you want to read and a list of the books you’ve read.
Conclusion: Zone in on what I want to read.
Find My Niche as a Blogger
The title of my blog is “Janet’s Writing Blog,” but it seems like more and more it has become a blog about my reading to the neglect of my writing. That is a direct reflection of my life this fall as I spent more and more time reading and less and less time writing.
By falling into the habit of blogging about the books I read one or two Mondays each month, my reading for pleasure has almost become my job. I refuse to let that happen! To address this in 2020, I need to reevaluate how I approach my blog. This is not a contest. The one who reads the most books does not win.
I usually challenge myself to read a certain number of books each year. It gives me a good feeling for a few seconds when I reach my goal; however, I’m setting myself up for failure by making a goal of reading an arbitrary number of books. Why do that?
Conclusion: Make a new editorial calendar for my blog for 2020. Would my blog posts be of higher quality if I blogged twice-a-month instead of four- or five-times-a-month?
Get My Novel on the Road to Publication
Those of you who have followed my blog for the last decade have probably given up on ever seeing my novel as a real book you can hold in your hands and read. You aren’t alone. Many days it seems like a “pipe dream” to me.
“Get my novel on the road to publication” can mean many things. What that meant to me a year ago was the following: get my novel manuscript into the hands of a literary agent who will put it in the hands of a publisher. After all, I’m not getting any younger.
Over the last several months I’ve started questioning my motives. Few authors get rich. I don’t aspire to become rich. I’m content to have what I need to live a life free of fear of ending up homeless and free of worry of being a burden to my family.
What I have come to realize recently is that I am equally afraid of failure and success. Does that sound crazy? I fear rejection, which is inevitable. My fear of success, though, is equal to – if not stronger than – my fear of failure.
My fear of success stems from my physical health and limitations. When my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, was published in 2014, I pushed myself to make presentations at libraries and bookstores and to make “cold calls” at bookstores to introduce my book to store management. I traveled throughout the piedmont and mountains of North Carolina doing that. Do I have the energy now to do that again?
What publication of my novel looked like for the last 10 years might not be what it looks like in 2020. I’m working through that.
Conclusion: Ask myself WHY I want my novel to be published. Figure out what my novel can look like without the pressure of meeting deadlines set by a publisher. I’ve shied away from self-publishing because I wanted the stamp of approval of a “real publisher.” Self-publishing deserves my attention as a viable option. I need to get my novel published or stop talking about it.
Make Time for Hobbies
I have varied interests. Although I’m retired, I still can’t seem to find time to sew, quilt, play the dulcimer, work on genealogy, knit, crochet, do needlepoint, and cross-stitch. This needs to change.
Conclusion: “Schedule” time for my hobbies instead of leaving them to chance. I’ll be a more interesting person if I do that.
Find Contentment and Peace
I seek contentment and peace. In the above list, one item sort of led to the next one. By the time I got to “Make Time for Hobbies,” I concluded that if I do what I’ve proposed today, I will surely find a higher level of contentment and peace in 2020.
Until my next blog post
I hope you have a good book to read. I’m listening to Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark T. Sullivan. With only two of 14 discs remaining, I hate to see the book end.
If you’re a writer, I hope you have quality writing time and attain your writing goals – however small or large they may be.
Thank you for reading my blog today. You had many things vying for your time, but you took a few minutes to read my blog. Thank you!
Let’s continue the conversation
How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions?
What brings you contentment and peace?
I wish for each of you to have contentment and peace in 2020.
Writing keeps me humble. There are words I worry about now in my writing that I used to not be concerned about. Since I’ve claimed aloud to be a writer, I feel the spotlight on all my written words. Sometimes I come up short.
Memory and Age
Memory and age begin to take a toll. Words that I used to spell or remember the definition of without a second thought now fall into the “need to look it up” category. Some words I’ve thought to be synonymous aren’t quite equal when examined. I continually learn of words I have used incorrectly all my life. It happens often enough that I’m losing my confidence.
Compare to / compare with – Compare to implies only similarity; whereas, compare with implies similarity and contrast.
Each other / one another – Use one another when more than two are involved. (Who knew?)
Jealousy / envy – If I am jealous of you, I resent your having something. If I envy you, I covet something you have. (I’ve didn’t realize there was a difference until reading Mr. Nichol’s article cited above.)
Since / because – As stated by Mr. Nichol in his article, “Informally, these terms are interchangeable, but in formal writing, since should be used only to refer to time.” (This one from Mr. Nichol’s article was new to me, too.)
Transcript / transcription – Mr. Nichol stated, “A transcript is a thing; a transcription is the process of creating it.” (I know I’ve been guilty of using “transcription” when I should have written “transcript.”
I need to keep Mark Nichol’s list of “50 Problem Words and Phrases” handy as I’m writing. The more I read about the sometimes subtle nuances of words, the less confident I am in my writing.
Self-Editing The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina
I’m having flashbacks of the days when I had to follow the 1,000+-page gold standard of American English, The Chicago Manual of Style, as I self-edited the manuscript for my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.* That’s when I began to realize that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.
Writing keeps me humble.
Until my next blog post
I hope you have a good book to read. (Among other things, I’m reading Camino Island, by John Grisham.)
If you’re a writer, I hope you have quality writing time and a better memory than I have for spelling and proper word usage.
*Shameless Plug: In case you haven’t purchased a copy of my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, please look for it at any independent bookstore. If it’s not on the shelf, please request it. If that doesn’t work, you can order it from Amazon.com.
On February 21 I posted a blog about some of the books I read in January. I think in the future I will blog about the books I’ve read in a given month at the end of that month or first couple of days in the following month. I have good intentions, but you know what they say about those!
“Exploring North Carolina” is one of my favorite shows on UNC-TV. The host, Tom Earnhardt, never fails to educate and entertain as he explores the varied and rich geography, geology, flora, and fauna of the state. Although the vast majority of my books come from the public library, Mr. Earnhardt’s book, Crossroads of the Natural World: Exploring North Carolina with Tom Earnhardt was a book I knew I wanted to own. It’s the kind of book from which one can learn something new every time it is read. As if I needed any encouragement to visit every nook and cranny of North Carolina, this book makes me wish I could spend all my time doing just that.
Now that Sue Grafton is nearing the end of the alphabet, I decided to start reading her books. I read A is for Alibi in January and plan to continue reading my way through her popular alpha series. I couldn’t help but notice how telephone communications have changed since A is for Alibi was published in 1982. It almost places the book in the historical fiction genre.
Another case that falls into the “so many books, so little time” category is John Grisham and his books. I finally got around to reading Gray Mountain. (Yes, Sycamore Row is still on my “want to read” list — which is growing far faster than I’ll ever be able to keep up with.) I thoroughly enjoyed Gray Mountain. I love the way Mr. Grisham gets his points across regarding social justice issues without beating us over the head. In Gray Mountain, he puts a human face on how surface mining has scarred so much of our nation’s coal-producing region.
I was delighted to win a copy of The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement, by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II with Johnathan Wilson Hartgrove. I participated in the Moral Mondays Movement in North Carolina in the summer of 2014, so I was eager to read Dr. Barber’s book. Even though I pride myself for staying informed about local, state, and national politics, Dr. Barber’s book opened my eyes to some historical connections that I had not made. This book shines a light on dirty politics in North Carolina but gives strong hope that this current grassroots movement will persist.
The Dark Road to Mercy, a novel by my fellow North Carolinian Wiley Cash, is primarily set in Gastonia, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is the sad tale of two young sisters abandoned by their father and then left in a children’s home when their mother died. Long lost Dad shows up and wants his daughters. Thus begins a tale that will keep you wondering what’s going to happen next and what the final outcome will be. If you want to read what inspired Mr. Cash’s book, read his author page on Amazon.com. I’ll be on the lookout for his next book.
David Baldacci’s The Guilty was the next book I read in February. Mr. Baldacci did not fail to give the numerous twists and turns for which he is known. This whodunit is a true page turner. As a Southerner, I think the accents were at times overdone, and I was surprised he made the mistake of having a character ask another character, “What do y’all want” when obviously speaking to one lone individual. Also, I’ve never heard a Southerner use the term, “Yous.” On a positive note, he did spell “y’all” correctly, which is something some Southerners don’t do. The deeper I got into the fascinating story, the less I noticed the vernacular. Not sure how I’d feel, though, if I were from Mississippi.
Perhaps I am just sensitive about the accents because use of accents and brogues in dialogue is something I’m struggling with in my fiction writing. I’m dealing with Carolina backcountry settlers from Scotland, Ireland, and France and slaves from Africa in my historical novel manuscript titled The Spanish Coin. Since I’m a novice writer, who am I to criticize someone like David Baldacci? I’m striving to strike a balance between giving characters authentic voices and overdoing vernacular to the point that it distracts the reader from the story. It is a writing skill I must master.
Now I’m afraid this post is too long. Do I need to blog about what I’m reading more often than monthly?
I have submitted my author proposal to Arcadia Publishing for a vintage postcard book covering the piedmont section of North Carolina. I sent the proposal to the acquisitions editor electronically a few minutes ago. It felt good to mark that as “DONE” on my to-do list. I have been doing the necessary research to write the postcard captions a little at a time, so I’m well on my way to having many of the captions written.
The book I have proposed to Arcadia Publishing should be a good companion book to my first vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I anticipate that it will cover 32 counties in central North Carolina. I proposed the following three chapters in the book: Metrolina, The Triad, and The Triangle.
I’ll post on my blog as soon as I know if Arcadia Publishing gives me the go-ahead to write The Piedmont of North Carolina.
With my “Writing Plan of Action” in place as of yesterday, today I turn my attention to striking a balance. I have the luxury of not depending upon my income from writing to keep me afloat. I would have drowned a long time ago if that had been the case! My income from writing thus far officially qualifies it as a hobby, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That means it does not matter how much writing puts me “in the red” financially; it’s just a hobby.
Don’t get me wrong; I would love to be able to make a living by writing. That’s what all writers dream of and aspire to, but few of us achieve that level of success. It would be marvelous if my historical novel manuscript, The Spanish Coin turned out to be “the Great American Novel,” but how often does that happen? I certainly won’t gain fame or fortune writing vintage postcard books like The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, but it is a thrill to see my name on a book as the author.
As I jump into my new “Writing Plan of Action” this week, I want to keep all facets of my life in balance. Writing and everyday life tend to leave no time for playing the mountain dulcimer. I’ll never become proficient at playing that lovely stringed musical instrument from the Appalachian Mountains if I don’t practice.
Playing the dulcimer a few minutes each day, studying the Bible, visiting the sick and homebound, walking the dog, quilting, sewing, doing needlework, and reading for pleasure are all things I need to make time to do. Those are the activities that tend to get squeezed out as I get absorbed by the self-imposed demand to write, write, write.
Tomorrow I will make yet another attempt to strike a balance in my life.
I finally got to visit Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh! What a wonderful independent bookstore!
I went in and introduced myself to Ted. I showed him my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and he immediately placed an order for several copies. They should be on the shelf at Quail Ridge Books & Music by now. If you live in the Raleigh area, please patronize Quail Ridge Books & Music and thank them for making my book available to their customers.
Quail Ridge Books & Music hosts an amazing number of author events. Perhaps someday I will be fortunate enough to be invited to have a book signing there. They had a display about upcoming author events. I counted 37 author events the store is hosting before the end of February. That is extraordinary!
My sister and I have enjoyed shopping at the used bookstore in Sylva, North Carolina, that is operated by the Friends of the Jackson County Friends of the Library. It is a marvelous store and the volunteers there are always very helpful and welcoming.
I knew there was another bookstore in the small town of Sylva — City Lights. We just never had taken the time to visit it. I’m not sure why. It is a gem and another example of a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains that supports an independent bookstore. I love the Indies!
We visited City Lights Bookstore in Sylva in December. I met Chris, the owner. There was only one copy of my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, remaining on the shelf. Chris asked me to autograph it. I was pleased to be asked to sign the book, although autographing my book is the most unsettling thing I do. It doesn’t look like the signature of an author. It lacks flair. It’s legible. It’s not pretty. It seems silly, but I think I need to practice writing my name. I have fairly good penmanship until I put pen in hand to autograph a copy of my book.
City Lights sells new books and used books. It shares a building with City Lights Cafe. In futures trips to Sylva, we’ll make time to visit both bookstores and give the cafe a try!
Most people take December 31 or January 1 to reflect on the last year. Leave it to me to wait a few days. I can procrastinate with the best of them! Looking back on 2014, I realize what an exciting writing year it was for me.
I celebrated the following firsts: (1) My first book, a vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, was published on August 25 by Arcadia Publishing; (2) My first author event was held at the public library in Harrisburg, North Carolina, on September 11; and (3) My first book launch was held on September 21.
In the last three months of 2014, I had additional author events at public libraries in Cabarrus and Haywood Counties, North Carolina.
Two whirlwind trips to the mountains of North Carolina in December to promote my book, to thank bookstore owners for selling my book, and to introduce my book to other bookstore and gift shop owners were my first forays into commercial book promotion.
In my spare time, I have done a bit of research in preparation for submitting an author proposal to Arcadia Publishing for a Piedmont North Carolina vintage postcard book in 2015, but most of my time has been spent promoting the Blue Ridge Mountains book. That book is my primary focus. I have two author events scheduled in April and May. With the holidays behind me, it is time to turn my attention to lining up additional author events this spring and summer.
Last week I took time to write a 1,899-word piece to enter in the Southern California Genealogical Society’s 2014 GENEii Nonfiction Writing Contest. I’ll talk more about that and my subject matter in another blog post this month. The winner will be announced on May 1, 2015.
Sometimes I don’t think I get much accomplished. It’s gratifying to take a few minutes on December 31, January 1, or even January 4 to remember what I did in the last year. Will I be as productive in 2015? Stay tuned!