Book signing at The Book Shelf in Tryon, NC

Saturday afternoon I had the privilege of having a book signing at The Book Shelf in Tryon, North Carolina. Penny Padgett, the owner had issued the invitation when I stopped by her independent bookstore in December to promote my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Janet with Penny Padgett, owner of The Book Shelf.
Janet with Penny Padgett, owner of The Book Shelf.

It was a beautiful spring day and a delightful day to travel to the edge of the mountains. Tryon is a lovely little town just off I-26 in Polk County. The downtown business district includes a number of interesting shops. The Book Shelf has been there since 1952.

Janet, autographing a copy of her book at The Book Shelf.
Janet, autographing a copy of her book at The Book Shelf.

After learning about my reading interests, Penny recommended three books to me, so I came home with three intriguing books — The Carolina Mountains, by Margaret W. Morley; A Passel of Hate, by Joe Epley; and The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas, by John Buchanan.

I had the pleasure of meeting Susan McNabb, an author from Asheville who lives in Tryon. Joe Epley also lives there, as do a number of other writers.

It was exciting to see young readers and middle school readers come into the bookstore and search the shelves for treasures to take home. It warms my heart to see children and youth who love to read!

Lunch at The Lavender Bistro, just a couple of doors from The Book Shelf on Trade Street was just as enjoyable as it was in December. If you are looking for a nice day trip, or somewhere to eat lunch and shop in a nice bookstore on your way to of from the mountains, I highly recommend that you get off the interstate and spend some time in Tryon, North Carolina.

Front door of The Book Shelf with a poster promoting my book signing.
Front door of The Book Shelf with a poster promoting my book signing.

How’s That “Writing Plan of Action” Working For You?

On January 18, 2015, I posted a seven-point “Writing Plan of Action” and promised an occasional update. It’s been a month, so I decided to assess how I’m doing.

(1) Schedule book signings/author events. I have scheduled a book signing on April 11 at 2pm at The Book Shelf in Tryon, North Carolina. I haven’t had any success with public library bookings. I’m not giving up!

(2) Continue to blog every day. I was doing very well with that until I read that I shouldn’t blog every day. (That was the one thing I thought I was doing right!) I’m struggling to find a schedule that suits me and will keep my followers interested. I have a lot of learn.

(3) Continue to research and write captions for a Piedmont NC vintage postcard book. I continue to work on that.

(4) Spend two hours each week building a list of places that might sell a Piedmont NC vintage postcard book. I haven’t kept a record of the time I’ve spent doing that, but I have worked on it a little.

(5) Continue to search for writing contests to enter or magazine articles to write. I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made on meeting this point of my plan. I have entered one contest and made a chronological list of more contests to enter this year. I’ll be ready in a few days to pitch an idea to Cobblestone magazine. I’ve written a piece about Maggie McCurdy that I hope the magazine will use in its March, 2016 issue. I wrote an article for Cobblestone in 2007 titled, “Aunt Lula Buys a Model-T.” Putting this “Writing Plan of Action” on paper nudged me into working on this aspect of my freelance writing.

(6) Set aside one day each week to edit my historical novel manuscript. This is where the wheels fell off the wagon. I have only worked on this one day in the last four weeks.

(7) If Arcadia Publishing rejects my author proposal for a Piedmont NC vintage postcard book, start in earnest to find a literary agent to represent me and my novel. I cannot submit a proposal to Arcadia until after February 25.

Overall, I’m pleased with what I have accomplished since making this writing plan. It definitely helps me to have a written plan. Based on this plan, I have made daily lists of things to do. I tend to be too optimistic and end up moving many items from one day to the next.

I will eventually get most things on the list done, and I will try not to beat myself up over the things left undone.

The Book Shelf in Tryon, NC

On the way to my speaking engagement at the public library in Canton, North Carolina on Monday morning, I dropped in on The Book Shelf at 94 North Trade Street in Tryon, North Carolina. A delightful independent community bookstore, The Book Shelf has been a fixture in Tryon since 1952.

I was thrilled to find two copies of my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on a shelf in the regional books section! With the front cover facing out, the book was quite eye catching. I was very pleased. Penny Padgett, the owner of The Book Shelf, was not in the store at the moment. Her employee, Judy, was very pleasant and welcoming.

Janet's Bk Trip to Mts. 12.14 003

With a recommendation from Judy, my sister and I enjoyed lunch just up the street at The Lavender Bistro. It was a lovely restaurant with an impressive menu.

After lunch, I returned to The Book Shelf and got to personally thank Penny Padgett for selling my book. She asked if I could come back next spring and have a book signing. I assured her that I would love to do that.

I couldn’t have been more pleased with how my morning and early afternoon went in Tryon. It was a great way to start out a two-day trip to the North Carolina mountains to publicize my book. I look forward to visiting The Book Shelf again.

The entrance to The Book Shelf on Trade Street in Tryon, NC.
The entrance to The Book Shelf on Trade Street in Tryon, NC.
Front window of The Book Shelf in Tryon, NC.
Front window of The Book Shelf in Tryon, NC.