Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Five-Star Author Fair Experience

Today marked my FIRST public appearance as an author at the Land O' Lakes Public Library Author Fair.

In preparation for this event, I had ordered copies of the novel (ten), had T-shirts made, and last night, I printed some 11x17 signs for the table. Included in my stuff to bring would be my framed poster of the novel's cover, my Intuit credit card reader for my phone, and an open mind.

The experience didn't disappoint. I walked into the library and saw a small square of tables covered in white paper tablecloths, each with two chairs and a book holder. I met Michele Laney, the Public Services Librarian, and my contact. She handed me my name plate and showed me where I could get complimentary coffee, something not available to library patrons--only to authors.

After setting up my table, I took a walk around and introduced myself to my literary colleagues. Seated next to me was George Mavro, who writes military alternative history fiction (Operation Medina--The Jihad, Operation Medina--The Crusade). He and I spoke at length about our books, a little about politics, and even future plots for our sequels. It was nice to have the opportunity to talk to someone who had been doing this for a while so I could get some wisdom from a veteran.

Another writer, JM Bolton, another fantasy/sci-fi author like me (The City of Three Moons, The Alien Within) was quite gracious, and we chatted a bit about our respective works. She loved the cover art of Task Force: Gaea, so I told her I would give her Michael Hamlett's information. [On a side note, the poster was a HUGE hit. It definitely attracted attention to the book.]

One of the authors, Lekisha Spletzer, spoke with me about how much she loved Greek myth, and we talked about our works. She had four young ladies with her, probably early teens, who were also characters in one of her works. Kisha gave me some great information about where to get cards made up, how to price my Kindle/Nook versions, and about Necronomicon in St. Petersburg, FL. Then, she asked if I would be interested in being on her radio talk show via the Internet. I look forward to that experience.

Some former students visited: Leslie Rosado, Danté DiSabatino, and Megan Zarek (Leslie had a copy already and wanted it signed; the latter two purchased copies of the novel). Gracie Pine, a current student, visited, and she told me she'd buy a copy as soon as she had the money. I told her, "No worries. I know where you'll be until May 23rd."

Neighbors Jill and Jamie Sculerati paid a visit, and I signed a copy to their daughter. And, I finally got to meet my neighbors, Harriet and Richard Sava, who bought two copies: one for them, and one for their son, Mitch.

All in all, a fantastic experience to network, see some familiar faces, and get my name (and Task Force: Gaea's) out there. Now, I have some cards to make and some other things in the works, so if you'll excuse me, I'll get started! :)
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