On Saturday, I did an event for Stampede at the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minnesota. Some of you might have seen on Facebook that I was freaking out because I saw online that they ordered a ton of books. A ton. Most bookstore signings (my own and other much better-known authors than me) have very few people show up. But my online friends calmed me down a bit. I was also nervous because I tend to do most of my promo events with Dara Dokas, my promo buddy and author of the charming Muriel’s Red Sweater. But I was doing this event by myself. School visits, no problem. Author conferences, no problem. But author events where the small audience is likely to be a mix of half other writers and half kids who happened to be in the store? Ack! Who do you present to?
Left to right: Carol Urdahl, Steve Palmquist, Vicki Palmquist, me, Jane St. Anthony
Photo: Maddie Salas
Well, I did survive the event, and Carol Urdahl, manager of the Red Balloon, made me feel so welcome. The crowd was small, as I assumed it would be. Author events–by BIG-name authors–are pretty common here. That’s wonderful, but it means that unless you’ve written a bestselling vampire series it’s pretty hard to impress people! It snowed earlier that morning, the first snow of the season here in the Twin Cities. I’ll just use that as my excuse. But those folks who did come out were supportive and encouraging and included writing friends, regular friends, and a few kids. Thanks, guys!
I did my reading for the kids (and the grown-ups were good sports and trumpeted like elephants, etc.), explained the animal props, and I even got to sign the author chair–recently signed by Gennifer Choldenko, Loren Long, Ingrid Law, and a few others whose signatures I couldn’t decipher! My daughter Maddie came along to help, and it was great to have someone else to hold up pictures as I read poems, pose like a walrus, take pictures, etc.
Besides her assistant pay, she scored hot chocolate before the event, creme brulee from Whole Foods (she’s been wanting to visit a Whole Foods because it’s always featured on Top Chef), and a plate of pasta from Davanni’s. The author event was apparently just a small detour in a food-focused day!
Click here or on the photo above to see my photo album (13 pix) of the event.
And, hey–I see Dara Dokas blogged about my author event, too!