Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bookstore Event Successful Despite Universe Conspiring Against Author

In the past year I've given workshops, spoken on panels, been the invited author for book clubs, and given talks to community groups, but until last Thursday night, I'd never been a featured author for a bookstore event.

If you've read my previous blog post, you'll know that the date chosen, September 8th, turned out to be a problem. To start with, I found out that it was the first game of the season for the Green Bay Packers, and if that wasn't bad enough, someone reminded me there was a presidential address that evening. I was a little panic-stricken that no one would show up and I was starting to regret all the times I didn't go to my friend Michelle's when she had product parties. I've always hated those things.

Also, one friend had a dance lesson and another had tickets to see a production at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Who knew I had such interesting friends?

The plan that evening was for my mom and I to drive down and pick up my husband from work along the way. Greg had carpooled with a friend that morning (the friend drove) so this worked out perfectly. As we headed down I94 East there was a definite snag in traffic right before....the Stadium. Yes, there was also a Brewers game.


When we arrived at Boswell Book Company one of the staff said that if not many people showed up, I shouldn't take it personally. She said they'd even had to change the time of an upcoming Jeffrey Eugenides visit so it wouldn't coincide with the Packers-Viking game. We're in Wisconsin. That's just how it is.

At about twenty minutes before the hour there were only a handful of people there, but bit by bit more and more came until finally there was a respectable turnout--maybe 25 or so? A good many friends came, including Michelle, who apparently doesn't hold grudges, and quite a few people I didn't know showed up too. Stacie from Boswell introduced Judy Bridges, who introduced me (I'm still blushing from all the nice things she said), then I read, and I'm happy to say it went well. The audience laughed at the humorous parts. The Q&A morphed into a really fun group discussion. As far as I'm concerned, the evening was a success.

Greg got home in time to see the second half of the game and the Packers defeated New Orleans 42-34. So that was good. (Unless you're a Saints fan, in which case--good game and better luck next time.)

Today I read on the Boswell and Books blog, written by owner Daniel Goldin, that my novels Easily Amused and A Scattered Life, occupied two spots on his list of store bestsellers for the week. Woo hoo!

Next week there will be a different list and my books will probably not be on it. But that's okay. For now, it's all good.


Ruth Harris said...

See? Even when the universe is Out To Get You, you triumph! You MUST be Doing Something Right! ;-)

Sean McCartney said...

Karen-Glad to hear things went well. Did anyone make a video? I would love to hear the Q&A. Congrats on everything and thanks for all the great advice.
I live in Ohio and a local indie bookstore will never have authors in when the Buckeyes or Browns play. I understand. :)


Karen McQuestion said...

Thanks, Ruth! If I can figure out what the something right is that I've been doing, I'll just keep doing it.

Sean, you're so high-tech that of course you'd think of having the Q&A filmed on video. I, however, did not think of that.

Basically we started talking about all the words and phrases that are specific to Wisconsin and the Midwest. It was quite an interesting discussion.

Jon Olson said...

Call it a tie:

Universe 1
McQuestion 1

Jon Olson
The Petoskey Stone
The Ride Home

Karen McQuestion said...

I'd be pleased to call it a tie, Jon.

BTW, my mom loved both your books and was happy to meet you in person. Thanks for coming out to the bookstore. I really appreciated it.

Debbi said...

LOL! You should feel ecstatic. 25 people is a HIGHLY respectable turnout. If you managed to draw more than 25, you're on fire, baby!

I say you beat the universe, hands down. :)

Bill B said...

Yep, I've gotta agree with Debi, you beat the U! Congratulations on a successful evening -- sounds like it was a great time for you as well as everyone there ツ

Karen McQuestion said...

Indeed it was, Bill. I was so worried about it that I think I enjoyed it more in retrospect than I did at the time....