Getting Chiseled in Granite

I left off the last post with a promise to tell a bit more about the trip to Minnesota for the Granite City Book Club. As I have been alluding to all during this long, strange book tour/promotion, I still can't believe I am part of it all.

Stearns History Museum
Now, before I get all puffy in the chest about my fan base, you have to understand that most of these venues are small affairs, with anywhere from 12-20 people. I'm not hiring security, there's no tour bus, groupies, and the only drugs involved are a couple of antacids on the bad days. I have no concealed carry for my own protection, and I never have a problem eating dinner out without getting interrupted for an autograph. It seems first-time small press, Midwestern authors are a few notches down from Clapton, Rush and Springsteen on the fame scale. In fact, they're off the scale altogether.

And I'm okay with that.

I am so happy to be doing what I'm doing, and hopefully it shows. The Granite City Book Club event was held at the Stearns History Museum in downtown St. Cloud. While the event was open to the general public, it appeared that it was attended mainly by club members, and that was fine. It turned out it had to be held in the lobby because the regular meeting room was prepped for a breakfast thing the next day. They had the lobby all decorated for the holidays and it worked out great despite the last minute change.

I gave my presentation which consisted of:
  • Introduction
  • Reading from Dirty Shirt
  • Slide presentation of pictures from BWCA trips and dad
  • Book trailer and description of the making of.
  • Reading from the next book
  • Closing comments and Q&A
The coolest part of this event was the great participation from the members. Because everyone had read the book, they not only asked good questions, but they told their own experiences of the Boundary Waters. I had an hour and a half to fill, and I filled it completely, which is always refreshing.

And before I knew it, the whole thing was over. I chatted with a couple of ladies afterward. One said she couldn't wait for the second book because she liked what she'd heard and she was a single parent of five sons. While this surely puts the pressure on to write faster, (it'll be a couple years is my guess) it was so great to hear that someone could already relate to the topic of the next book.

Another woman came up and said that while she liked the book before the talk, she liked it even more after the presentation I gave. She had no idea what this meant to me. It is so encouraging to know that my presenting, which I never considered a strength, actually helped make the book better for her. (As I do more of these presentations, I get increasingly more and more comfortable with each one. I daresay I actually kind of like them. Shudder.)

Because after all, here are a dozen people or so who are braving the dark bleakness of a central Minnesota winter evening to hear some stranger talk about a book. They were attentive, respectful and a whole lot of fun. There were no pyrotechnics, no busted up dressing rooms, no caviar and champagne, (though there was some wine) no sound checks, no beach ball bouncing through the crowd, no boring drum solos, no laser show and certainly no Pete-Townsend guitar smashing.

Nevertheless, the whole affair was a dream come true and I hope it, and things like it, continue well into 2015. I would like to thank the members of the GCBC for being such gracious hosts and making me feel welcome and part of the group. They told me to come back when the next book is out, and I will be sure to do just that.

Blogging off...


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