Last night another author (David J. West) and I did a presentation at a local library. It was geared toward families, with me presenting Farm Girl for the kids, Uncut Diamonds for the moms and David presenting his debut novel, Heroes of the Fallen, for the older kids and the dads.
Several families, lots of kids, and a great time. Having raised ten children of my own in an environment of reading, books, writing and telling stories, I loved doing this event. It was the kind of thing my husband and I would have really liked coming to with our own kids.
It wasn't that successful sales-wise, but that didn't matter to me. Sales come and go, you win some you lose some. (Like followers lol, which I have just lost 2 in one week. What's going on with that?) What mattered was sharing the story of the little farm girl and the different life she had, with the country school, the differences in culture between then and now, and all that. What mattered was seeing how attentive these kids were to this story.
When I switched to the mom's part, I shared the story of how the cover of Uncut Diamonds came to be, then I asked how many were Irish? (None.) Raised Catholic? (None. And they're wondering what the heck I'm getting at. Good, I have their attention.) Then I say, "Looks like you're not my demographic. I've learned my demographic is Irish women raised Catholic. So you may not like Uncut Diamonds, but you can try it if you want." (Punchline. A lot of laughs.)
I'm here to tell you that this job (paid or not) can have unexpected rewards. There's more to it besides sales, selling books, money, success, fame, being on Oprah, having tons of followers on your blog (gosh, why did 2 leave me? What did I do? What did I say? Oh, please come back!) Wait-- where was I?
Right..uh...unexpected writerly rewards...and last night I experienced one of them at the community library in American Fork, Utah.
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf