Liz here, and I’m excited to welcome Tonya Kappes, author of the Camper and Criminals Cozy Mysteries, to the blog! Tonya and I met on Facebook, like many of us do these days, and then we discovered we had another connection – we’re both Gabby Bernstein fans. I love when lives intersect, don’t you? And today she’s talking about making connections with readers. Take it away, Tonya!
How do you like to connect with your favorite author?
Long before social media, I’ve been connecting with readers. Initially, it started out with a blog similar to the Wicked Cozy Authors. Actually, I didn’t even have a book contract when I joined, but I started my connection with readers.
It’s a connection that so hard to describe. Every decision I make in my travels or my author giveaway goodies, I think about the reader. When Facebook came along, it was a game changer for me. I was able to put faces to names and if I was going to a book signing, I was able to connect instantly with readers in that area.
As we all know, Facebook has changed a bit and with so many authors and so many groups, it can sometimes feel a little impersonal. That’s why I started my Cozy Krew reader group a few years back. I missed the small intimate group of readers where we discussed books and actually a lot of us became such good friends.
A couple of years ago, I’d gotten an idea about hosting my own reader event. It was something that truly popped into my head during a Kentucky snow day. It would be an event where it was just catered to the readers.
I wanted something different. Not just a book signing. Something fun for everyone and not to promote me. I wanted to celebrate the reader. It dawned on me that I can’t be everywhere at once, so I decided to host something once a year at a different location. The more I muddled the idea in my head, the more excited I got and started my search on mystery themed idea. After all, it had to do with mystery!
I came across mystery diner trains. How fun would that be???? I Googled these such events and quickly found out these trains can be rented out. You got a mystery theater along with a meal while riding on a train! Seriously….how fun is that????
It turned out to be a ton of fun! This year is my fifth year doing the train and I couldn’t be more excited to see the readers. The event has turned into a weekend of fun. The first night we all get together in the hotel and have a pizza party along with some sort of mystery game. The next morning we meet up for breakfast, maybe do a little sight-seeing in the town we are in before we head out to the train for the adventure. Afterwards, the readers can buy books or just hang out. It’s so much fun.
I think I get more excited about seeing my readers than they get meeting me. It’s magical! This photo was taken last year during the Two Dames on a Mystery Train event in Lockport, NY. This year we’re headed to Knoxville, TN….next year is rumored to be out west…but y’all know how small town gossip goes, right? Or is that just common in my southern mysteries?
If you’d like to check out Two Dames on a Mystery Train, please head on over to my website and click on the Two Dames on a Mystery Train tab. I’d love to have you come join us!
I’d like to thank Liz and the Wicked Cozy Authors for having me today. It’
s been a WICKED good time! And…I have to say (I told Liz this too), I’ve never connected to a group of authors and I’m a smidgen jealous with their amazing retreat. I think it’s so cool how much they adore each other and have each other’s back!
Readers, how do you like to connect with your favorite authors? Leave a comment and win a print signed copy of DEAD AS A DOORNAIL and a bag of IT’S A SOUTHERN MYSTERY, Y’ALL goodie bag.