Welcome Tonya Kappes…and a giveaway!

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!

CAMPER BANNER

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.

Tonya Family (6)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.

damesI 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. Tonya giveaway

133 Thoughts

  1. Hi from down under 😉

    I’m pretty sure these contests are normally only open to US residents but I loved the idea of mystery diner trains when I read the interview and decided to comment anyway. An idea that is totally unique. I love seeing authors do something that the general reading public just wouldn’t normally think of.

    Being in remote Australia it’s hard to get out and see my fave authors in the wild ;P But I love it when authors reply personally to a tweet or a facebook post. I had Jennifer Estep reply to a share I did of one of her releases that I enjoyed reading and it really made a difference.

    Kelly from OZ.

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  2. I connect with my favorite authors on facebook and author signings when they are within driving distance from me.
    Thanks for the chance.

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  3. I like to connect through Facebook, but I also sign up for their emails and do connect that way, kind of like what I am doing now.

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  4. Welcome to the blog, Tonya! The mystery train idea is a great one. We would be precisely nowhere without our readers, so it’s wonderful to celebrate them. And yes, the Wickeds are lucky to have each other.

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  5. I connect with authors through their blogs, on blogs such as this one and through Facebook. I have had the pleasure of attending 2 book signings and hopefully I will go to one in July.
    The train would be so much fun!!

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  6. I mostly connect on facebook with favorite authors, and I get introduced to new to me authors through a lot of those favorite ones. I have been to a few signings also and I found out about the train on facebook (all ready sold out). Thank you for the chance to win…

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  7. I connect through blogs via email. Also thru visits/signings at a local book store or my library. Love the Kenni books.

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  8. Welcome, Tonya! I love going to signings and hearing authors talk. Since I live near DC there are lots of them. The National Book Festival is an amazing opportunity to see lots of authors and it’s free!

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  9. I just remembered (a long-suppressed memory) the first author event I attended. Robert Vaughn (AKA Napoleon Solo from The Man From U.N.C.L.E) had written a book, in the 1960s, and he was holding a signing in Bloomingdale’s in New York (odd choice of venue, no?). Since I was visiting my grandmother, and she lived about three blocks from the store, we went. Never even got close to the author–there was a long line waiting, although more likely to see a TV star than to buy a book.

    At the other end of the spectrum, I stumbled over an author signing his children’s books at a card table in a chain bookstore at a local mall. It was sad: people made an effort to make a wide detour around him, and nobody even stopped to say hello.

    So meeting authors at signings can be a real mixed bag.

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  10. I connect with my favorite authors by Facebook, Instagram and some that I review their books I chat with them via email. I recently moved to FL and I understand that there are some big book events here and I hope to attend some to meet some of the authors that write the books I love and chat for a minute.

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  11. The Mystery Train sounds so fun! I have yet to attend a book signing; most here in Texas are in bigger cities like San Antonio, Houston, Austin, or Dallas. Those cities are a little too far for us to get to without having at least an overnight stay at dog-friendly hotel. Love the chance to win! Thanks, Tonya!

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      1. I see your sweet furbabies when I get on FB daily! I know how hard it is with you traveling right now with all the medical problem Scooter has been through! Have a fabulous day!

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  12. One of my biggest reasons for keeping Facebook is because of the connection to authors. It’s really a neat thing to be able to learn more about them and it kind of gives you a connection to characters in their books !

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  13. I connect through social media (facebook and instagram) as well as newsletters that I sign up for via my email.
    Welcome Tonya!

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  14. I enjoy the blogs where authors talk about their books and share interesting information. Some years ago, our book club had 4 authors do a presentation during our meeting and that was terrific. As a group, we hosted a meal for the authors and ourselves, then invited the public to listen to the author’s presentations. Dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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  15. I connect any way I can. I love Facebook. I went to Malice last year and am going to Bouchercon in the fall (and Malice next year). Your train event sounds fabulous, when it’s near me, I’ll have to look into it. I love getting newsletters, and I go to author signings when they are close by.

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  16. I love the idea of a mystery train! And Facebook makes it so easy to connect with readers and authors. I’ve also met a couple authors at book signing events. Such fun!

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  17. i connect via email and handwritten letter ( i love writing letter) but i would have loved to go on a train with you it seems wonderful

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    1. YES! I have a Mailbox Love list and send out birthday cards to all my readers. When I go out of town, I pick a handful of readers to send postcards. I love it too.

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  18. Before FaceBook, I wrote to the authors. Now, there’s so many authors on FaceBook, it’s so impersonal. I liked it better before when you could actually talk to them. As for book signings, there’s not too many around here. I know there’s one in Brattleboro, Vt. in the fall. But, if I forget to look for an ad, I miss it.

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  19. Facebook is how I like to connect. It is just so much fun to find new authors and connect with them and other authors I love.

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  20. I connect with authors through blogs, Facebook, and their newsletters. I am signed up for your event in Knoxville this year! I’m looking forward to it! It’s going to be so much fun.

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  21. For my, my only options at present are on Facebook or an authors blogs/newsletters. I’d love to actually love to meet my favorite authors in real life but my personal situation and finances just don’t permit. There haven’t been any book signings close to home and the one author event was outdoors in Chicago high heat and rain. Other events accessibility is a challenge. Things like older trains and boats don’t have to meet the ADA requirements to permit larger, heavy duty , individualized power wheelchairs. I keep hoping some day😱

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  22. I connect with my favorite authors in several ways. Number one being of course, reading their books! I also allow them on social media to keep up with what they’ve got going on. Sometimes I’ll send them messages on Facebook and Twitter. I get so excited when they respond !

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  23. I love connecting with authors on Facebook. Most of them give background into the books I love to read, which I really appreciate, plus I get to learn about them and their lives.

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  24. The train sounds fabulous.

    Mostly I connect with readers on Facebook, but it’s also nice to see them at events. Either small, like local events, or bigger conferences such as Malice.

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  25. I connect with my favorite authors mostly through Facebook and Tonya Kappes is my absolute most favorite of all time 🙂

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  26. Living in Iowa means very few authors travel to my area so facebook and Instagram are my go to places. I would love to go on a mystery train ride!

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  27. I go to book signings and author events. I love Tonya’s books and she is an amazing friend. I was in that wonderful picture above. We had an amazing time. Take the time to make these wonderful trips to join other book lovers and author’s. I also follow all author’s through social media.

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  28. I only connect on Facebook because I am handicapped and don’t travel.I would love to attend the gathering in Maryland in April or the train but just not possible.So glad there are groups on Facebook.

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  29. I really enjoy learning about the authors and chatting with them through facebook, their newsletters, blogs, and websites. Also on Goodreads.

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  30. I loved doing the trains in Europe. And I love your mysteries. That would be a fun mix. Thanks for the chance.

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  31. I would most like to connect through a signing, but my favorite authors don’t come to Utah. Lol, I’m driving to Denver next month to attend a signing…DENVER. I connect frequently through FB, blogs and email. I appreciate authors taking the time to visit with readers like me. It’s amazing to feel even closer to the characters we come to love.

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  32. I mostly connect with authors through Facebook but I also enjoy reading their newsletters & blogs. Thank you for the chance to win!

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  33. I use Facebook to connect with authors and some of them we actually email each other off of Facebook. I love to read what they are up to besides writing, learning about their families…especially the fur babies and what ever they feel comfortable sharing. After all we are all people, like to interact with others with the same likes. On that rumor Tonya, HOW far west is it? I live west for you. Thanks for a chance at a great prize.

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