Edith here, packing for a trip west.
We authors never want to fatigue you, our dear readers, with a constant barrage of “Buy my book! Buy my book!” Still – we want you to buy our books. So, beyond building community on places like this blog and our social media sites, and sharing each other’s happy news when it happens, we try to get creative about spreading the word.
Last year I wrote a post here about an article I’d written for Friends Journal, which reached many Quakers across the country. I also wrote about my interview published in the Indiana University Alumni Magazine, spreading the word about my Indiana-based series.
My trip west this week is in part to reach still another audience – readers in and near my home town in southern California. I was born in Pasadena, home of the Rose Parade, and I grew up a couple of towns south of there. Every February Temple City has the Camellia Parade, a mini version of the Rose Parade. Children’s groups like the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts build the hand-pushed floats made up of only camellia petals, stems, and leaves. Yes, camellias bloom out there in January and February.
Our driveway was usually a float-building site. My father would rig a couple of floodlights and the parents would put on the finishing touches far into the night. The next day I would march, uniformed and white gloved, with the rest of my scout troop behind our float.
The royal court for the festival is selected from the first grade, Well, guess what? Yours truly was a Camellia princess back in 1959 (yes, I am that old).
I’d lost touch with Debbie Becnel, my fellow princess, but we reconnected a few years ago on Facebook. She’s one of my biggest book fans, and we made a pact to ride in the parade as returning royalty this year.
No, we’re not going to wear gowns, but tiaras with our blazers and slacks is in the plan. Debbie designed an ad for us to put in the program book (above). Will it get me a few more readers and her a few more real estate clients? We hope so. And I know I am going to have fun reconnecting with Debbie even before we ride on the back of a convertible through town. I’ll also get to see a number of old friends and a few new writer pals, and refill the nostalgia well with the sight of mountains on the close horizon every day, something I still miss.
If you live in the Southland, I hope you’ll come to the parade and give me a wave and a shoutout!
Afterwards Hugh will fly out to join me and we’ll spend a week in Santa Barbara warming our feet. It’s actually a research trip for me to collect details, flavors, and views to enrich the manuscript of Nacho Average Murder, set in that fair city. And get more mountains!
Finally, Kensington has arranged for me to sign copies of Murder on Cape Cod in both the Glendora and Ventura Barnes & Nobles. All in all, I expect it to be a good trip. Now, where did I stash those sandals?
Readers: What about your home town? How do you feel about it? Do you live there, or go back? Sometimes, frequently, never?