Part of a novelist’s job is promoting, and promotion took more time than usual this fall. After all, the approach of winter was a good time to talk about my last book, Show Me the Sinister Snowman.
Reminder: Still time to buy a copy as a Christmas gift.
Most of my promotion is more subtle than that. For example, in October I took a mental vacation from being an author and prepared a lecture on novels that have had an impact on society for the local Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Naturally I gave attendees an opportunity to buy copies of all seven of my novels.
October is prime conference time. I served as a panelist and a panelist/moderator with some of my favorite writers, including Kent Krueger, at Magna cum Murder in Indianapolis. That enjoyable (and tax deductible) annual event offers opportunities to have in-depth conversations with other writers and with readers.
The last weekend in October, I split my time between the regional library’s Local Authors’ Day and the innovative ShowMe MasterClass co-sponsored by the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers’ Guide and Mizzou Publishing. My contributions to the latter were mentoring two aspiring novelists and speaking on polishing a manuscript.
In November I used my leftover research on Thunder Beneath My Feet to give a talk about the disastrous New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812 at the Senior Center. I’m afraid my descriptions and anecdotes alarmed them about the quakes to come (no one knows when). Several vowed to modify their home insurance to include earthquake coverage.
A week later, I covered some of the same material and answered lots of questions in a long conversation with members of the Bookies, an enthusiastic book club. I never get tired of talking with readers.
Off and on through these and other events, I worked on polishing the manuscript of the first book in a new series. Appearances over and manuscript finished, I’m looking forward to my favorite season, working on my next mystery.