This was my view from the socially-distanced open-air front porch of the charming Sundog Books in Seaside, Florida. Not a bad day at the “office!” Have any of you been to Seaside?
It was truly one of the best book signings I’ve had. Not only did I sell out of the hardback copies of Exploding Hushpuppies, but the soft covers were almost gone by the end of my signing. (Don’t worry, they are ordering more!) In addition to the great sales, the people were all so happy! Happy to be out in the beautiful spring weather, happy to be away from masks (Florida is relaxed on this, plus we were all outside at the beach). The bookstore and most other businesses requested people pop a mask on before entering, and even provided masks, since many customers were walking straight over from the beach.
I met tons of out-of-area visitors from Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Tennessee, and the winner was . . . Kentucky. I think half of the Bluegrass State was in Seaside. They were all so nice.
My Dad’s family is from this part of Florida and I can remember visiting this exact area as a child when it was pristine. My grandparents would take me to nearby Grayton Beach State Park to swim and play in the white sand.
The week before my signing, the local newspaper, The DeFuniak Herald and Beach Breeze published a very nice article about me and the book. There isn’t an online version you can read, but believe me, it was a big help promoting my book. The editor, Bruce Collier, wrote the story and said . . . ” The collection is an astutely judged blend of comedy, reminiscence and insight. And yes, it is rather calming, the kind of calm that goes with fasting from social media, sitting on the couch and listening to Debussy or Dolly Parton.” – Isn’t that wonderful?
To promote a new book, or any kind of business during a pandemic has been tough, but my readers have come through for me and been a huge help.
I appreciate everything you’ve done from sharing the posts from this blog, my Facebook page and Instagram. You’ve let me know that you’ve called your local bookstores to request they stock the book and it has all paid off. I get notes from new readers who have discovered Exploding Hushpuppies as well as my first book, The Majorettes are Back in Town — which is suddenly selling like hot cakes again! Hard work and nice readers have overcome the lack of in-person book signings, and I’m so grateful to all of you.
This is a note from one reader: “I was given your book Exploding Hushpuppies as a gift and have been delighted by your voice of hope and family values. It has been a refreshing break from the negativity I see everywhere.”
If you are vacationing on the Florida Panhandle, stop by Sundog Books. You’ll not only find both of my books, but many other wonderful treasures as well.