ETSU Celebration of Books and Authors
edited: Monday, July 29, 2002
By CC Colee
Posted: Monday, July 29, 2002
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Mass Author booksigning was a lot of fun!
Just wanted to say that of the 102 authors that were at the ETSU Celebration of Books and Authors, PA was represented by 9. It was like a homecoming for most of us as we talked and laughed whenever we were in a cluster! You would have thought we had been friends from childhood instead meeting face to face for the first time!! What a weekend!
Where do we begin to tell you the fun, the camaraderie, the insight learned from this explosive weekend! We were absolutely floored with the number of books B&N had purchased for the event. We figured with the mass of authors, we'd sit with 20-30 books. As it was some authors had 25, some had 40. There were 75 copies of RB: The Widow Maker!! What a surprise!! You could have knocked us over with a feather!
There were school librarians who took advantage of the event to stock up their libraries. As for the readers who bought our book, they knew that they were getting the first of a trilogy and we plugged the second book, RB: The Enchantress. They said that they're looking forward to the rest. All in all, we were very pleased that we signed 15 books for just that day alone!! That's 1/5 of the day's supply!!
We know that there has been scuttlebutt about the book being "pricey", but apparently price did not matter. We have had folks come to our table (which was #25 of 56) with an armload of books or a basketful of books, bought ours and moved to buy others. We believe that price has no relevence....it's the product that draws them and the author that was there to represent it.
We were apparently a hit with our pirate outfits and our table display. We were dressed as the two main female characters in our pirate story. Cody was the runaway, Aubrey Malone, and Chris was the fearless Captain Mala. We decorated our table with small ships, a treasure chest with chocolate wrapped in gold foil that looked like coins (free for the taking), our banner with the RB logo that draws the eye, one of two swords (the other one was on Chris' waist sash), a long glass, a replica of double barrel pistol, a treasure chest with jewelry that can be identified from our book, and, of course, the book, RB: The Widow Maker. We'll send you a picture so you can see what we mean.
Speaking of pictures, we got on the Channel 5 (WCYB-TV) 11pm news that evening!!! Although the reporter did not speak with us, the cameraman pointed his camera at us and we waved. WOW!! That was totally awesome to see ourselves on the news show!!!
Other authors were impressed with our attention getters!! Who could merely walk pass a pirate to begin with, right? Some authors had backgrounds in the media as well as being university professors. We had one former Atlanta Journal writer come to our table and tell us that a good writer captures the attention of the reader not with the first chapter but with the first page!!! Wow! Then he picks up one of our books and says that he will see what our first page had to say. Of course, Chris picked up one too just to see for herself!! This professor smiled and said that we captured his attention with the first sentence!! Would we kid you?!?! No way! He not only said that but also proudly announced that he knows where he is and how he is feeling with that first sentence! Again, we could have been knocked over with a feather!
Another amazing thing for us was when we had "customers" that came our table and saw our name then said with some awe in their tone "So you are the two who write under a combined name!" Then they asked how we decided on pirates other than the obvious dressing up as our characters! Did we ever tell you that this whole trilogy came from a dream Cody had? That dream is a scene in the middle of the first book. That dream developed into three books and not just some short story!
Can you tell that we are still so excited over the whole experience? We made new friends with other authors who didn't just love our outfits but loved how we fed off of each other's enthusiasm. One husband and wife team said that the only thing they didn't argue about was their writings! After the husband introduced us to his wife, she looked at us and asked, "C.C. Colee? Why does that name sound familiar to me?" We looked at each other and shrugged....we're still scratching our heads. Are we making a name for ourselves already? So cool!!! During the reception ETSU hosted for the authors Friday evening, we had authors came up to us and ask which one of us was the real C.C. Colee! Of all the booksignings we have done together or separately, this weekend was by far the most exhilarating!
Though Andrea White could not make the Celebration, her husband came in her stead and he was absolutely wonderful. We never laughed so hard as he related some of his "war stories"! Our newest "best friend" from the PA authors is FE Mazur (SPINE) who calls us "Triple C". After the ETSU event, our families joined us and Frank for drinks and dinner.
Before we left Jean Flanagan, the coordinator of the ETSU Celebration, stopped by our table and personally asked us to come back next year. We told her that we had already put it on our calendar!