This morning I noticed with much appreciation that a visitor to my AuthorsDen listing had clicked on My Blog site sometime between midnight last night and eight o'clock this morning. However, I must confess that the unfortunate Internet nightowl was gravely disappointed (at least I hope that he or she was disappointed, or maybe even just a little bit) by the blank space found there. Hopefully, she or he went to the many other listings on the site that I try to keep updated on a regular basis.
You see, I have never blogged. I am a forty-plus year-old virgin. My excuse has been that every spare writing moment is needed to complete my third manuscript FRESH FROZEN, due for release in hardcover later this year (2008). But the truth is that I simply have never known how to blog ... but then I have never tried until now.
There I have confessed! I feel so much better.
My personal website www.dardennorth.com has an icon or widget (or whatever we call them now) entitled RECENT MUSINGS. My webmaster intended that to be a blog outlet, although not an interactive one. However, I have only used that venue as a method to make announcements, list recent reviews, or post awards or other recognition of my writing and publishing. I have never simply "mused" there.
Since, as I have learned, most authors (except the really big ones of whom we are all familiar) keep other money-earning jobs that keep the writing of books, short stories, poems, etc., afloat. Such is the case of Darden North, MD (me). I practice obstetrics/gynecology medicine and surgery fulltime, am married, and have two grown childred, so my time is budgeted, overly budgeted.
Last evening, I returned home to Jackson, MS, from Day One of the 2008 Book Expo America in Los Angeles. My informal course in Book Writing 101 and Being an Author (and a Good One) 102 have taught me that, given the opportunity, one tells anyone even remotely interested about one's writing. My Southwest airflight afforded me that chance on several occasions. Sitting next to someone reading a hardcover or paperback in a crowded airplane or airport gives one that natural opportunity ... not to mention the taxi driver who leaves a novel on the front seat next to him. (I broke the rule I learned in Book Promotion 103 that one should always have a copy of one's book in hand to show-off or present as a gift in those instances, but at least I had some of my bookmarks. A very nice lady from Hawaii and headed to Houston for a family visit with her husband asked me for six personally autographed Darden North bookmarks, and, of course, I was happy to give them to her. She said she planned to order copies for her childen and real estate clients.)
The 2008 BEA was my first Book Expo America, although I plan to return in the future and wish that I had allowed another day to spend there on this recent outting. In fact, yesterday I never made it to the south end of the convention before the 5:00 PM closing time.
I attended BEA at the invitation of my book distributor AtlasBooks/BookMasters,Incorporated, who scheduled a book signing featuring my second mystery/supense hardcover POINTS OF ORIGIN for Friday afternoon, May 30, from 2:30 until 3:15 PM.
My main rep at BookMasters, Shelley Sapyta, arranged the personal signing for me, and I am proud to announce that it resulted in a sell-out, or should we say a giveaway-out? Anyway, I owe many thanks to Shelley and the other wonderful people at AtlasBooks/BookMasters who have worked with me to date (Kim, Matt, Randy, to name a few), some of whom were on-site in the company's large, attractive booth. It was a delight finally to put faces with the names.
The book signing was a wonderful publicity opportunity for me. I would like to think that most of the people who came by to get a personally signed, free copy of POINTS OF ORIGIN had sought me out. But, I'm sure, most merely stumbled upon me, but then expressed genuine delight in having done so.
I was particularly pleased with the turnout for my signing when I learned later that I was competing with simultaneous personal appearances by Barbara Walters, Michael Connelly, R.A. Salvatore, and Mario Lopez, to name a few, all autographing their books as well at Book Expo America. Fortunately, after my "sell-out," I made it to Michael Connelly's and Bob Salvatore's signings and was afforded the opportunity to exchange signed books with them. Both seemed like nice guys.
During my hurried, one-day experience at the 2008 BEA, I made several other contacts, which included learning about publishing opportunities with e-books and audio books as well as talking briefly with a few reps from corporate publishing houses. Of course, I gave those major publishing houses information about my novels. (Well, you never know.) I hope to make BEA an anual event but will plan to stay longer in the future.
I hope that this blog will generate lots of hits on my AuthorsDen page as well as in other places, and I hope that anyone who has read through this first effort has not been disappointed or bored. If so, please give me another chance.
Sometimes things get better with practice.
All the continued best and good health,
© Darden North 2008 all rights reserved