I recently had two really fun book events. I met with the Shalimar Book Review group, and had a book signing at the Phoenix Metro Center Barnes and Noble. Sadly we took no photos of the Shalimar group; all photos at B&N.
The Shalimar Book Review is made up of a group of ladies from the Shalimar Ward. They select a book to be read by the group each month, and then meet in the home of a different member to discuss the selected book of the month, and have refreshments. This was the second time I had the opportunity to meet with them to discuss my books, writing, and related topics. This is an event I to which I really look forward, since they are all friends; I don’t have to worry about appearing clumsy or stupid, because they already know how clumsy and stupid I can be, yet they still accept me.
Some of the ladies have written books themselves, are currently working on a book, or are thinking about writing. This provides some interesting questions about my experiences, successes and failures. We had some serious discussion and some sharing of funny incidents and some talk about what they like or would change in some of my stories. Some of them mentioned that they would like to see some of my more interesting oddball characters reappear occasionally in my stories. I think that is a good idea, because I quite enjoyed writing about Lily and Baxter Thomas, Apache sister & brother; Richard of Beautiful Land; Cliff Nolan, repentant cattle thief; Larry Sotelo, drug suspect; Alf Hesse, mystery hermit; and a few others. They are all examples of good people who are a little twisted, a term that could describe a lot of real-life rural characters I’ve known.
In a word the evening was fun. Several of them had a book with them for me to sign, and a few bought a book, which I was also pleased to sign. Then we had ice cream for refreshments; I love ice cream.
The signing at Metro Center Barnes & Noble was also very enjoyable. My brother Bill came to assist me with setting up and taking down my display, and more importantly, he visited with people who stopped at my table while I was occupied with signing books; he also to the photo’s displayed here. It took me a little over 45 minutes to travel to the store from my house, and I was delayed in leaving by a service technician who needed to be paid, so just made it before the 1:00 PM start time.
To my surprise there was a group of people waiting for me when I arrived and Adrianna, the very nice Community Relations Manager at B&N, was beginning to worry a bit. So we instantly sold four copies of Saints & Sinners, and visited with customers as I signed them. Adrianna said four books was a great start and added that they consider five or more books a successful signing.
Among the group was Lois’ dear childhood friend, and mutual friend of our youth, Sarah Tizzard Wilson, with her daughter and granddaughter. I think Sarah was a bit disappointed that Lois was unable to come due to a summer cold, so we now need to arrange a get together. I announced to the waiting audience that Sarah and I got arrested together once, which drew the interest of her girls. Unfortunately, I was distracted by signing before I could finish the story; I wonder if Sarah was forced to recount the episode to the girls. Poor Sarah and Lois were only guilty by association as a large group of friends cruised in Sarah’s dad’s new Chrysler Imperial. Upon spotting a stop sign where we decided one shouldn’t be all the boys jumped out and took the sign, which proved too big to get in the car, so we threw it down. A witness got the license plate number, and the next day we were all called to the sheriff’s office. I’m not sure if Sarah got to drive the Imperial again. Her dad was later my boss, but he never mentioned the incident, and you can be sure I didn’t either.
Another couple in the group that assembled before I arrived were the Weech’s, cousins to Lance Weech whom I knew in Globe (he operated the San Carlos Tribal Store at San Carlos, which I think was called Weech’s Trading Post. His younger sister Linda is now a Facebook friend). They had driven across the city from Mesa to purchase my book. I really enjoyed the short visit we had, but failed to understand how they were related to my friends until corrected on Facebook.
The best Bill and I could calculate we sold six books to people that came specifically to my signing, and six more to people who stopped by my table without having ever heard of me or my books. One of Bill’s friends who had planned to come did not make it back from girl’s camp in time, so called to say she would by the book on Monday. I signed the remaining books the store had ordered before we left.
I enjoyed meeting several new friends. One was an Army Sergeant in uniform who bought Saints & Sinners, he and Bill both being military men, hit it off and visited. He had served in the Middle East in the regular army and is now in the Arizona National Guard. I was proud to have a veteran buy my book.
A young man stopped by and looked at the book, visiting with me for a while as he waited for his mother. It turned out she had a connection with Globe-Miami, she is Barbara Barnett a member of the Rayes family, very important merchants and civic leaders in the history of the area. It was nice making her acquaintance.
Next Up: Signing at Henderson, Nevada, Barnes & Noble, Wednesday, July 9 – If you know anyone in the area of Las Vegas, let them know!
Mystery writer, Southwestern Historian, researcher, husband, father, grandpa, with an opinion on everything.