First, I would like to thank you for sticking around through the long wait for the 2nd book in the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series.
In a perfect world, REVELATIONS would have been published within 3-6 months after the 1st book, REKINDLED PROPHECY, originally released November 19, 2019. Instead, with publisher delays and then COVID lockdown and then the publisher going out of business, I found myself in January 2021 with no publisher, no cover, and a manuscript in need of professional editing before I would dare to release it to the world.
So I bought myself some time by re-releasing REKINDLED PROPHECY with a sizzling new cover on March 23, 2021 once the publisher reverted the rights to the story back to me. Thank you! This way I can keep the books in the series together and offer a box set sometime around the Holidays 2021.
During that time, REKINDLED PROPHECY won the 2021 FIREBIRD BOOK AWARD for Paranormal Fiction and was a finalist in the 2021 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS for Fantasy Fiction!
FINALLY! The day has arrived when I can offer to you REVELATIONS for Pre-Order!
REVELATIONS will officially release 8/17/2021 in Kindle, KU, and paperback!
Heaven and Hell agree on one thing—the prophecy must be stopped at any cost.
Greylyn’s job as a guardian angel was simple: save humans from their own inner demons and the real ones. At least it was until a fallen archangel showed up demanding she fulfill a mysterious prophecy. Now she must race against the clock to unravel the prophecy while searching for a way to thwart it, as well as the impossible attraction to the golden-eyed dark guardian who haunts her dreams.
For centuries, the dark guardian Kael has stopped at nothing to protect Greylyn from the powers of Heaven and Hell, and even from himself. He will not allow the prophecy to take her away from him now.
From the heart of America’s capital city to the swamps of a small military station town to the summit of the Tibetan mountains, Greylyn’s quest leads her to the precipice of Hell and into the darkness within her own heart to reveal a divine foretelling and the truth buried in her soul.
Revelations, Book 2 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, is an epic paranormal romance and adventure as eternal enemies wage war against destiny and for a love neither time nor the Divine can sever.
I hope you enjoy the 2nd book in the series. I know it is my favorite!
I’ll keep you posted on the 3rd book, REDEMPTION, estimated release date mid-October 2021.
For a limited time (until 5/22/2021), grab your FREE copy of the Firebird Book Award Winner for Paranormal Fiction
𝐑𝐞𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐲 – Greylyn the Guardian Angel series Book 1
All a guardian angel wants after 450 years of saving humans is a little rest. Too bad evil never takes a break. Greylyn’s vacation is over before it starts.
Kael, Hell’s most lethal weapon, awaits Greylyn at the cozy bed and breakfast nestled in the Shenandoah Mountains. They have battled each other for centuries, but neither has dealt the death blow.
A young bride in peril lures them both into the clutches of a notorious fallen archangel. Innocent lives hang in the balance. An unlikely alliance binds eternal enemies together in a quest to unravel a prophecy so deadly that Heaven refused to write it down.
Rekindled Prophecy is an epic paranormal romance full of adventure, mystery, and a love so strong that neither time nor destiny can deny it.
When a kickass guardian angel must battle Heaven and Hell to save innocent lives, all the while fighting her own raging desire for a dark guardian working for Hell, feathers fly. In this first of a three-part series, a fallen archangel confronts Greylyn with an ultimatum she can’t refuse. With the devilish Kael by her side, they will seek out the truth of the prophecy and rekindle a forgotten love story for the ages.
This story had been playing around in my head since I was a teenager (and no, I will not say exactly how many years ago that was). Finally, after doing all the expected things in life – college, career, marriage, kids – I had the opportunity to indulge my creativity side once again AND IT FELT SO GOOD! Now I can’t seem to stop the story ideas from coming, and I do not want to stop them!
Book 2 of the series, Revelations, is currently being formatted and a book cover being created so I hope to have Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) available before the end of 2020 (would be nice to end this crazy year on a up-note!).
I’ve been playing around a bit with this webpage and have added a tab for “Character Introductions” so please check that out so you can become more familiar with our cast as they continue their adventures.
What’s a birthday (or book-day or book-aversary) without GIFTS?!?!!
To celebrate the anniversary of the unleashing of Greylyn and Kael onto the world, I would LOVE to gift everyone with a sneak peek into the second book of the series, Revelations. For everyone who responds to this post with a celebratory comment to mark this milestone, I will send the sneak peek to your email (please make sure to leave your email address in the comments).
But That’s Not All!!!!
One lucky participant will receive a signed copy of Rekindled Prophecy along with some cool book swag. Winner to be announced this time next week!
Thank you to all who have followed me thus far. I hope you’ve had a chance to read Rekindled Prophecy and you are looking forward to the next book in the series.
This topic comes up in just about every interview I’ve been in (whether as the interviewer or the interviewee)…
DO YOU UTILIZE REAL PEOPLE, REAL PLACES, REAL EVENTS IN YOUR WORKS OF FICTION?
Truth is there is always a figment or two (or three or four) of reality in fiction. Whether it be a location the author is familiar with, crafting a character similar to someone you know (it’s fun especially if you don’t like the person), or a message you hope to convey in your writings.
In REKINDLED PROPHECY, I’ll admit that is a lot more truth/reality than you would think in a story about guardian angels, angels, demons, shadow creatures, etc.
I do believe in guardian angels, angels, demons, shadow creatures, ghosts, etc. For me as an author, my own types of characters are 100% real. While the story is a figment of my imagination, I still believe in the truth that these entities exist.
2. The locations in REKINDLED PROPHECY are all based on real places.
The country western bar in the beginning (while with a different name that I do not even remember) did really exist along the Arkansas/Tennessee border. I spent way too much time there during the early 1990s.
The Irish bed & breakfast in rural Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley 100% existed. How do I know? I was married there, underneath the same gazebo Kelly and Matthew were married under. The name was changed in the book since the inn was under foreclosure at the time and I could not get owner approval from the bank to use the name – they said to wait until the property sold and ask the new owners but that never happened.
There really was a koi pond made from a refurbished rectangular pool and the bull frogs were so loud that the innkeeper did leave ear plugs in guest rooms. Sadly, the inn is now closed and for sale if anyone is interested in retirement as an innkeeper.
Even the area of town in Washington, DC where Greylyn goes to find the psychic and battles a demon army – yep! 100% described based on real life knowledge of DC.
3. I may have based a few characters off my friends at the wedding party in the book. And yes, they were known as the “Sex and the City” girls as a joke. And of course, the lovely innkeeper was based off the innkeeper at the time of my own wedding (again, name and hair color changed). Seriously though, that sweet woman made the best eggs benedict!
4. Greylyn’s pride and joy – her 1968 British racing green Camaro? Well, I just so happen to own one. It’s currently being reconstructed from the inside out by my hubby and youngest son who hopes to one day claim it for his own. (Ain’t gonna happen, sweetie!)
5. The drink Greylyn prefers – the Godfather – is my hubby’s favorite cocktail and the only way I will drink scotch.
So you see, I like to include a lot of truth in my fiction stories.
For places I have not gone to, I research and even find native residents of the location to give me tidbits so I can describe the area accurately. While I have not gone to Ireland yet myself (it is at the top of my bucket list) but I was lucky enough to find a sweet lady originally from one of the areas in Book 3 of the series (which is mostly set in Ireland, and Hell but I haven’t met anyone from there yet). She spoke with me at length about Dun Laoghaire and sent me pictures of the local pier. She even suggested I add something about a 99 (which is Irish for soft serve ice cream and is sold on the pier at Teddy’s), which I did.
For me, there should always be a hint of authenticity in every piece of fiction. It makes it more interesting. So whether you are reading my guardian angel stories, or anything else by me, you can trust there will be glimmer of truth in every one.
The fun part is figuring out what’s truth and what is fantasy.
Thanks, dear friends! And I hope you have an amazing Autumn Equinox!
REKINDLED PROPHECY is just the first book in the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, but it is stacked with complex, and dare I say “SEXY”, characters (as depicted by my muses for each one noted above).
Now throughout the series some of the supporting cast will change, but these five are my staple characters, and my favorites.
Over the course of the next couple of months I will devote one blog per character so you have a chance to meet them, get to know them, grow to love them as much as I do (especially before the second book in the series is released so you will be so invested in them, you’ll have to rush out to pick up your own copy).
So just a quick “meet and greet” or “cute meet” as we like to say in writers’ land…
Well, it is called the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series for a reason. Greylyn MacLeod has been a guardian angel for over 450 years. She looks amazing for her age, doesn’t she?
She’s a spitfire and fears nothing…okay, maybe one thing – her attraction to a certain dark guardian.
As a guardian angel, she travels the world helping humans fight their own inner demons and the more nefarious real demons. She’s a total kickass heroine!
She loves: classic muscle cars (drives a 1968 British racing green Camaro; french fries; Godfathers (the cocktail – equal parts scotch and amaretto; not the mafia); and hiking.
She dislikes: liars; demons; shadow creatures; and water (she can’t swim so no beach trips in her future if she can help it).
But I’m giving away too much too soon. Check back in a couple of weeks when I’ll give the full profiler writeup of Greylyn, the guardian angel.
Oh, Kael! You bad boy! Just as sexy as my muse for the character, Jensen Ackles.
In a nutshell, a dark guardian is the exact opposite of a guardian angel.
Kael has one obsession – a certain raven-haired guardian angel, but what chance does he have with her? After all, they are eternal enemies. She works for Heaven. He works for Hell.
Kael’s likes: Greylyn; playing around in politics; and photography.
Kael’s dislikes: Jasper
Jasper takes sexy to an entirely new level with his jet-black hair, glacial eyes, and smoking hot body. Why would Greylyn need to look else where for love? What’s wrong with the girl? (we’ll address that later in another post)
He’s been around for centuries. Hero with a heart of gold but bod for sin. He’s not above enjoying the finer things, more sensual things of life. He’s a dapper dresser but insists on wearing his shiny black cowboy boots with everything.
Jasper’s likes: Flirting; motorcycles; more flirting
Jasper’s dislikes: Kael
If you’ve read REKINDLED PROPHECY already, you know we don’t find out too much about the sexy Aussie in the first book. Actually, we only get a phone in (kinda like dating in the age of COVID via Skype, Zoom, etc). But trust me, we will see lots more of Thomas in the next two books in the series. He comes out of the shadows and takes his place as a main character in this saga.
Thomas is from Australia; former rugby player until he injured his knee ending his career; and a parapsychology/occult professor at a small college in South Carolina. He used to work in the Ivy League schools, but they didn’t take too kindly to his theories on the occult and all things supernatural. Greylyn saved him from literally drowning his sorrows in whiskey and pills. Since then he’s been her loyal go-to guy. But there’s more to this mild mannered, sexy-accent talking professor. You’ll just have to dive into the rest of the series to find out what makes this hunk tick.
Normally I would not consider Chris Hemsworth as a villain, but in this picture, he does fit the description. Since he’s actually from Australia, maybe we could switch him out for Thomas with shorter hair, but in my mind’s eye, he is Olivier.
Olivier is a fallen arch angel, surprisingly much more dangerous than his brother, Lucifer. It is rumored he is the one who whispered rebellion into Lucifer’s ear. Not much is known about him because he likes to operate behind the scenes, stealthily as a predator should be.
He’s the only one who wants this prophecy to come to fruition. And he’ll make Greylyn fight heaven and hell to make it happen.
Olivier’s likes: designer suits; the opera; toying with his prey
Olivier’s dislikes: anyone who crosses him
And that’s all you’ll get out of me…for now anyway.
I hope you’re intrigued enough to check out these fun characters and their antics in REKINDLED PROPHECY – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series which you can find here:
You can get the ebook of REKINDLED PROPHECY from the publisher’s website for just $3 now! Get yours now while it lasts.
My apologies for not posting a lot over the summer. Here it is the last day of August and I realized I had not posted a thing on my own webpage.
Now I could list a lot of excuses, but they would be just that…excuses. In the words of a good friend of mine, stop being a victim with excuses and take radical responsibility for every aspect of your life, and especially your career.
So I am, pleading for your forgiveness and hoping all my readers didn’t abandon me.
Since the author spotlight feature fell through this month, I’ll subject you to my author ramblings instead. You’ve been warned…rant ahead!
I see this a lot of social media and I hear this a lot from other authors all the time. The agonizing question of how to handle bad reviews, negative comments on your social media posts, lagging sales, etc.
I’m not immune to the self-pity party either. When I see someone didn’t like my book, gives a bad review, or says things like “Liked the book, but I am not sure I will follow the series” or book sales lag, or I get my royalty check and can only treat myself to a Starbucks coffee with the proceeds…well, my confidence takes a hit.
It’s a natural emotion and ALL authors go through this. Daily there are posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. about this very topic when an author wonders if it’s even worth it to continue writing. And it makes me sad that someone (again, I’m not immune to the same thoughts and emotions) feels so distraught that they would contemplate giving up their life’s dream.
So what do I do to keep myself from giving up the writing career that has been my one deep desire, my soul purpose?
I’ve been told, ignore the reviews. Or only read the 4 and 5 star reviews. Well, I can’t do that. It’s physically impossible for me to see there’s a review and NOT read it. Besides, reading good reviews makes me happy. To know that my story touched someone’s imagination, that it resonated with someone else…THAT is sheer bliss!
Therefore, I had to make a change in my own thoughts and deeply seated beliefs to accept that “I am not everyone’s cup of tea” and “I have to be okay with that” because for every person who doesn’t like my story, there are others that do.
And it is for those others that I write.
To maintain my own sense of worth, my own confidence, I can’t allow others to bring me down. I wasn’t put on this earth to reach everyone. I wasn’t put on this earth to surrender my imagination, my dreams. I wasn’t put on this earth to deny my soul purpose of creating stories of fiction and fantasy that have a glimmer of hope, light, and truth to shine in a dark world filled with fear and chaos.
I am a storyteller who is passionate about guardian angels and want to bring divine light and love to the world through fantasy and fiction.
So dear readers, I hope and pray that my stories, my characters connect with you and delight you. I hope you await the next book with bated breath. It is for you that I write (and the fact that the characters are not going to let me rest until their stories are told). For you, I give you my heart and soul served up on a page.
For all others, thank you for giving me a taste but I do understand that…
You know how much I love PNR and how much I love to share with my readers about other PNR authors. Well, Azaaa Davis is truly one of the best when it comes to mixing just enough romance with the horror and supernatural.
Do yourself a favor and pick up her latest, Jilted, and/or her Soul’s Day boxset for your summer reading pleasure.
Jilted by Azaaa Davis
Jilted is the first of two books in the Never Marry A Shifter duology.
The Never Marry A Shifter (NMAS) duology is a thrilling blend of romance and horror, landing in the paranormal romance genre.
Jilted – Book Description:
Administrative assistant by day and boss lady on social media by night, Theresa enjoys sharing her charmed life with half-million followers. The only thing she loves more is being engaged to the hottest doctor at the clinic where they both work. Cementing her fame by reaching one million followers would be the icing on her wedding cake.
Life stops running smoothly when her husband vanishes on their wedding night and a leaked photo of a barely-dressed Theresa yelling at the police sparks a viral sensation. With everything at stake—love, reputation, followers, and job—she embarks on a reluctant voyage of discovery. Follow Theresa as she stumbles over her new husband’s secrets and develops her own inner strength.
A thrilling blend of romance and horror, Jilted is a novella exclusive to the Soul’s Day Boxset for a limited time and releases October 2020.
Soul’s Day Boxset – Book Description:
Old Hallows Eve, when things go bump in the night,
Children come to play, and the witches provide the fright.
For 20 authors, USA Today and international bestselling,
The Halloween tales become more than this foretelling.
In the Soul’s Day Boxset, a mansion feeds on souls,
A gargoyle captures them, and a demon dungeon master makes the calls,
Campers gets picked off one by one,
The Karnaval’s corn dogs are less than fun,
Ghosts lurking around every bend,
‘I do’ at the wedding is certainly the end.
A boxset of chills and thrills to keep you up at night,
One-click pre-order to snap your copy filled with fright.
On old Hallow’s eve when creatures come to play,
With this spine chilling pages, it’s where you’ll want to stay.
Azaaa Davis is an American author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels.
She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today. Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly–and sometimes terrifying–situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughters.
She debuted with This Time (book one in the Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter series) in 2018. A novel about demon hunters, family ties and the magic of love.
It has been crazy town all over town, in every town, and it’s just getting crazier. Before the corona virus closed down everything here, our county came to a standstill with an e-coli scare in our water. Schools closed. Businesses closed. And there was a grocery store run as if it was the apocalypse itself!
And the very next day…my state, county, city, village,…went into corona virus lockdown. Schools closed. Businesses closed. Gym closed. Restaurants shut down. AND the good folks of this county and metro-area had already bought up all the supplies. Yes, folks! No toilet paper here either!
Sooooooooo, kids are home for at least 2 weeks! What does that mean for me? All writing/editing/marketing pretty much shuts down for the business that is KC Freeman Author!
So I will do what I can when I can, but deadlines have pretty much been thrown out the window.
Regardless there is two bits of good news.
Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series is up for voting for the April book of the month in the Double Trouble Book Club.
2. Just because I’m a day late getting my blog posted doesn’t mean I can’t post it the next day (today). AND because it’s Tuesday the added bonus is it’s also…#TEASERTUESDAY!!! So without further delay, here’s a snippet from Rekindled Prophecy to whet your appetites and just perhaps encourages you to check out the above item and vote.
For a moment, Greylyn saw the lightning mirrored in his eyes. She shook her head to rid herself of the image.
Great! Now she was imagining things.
He warned, “It’s too late to go running for cover. Let’s just sit here and wait out the rain. Surely, there’s something we can discuss…in a civilized manner.”
Greylyn felt a pair of cornflower blue eyes peering at the two of them from the manor’s covered veranda. Maureen was watching.
After years of being subjected to his particular type of torment, she’d have to endure the insufferable man for at least one more go-around. But that didn’t mean she had to loiter in a gazebo with him. It was dangerous, in more ways than one. The gold flecks in his eyes beckoned her closer, not just to him but to the edge of her own sanity.
“Rain doesn’t frighten me, Kael. And neither do you. This little confab is over.” Pivoting, she stepped out into the torrential storm.
Instantly soaked, she steeled herself to keep marching right back towards the house, away from him. She felt his eyes boring into her back. It was as if he reached across the distance to trail a finger lightly down her spine, leaving a delicious tingling sensation that raised goosebumps over her entire body.
Just as Greylyn cleared the grove, another, more powerful, surge of electricity pierced the air. She whipped around just in time for a lightning bolt to strike the ground a few yards from her. The ground shook as the resulting thunder boomed and echoed through the valley.
The charged air was exhilarating. Her heart beat against her ribcage in frantic time to the raging rain. Adrenaline coursed through her body in waves. Everything seemed brighter, more vivid. Every detail of her surroundings accentuated.
Was it from the lightning or from the energy radiating from the being in the gazebo?
Greylyn couldn’t be sure. The whole situation seemed fitting somehow, and not entirely surprising. It mirrored the energy surging between them. Her eyes locked with Kael’s.
Rain pelted her body, and the wind whipped her hair around in all directions. Greylyn no longer felt a thing except his burning stare. It was achingly painful. Every molecule of her being hypnotized by his eyes. Time stopped. For that moment there was only Kael, everything else faded to black.
Probably one of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Chuck (aka God) on the tv series Supernatural, which coincidentally is ending soon. I’m too heartbroken to discuss Supernatural ending, but ENDINGs in particular catch authors between a rock and a hard place.
Chuck (aka God) from Supernatural says it best:
“Endings are hard. Any chapped-ass monkey with a keyboard can poop out a beginning, but endings are impossible. You try to tie up every loose end, but you never can. The fans are always gonna bitch. There’s always gonna be holes. And since it’s the ending, it’s all supposed to add up to something. I’m telling you, they’re a raging pain in the ass.”
This is true not just with tv shows and movies, but books…especially series. You (as a reader) commit your time, your energy, your imagination, your heart and soul to a story and then the author either leaves you hanging with a cliffhanger only your imagination can fill in, or tries too hard to wrap it all up in a nice HEA (Happily Ever After) bow, or leaves you unsatisfied in some way that perhaps even you don’t understand. You just know that you are not happy now that it (the story) has ended. Sometimes, it really is just the fact that something you love has come to an end that there’s a huge hole in your heart. Regardless of the why, ENDINGS SUCK!
This discussion all started with a Facebook dialog on another author’s page and it really has me mulling things over hard, especially as I’m currently editing Book 3 of my own series (which was supposed to end with Book 3, but even I – the author – am not satisfied with the ending so I’m busting this baby out to at least 2 more books after #3 ~ much to the chagrin of the other stories swirling around in my noggin desperate to get out). Whereas the conversation on FB was particular to tv series, this also applies to book series.
Most tv series, and book series, have disappointing endings. For one, if you’re a fan of a show/book series, you’re already sad it’s ending. But why are we so emotionally connected to how the series ends?
For example, when Supernatural ends here in a few weeks…unless Sam and Dean are showing up on my own front porch then I will be disappointed because the characters and story have become part of my life. Watching the show has been my “escape” for years. Now what am I supposed to do? Find another show? *Gasp!* The horror of the thought!
I had the same thoughts/feelings when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the off-shoot series, Angel, ended. Buffy wrapped up in a cute bow with dozens or more slayers now out in the world to protect us all from vamps and other hellish nightmares. What’s not to love about that? With Angel, it was a fantastic smashup, action-packed cliffhanger with the main character (the incredibly hot David Boreanaz) saying, “I kind of want to slay the dragon. Let’s get to work!” and then fade to black. OMG! What a kickass ending, right? Then why was I left with a huge black abyss in my soul?
Let’s take this to books. I just finished a series by one of my favorite authors. Gobbled up each and every book. Got to the end…good guys won! FMC (female main character) and MMC (male main character) live happily ever after! Supporting characters also live happily ever after! Awesome, right? I should be thrilled, right? NOPE! It was all wrapped up too neatly in a bow. Why on earth would I be disappointed when everyone except the bad guys got a wonderful HEA?
Even historical fiction based on real-life persons, I know how it’s going to end, but I’m still like “WTF? Cleopatra DIES! Octavian Caesar wins?!” Ugh!
Endings suck. They just do. Because part of our hearts and souls are connected to the story. It has fueled our imagination for years possibly. So when the inevitable happens…the ending…we are left with a piece of ourselves missing/torn/bruised.
No ending, no matter how HEA (happily ever after) given to us by tv producers or authors, will ever fill that hole, soothe that ache, or mend that jagged rip in our souls. So despite the best intentions of the creators, we will always remain disappointed to some extent.
As I keep writing my own series, dear readers, I am trying to keep you all in mind as I continue creating to get the the inevitable ending. But the truth is, the story must end how the creator sees it in his/her own imagination. Sometimes even we don’t like our own ending, but that’s just where the story leads. I’ve tried to write stories with different endings, different circumstances that didn’t fit with the story banging around in my head, and to be honest…that was always a huge mistake and I always went back and changed things to authentically sync with the story in my own head. The characters wouldn’t have it any other way.
So please don’t lash out at the authors, the tv show creators and producers and screen writers when the book or show or movie ends and leaves you upset or let down.
Truly, we are not out here in the universe trying to find ways to piss off the fans. No matter what ending is written, it’s never going to be enough to fill that gaping hole in our hearts because it simply is …THE END!
As Supernatural’s Chuck said several seasons ago,
“No doubt, endings are hard, but then again, nothing ever really ends, does it?”
Maybe that’s why endings are so difficult, either we can’t accept that it is “the end” or perhaps nothing ever really ends. Our imaginations make the story live on.
First, let’s get the BIG announcement out of the way because quite frankly I’m too tickled pink to put this off.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE…
After some fantastic reviews from The Naked Reviewers last week, they chose my paranormal fantasy romance book, Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series, as their Book of the Month for March 2020!!!!!
The book was also named as the Book of the Week from 2/26/2020 to 3/4/2020!
Somebody pinch me! Okay, not THAT hard! Geez, now I’ll bruise.
Now for the original posting for this week ~ Lessons Learned from my first book signing event at Penned Charleston this past weekend.
To sum it up – it was a series of unfortunate events which ended happily ever after.
Should travel the night before the event. I was stuck in a traffic jam on I-26 EAST towards Charleston with all lanes blocked due to a horrific accident. Nowhere to turn around, just had to sit there and continue sitting for a long time. Ended up 1 1/2 hours late!
Bring an assistant! Can be anyone, friend, foe, hubby, kids! Just bring someone to help out so the author can make trips to the ladies’ room and get food/beverages. Initially the hubby was supposed to attend with me, but he was easily persuaded to ditch me to take our youngest son to a wrestling tournament in Fayetteville, NC. Figured I’d be okay on my own, but easily see now how having a helper with me would have made the whole experience run more smoothly and enjoyable. Also assistants were working the venue by walking around and visiting all the tables and mingling with the guests/readers to direct traffic to their author’s tables. Assistants also freed up their authors to walk around and meet new authors and just mingle.
Double-check swag before the event. I found a typo on the bookmarks as I was sitting at the table Saturday. To say I was horrified is an understatement!
Bring more swag! Some authors had some serious swag at their tables. Some had raffles going for their super swag. I had bookmarks with typos, postcards with book info (which I ran out of), candy (mints and chocolate), and mini hand sanitizers.
Personalized labels for swag (such as the hand sanitizers) can be easily purchased I learned from one incredibly helpful author assistant. One lady had personalized packaging for candies and chocolates!
When the venue doesn’t provide linen table cloths for the tables, bring your own nice linen table cloth, not a flimsy plastic tie-dye one.
Check into vinyl posters and heavy duty easels. Most authors had 8-10 foot posters set up behind and beside their tables. I had a foam board 12×18 book poster propped up a stack of books on a chair beside me.
Purchase easels for posters and something to connect the banner to the table.
Purchase book stands so the books aren’t just laying down on the table.
Sneak in snacks. The venue said no beverages or food to be brought in – they provided water stations and some appetizers were handed out in the beginning during setup (which I missed due to #1). I ended up eating more of my own candy which was supposed to be just for visitors to my table.
Sounds a bit like a disaster, right? Actually, it wasn’t at all! I met a lot of amazing authors, author assistants, bloggers, reviewers, cover artists, and most especially readers! I learned a lot! I made some contacts including a lovely author in my local area (Hi, Haven Cage!) who also organizes local author get-togethers, and I now have a Reiki healer to call locally when my chakras are imbalanced. So, HUGE WIN!
Sadly, I ended up leaving right after the event rather than staying for the 60s-themed party that evening (another Lesson Learned – STAY FOR THE PARTY!).
Hopefully this Lessons Learned segment will benefit other newbie authors as you go to your own book signing events.
Well, I’m off to celebrate my Book of the Month award with some of my leftover chocolate from Penned Charleston!