The Continuing Saga of a Debut Author

A Fall Bouquet

My posts the past few weeks have been about new experiences since Black Ribbon Affair has been released.

Sorry, okay–not really :-), you’re getting another post on new experiences for a debut author.

On Monday morning I had my first phone interview with a reporter from our local newspaper.  She does several continuing columns and I have long admired her deft hand with words and topics. Those of you who are writers and interact with other writers are familiar with the pitfalls and/or skepticism of some interviewers.  No matter the genre of romance writers or the excellent writing quality, we often have to endure less than flattering portrayals of our work.

I’m very happy to report my reporter was interested, friendly and positive.

The result was an interview I’ll always treasure and probably have to reread often when I encounter less positive reports.

Another result of the interview was  many phone calls, emails, and cards from friends, relatives and acquaintances who had read the interview and wanted to send me congratulations.

Needless to say, that pushed me through the rest of the week.  One that had more than normal crises and problems in my daily life.  Good thing I learned long ago that establishing priorities and handling stress when it mounts higher than Mount Rainier was a survival skill I had to depend upon.

My week closed on Saturday.  First up, not a new experience but one I appreciated.

My writing group hosted  an excellent and thought-stimulating presentation by Leanna Renee Hieber.  She described her cross genre book, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, published by Leisure Books as a Victorian Gothic romance, a cross between Jane Austen and Ghostbusters.  This talented young woman not only writes, but is also involved in the theater and uses acting and directing techniques in developing her writing scenes.

Toward the end of her presentation, she asked us to use one of her methods and apply it in our minds to a scene we are currently writing or going to write. Now I had been working one a scene all week but I wasn’t quite sure about its place in the progression of my heroine’s growth.  Nor was I happy with it.  Using Leanna’s exercise brought me to better understand the importance of this scene and how to pull it together. I feel much more confident about next week’s writing and what I must accomplish from here on out in this project.

Wow!  But I often have light-bulb moments when I’m fortunate enough to attend a writers  meeting.

My week still offered me one more new experience.  My first booksigning in a PUBLIC setting.  This time a Waldenbooks in one of the larger shopping malls in our corner of the state.  Saturday was a lovely day.  The mall was very busy and crowded.

That was a good sign.  After all people were out and in a shopping mood. Maybe my worst fears wouldn’t happen.  I wouldn’t be left sitting in the bookstore surrounded by all my books.  But no one was interested in buying them.

Leanna Renee Hieber and I at booksigning

Leanna was also signing her book.  Having a colleague made the experience not quite so daunting.  We could talk about writing topics if no one showed up to talk to us about our books.  Or to buy them if they were interested.

Yes, Leanna and I learned a bit more about each other during the infrequent lulls at the signing.  She’s a delightful, interesting woman.  We had steady streams of people stop, chat and buy books during the hours of the signing.  The whole event proved very successful.  The bookstore manager and employees were very pleased with the result.

Needless to say, so was I.  I’m sure Leanna was, too.

Two Happy Authors

One perfect piece of my favorite chocolate truffle capped the afternoon for me.  I hope Leanna enjoyed the treat also.  How did that delectable treat arrive?  Through the magic that embodies Edie.  She always seems to provide the perfect ending.  Thank you, Edie. 🙂

I am truly blessed.  This past week held major firsts for me.  I’ll live on those memories for a very long time and use them to keep me focused on working toward other new goals.  My memories will also serve as consolation when life doesn’t go smoothly.  Those memories will prod me into not giving up hope or quit on my journey.  Real life is all about peaks and valleys, sometimes, fathomless dark pits.  Just like what I do with my characters in books.  But I can control the outcomes.

My niece Beth--One of my greatest fans & supporters

Too bad, I can’t do that with my life.

What do you do to help you get out of the pits and treasure the peaks?

Explore posts in the same categories: Book signings, Memories, Writing

6 Comments on “The Continuing Saga of a Debut Author”

  1. Nancy Kaye Says:

    Great pictures! Beth is a lovely young woman. I think we all have to think of the positive experiences in life when things take a turn for the worse. I know if I’m really stressed out I think of the times I have been up North sitting on the pier watching the eagles and listening to the loons. The other times I think of are when we all get together for club. We laugh, eat great desserts, and exchange news. There’s such an atmosphere of caring. It soothes the soul.

  2. Edie Says:

    Mary Jo, I had a truffle for myself, too. Glad you enjoyed it.

    I heard the signing went really well. I’m so glad for you! And for your breakthrough during Leanna’s presentation. I had a few breakthrough moments, too. 🙂

  3. caseyclifford Says:


    Sitting on a pier, listening to loons and watching eagles. How incredibly peaceful that sounds. Definitely a stress reducer.

    As for a solid network of friends? I could never exist without them.

  4. caseyclifford Says:


    I sold out and Leanna was very close to doing so when I left. Waldens was very pleased, I think.

    Now to prepare for the next one December 15.

    I’m glad you had a chocolate also. 🙂

  5. Hey Casey!

    It was such a joy to spend the morning and the afternoon with you, thanks for sharing the lovely rundown of the workshop here, and thanks so much for being such a wonderful signing partner! You really made it a great experience, and I loved our venue.

    I’m blogging about it too, so I hope you don’t mind if I use your photo 🙂 My blog will be up tonight or tomorrow at

    Blessings and keep me posted, I can’t wait to dive into Black Ribbon Affair! Congratulations!

    Leanna Renee

  6. caseyclifford Says:


    Thanks for stopping by. I know this week was a very busy one for you.

    I loved sharing a booksigning with you. You gave me so many ideas for the future and your vivacity is a great uplifter.

    We did have a very good day. 🙂

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