Archive for September, 2010

Columbia Library Book Talk

September 30, 2010

Three weeks following my first public speaking appearance for my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream” I was off to another. August 24th put me in Columbia. As I was driving there on route 66, a cop was following me down this long and winding road. After several miles of driving exactly the speed limit, my GPS advised of my arrival. I pulled into the parking lot. The cop did too. It turned out that the library and police station in this small town shared a parking lot entrance. This little library was like a house. I walked into a cozy feeling. I was greeted by Carol the Librarian, who was the one who hooked me up with the CT Author’s Tour at the Mohegan Sun. Authors who spoke at the libraries throughout the summer would beet at the Mohegan Sun for a book signing. The size of the town was much smaller than Enfield, but it certainly packed a punch because about 17 people showed up and I sold 7 books. Carol set me up with a chair facing a chorus of chairs. This time I would speak while sitting. It was different than what I was used to, but had only done it once. My next step would be a book signing at the Mohegan Sun.

Enfield Public Library presentation

September 29, 2010

I spoke about my book, “Strapped Into An American Dream,” at the Enfield Public Library August 4th. The Friends of the Library Director, Rob Sweeney, was piloting an afternoon program. He usually scheduled Tuesday evenings, but wanted to see how it went in the afternoon. I showed up on this day 25 minutes prior to my 2 PM show and Rob kept muttering that he had no idea what kind of turnout to expect as he set up a handful of chairs in an empty room. An easel in the entrance to the Library announced my appearance. One older lady showed up with about 20 minutes till showtime. Another couple soon arrived. I made myself busy, preparing my presentation materials as I awaited the final count. As the clock neared 2 PM, there was a steady stream of people coming in to see me speak. Rob continued to build the room by adding rows of chairs. This was my first speech, and although nervous, I had prepared enough to be able to make it through to the end. I am comfortable writing. Speaking? Not so much. I only wanted to use an outline of main points so I wouldn’t have to rely on looking down at my notes. That’s a surefire way to get lost. However, I had back to back speaking engagements to contend with and knew that writers must do this to survive these days. It was almost 2 PM and people started coming into the room in droves. It was an older crowd, mostly retired folks, but about 40 people settled into their chairs while I stood in the back watching. Rob then introduced me, and I made my way to the podium to a chorus of applause. Although nervous in the beginning, I made it through to the Question and Answer part by 2:45 PM. I felt an enormous weight lifted as I fielded questions. Many hands were raised, and Rob had to cut the questions off at 2 PM by saying I would take one more question. A very engaging crowd it was. The questions came one after another. I sold four books, packed up, and had a wonderful sense of relief upon driving home. My relief was not only that it was over, but that the next one at the smaller library in Columbia would not nearly be as terrifying.