Thank you for all the lovely comments and cheers as I spent some time in San Diego with my friend, author Andra Watkins.
Time with a friend in a prime location–what fun!
I might not have had the same opportunity to break away for the better part of a work week if it weren’t for the hospitality of Jim and Laura Stewart who very graciously encouraged me to “tag team” with Andra.
The bonus wasn’t simply lodging in a lovely home with a gorgeous view of San Diego and the Coronado Bay Bridge, but also the space to leisurely breathe in the pleasure of extended conversation and sharing with interest in the stories detailing the weeks and months of travel and commitment–the business end of being an author.
It was ALL ease and a vacation from responsibility for me…
…while Andra was balancing her time between the pleasures of socializing while at the same time monitoring multiple appointments and conversations with librarians at the San Diego Central Library.
Stephen King is quoted as saying, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work.” That may describe the writing process, but it also fits with the many steps that come after the book is written.
Jim is also an author with a “fresh from the press” book nearing release, and listening to two authors discuss the business of book promotion reminded me of an awareness I’ve been forming since earlier this summer.
Angelenos are in close contact with entertainers from all sectors of the arts and entertainment business. It sometimes seems to me that we admire the musicians, actors, athletes, authors and celebrities, often envying their public recognition and status, but rarely considering the less glamorous business of maintaining that place in the public eye.
In May I mentioned attending a Neil Diamond concert and that it was simultaneously being broadcast around the world through the social media tool Periscope. Following the Hollywood Bowl concert I couldn’t help but notice that every few days my Periscope app would signal Diamond was ready to go on stage–in Munich, Antwerp, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, London, Birmingham, Leeds, and on it goes!
How many nights on the road and away from home?
I shared these impressions with Andra and Jim in recognition of the hard work that follows a book’s publication. I admire the talent and dedication to the writing process, but I am equally impressed with the time and energy absorbing focus comprising the “business end.”
With work an element of necessity, we still had time to slow down.
The day before the main library event we decompressed over a leisurely lunch at the historic Hotel del Coronado.
And then the beach time and leisure were put on the back burner and the focus shifted to the “Make a Memory” speaking event at the library.
Even though by “library time” we’d spent hours talking about the events leading up to this wider conversation, all I knew for sure was this was not to be a book reading, but a sharing of stories about how her book, “Not Without My Father, One Woman’s 444-Mile walk of the Natchez Trace” was also a personal invitation encouraging others to follow Andra’s enthusiasm and example by choosing someone special and daring to have a unique adventure of one’s own.
After regular library hours it gets a bit quiet. Will anyone be interested in attending?
Yes! There was interest! Andra both entertained and inspired the audience, and judging by the lively volley of questions, the conversation was in itself memorable! And after hours of preparation and delivery it was now time to whisk the author off to the airport, for a brief stopover at home in Charleston, and then to more “book chats” and “Make a Memory” events in Texas.
You can find out more about Andra’s speaking schedule and her delightful and entertaining books by checking out her website HERE and if you haven’t yet purchased her books, read this review and see what you’ve been missing.
Perhaps my own enthusiasm will encourage you to follow this author’s journey. I hope so. It’s going to be a long and exciting one, I’m certain!