Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Dulles Christmas Expo

What fun this was. I've been to trade shows and expos before, but I was never on the merchant side of the table, although, I confess, eight-hours on your feet can take a toll.

On Friday last, I manned a table filled with books published by Intrigue Publishing, and assisted Austin Camacho—occasionally asking far too many questions—promoting twelve novels written by four separate authors: one of which was mine, one by Penny Clover Petersen, one written by C.A. Vestraete, and nine—yes, count ‘em, nine—by Austin Camacho. We schmoozed any passerby that showed an interest in the bright and sundry covers arrayed across the table, and I gained a bit of insight as to the popularity of Austin as an author when several folks came looking for him, having bought one or two of his novels last year.

I engaged folks from around the country who were shopping for Christmas. Some were curious, asking questions about the books, the plots, and the characters. Some bought books for themselves or others as Christmas gifts, and the real kick for me, other than scribbling my name on the Title Page, was chatting it up with these folks. Most were avid readers, but some were published writers; some were aspiring writers, and still others were reluctant writers that seemed to be searching for a gentle nudge. We chatted about, well, writing, of course. And publishing. Then there were several guys who were retired Navy, and we swapped sea stories for a short while, being a Navy Vet myself. What I found interesting in regard to that was that it was Austin’s book, The Piranha Assignment, that sparked the conversation about submarines. Methinks I see writing a military thriller in my not-too-distant future.    

All in all, I found the event rewarding on many levels. Yeah, Chain of Evidence was a favorite, and shoppers bought a bunch of copies, but chatting with folks is the part I really enjoyed, not to mention the toddler running around with the squeaky shoes who put a broad smile on my face. And I found that if you just offer a smile to someone passing by, the odds are very good, that you’ll get one in return.

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