Romance Author Booksignings: October and Beyond

This past month I attended a booksigning for William Kent Krueger, who was promoting his latest Cork O’Connor mystery, Northwest Angle.  I haven’t read the series, and still am not sure if they will suit me. But I love listening to authors speak, so jumped at the chance to attend.

There was a large audience, and many had attended previous signings by the author.  As soon as the event began I knew why there were so many repeat attenders; he is one of the most engaging writers I’ve encountered. The time went by quickly as Mr. Krueger entertained us with stories about his writing process, his decisions about his characters, and future directions his writing might take.

Mr. Krueger commented that authors writing a series can either write a character that remains static over the series, or they can write a character that changes and ages over time. Mr. Krueger made the decision early on to have Cork O’Connor and his family age and change throughout the series. He noted that this has allowed him to bring some of his own experiences at different points in his life into the series.

Mr. Krueger writes every day in a local Minnesota coffee house. He said that he tried to write in his home office, but found it was both too quiet and too distracting. Until fairly recently he wrote in longhand, but has switched to a laptop. Cork O’Connor is part Irish and part Anishianaabe. Mr. Krueger did extensive research into the Anishianaabe culture before writing the first book in the series, Iron Lake, and continues to do research, and actually have most of his books vetted by Anishianaabe acquaintances.  In the end, I ended up buying one of his books; he was just that entertaining.

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Romance Author Booksignings: April and Beyond

Earlier this month I attended a booksigning by one of my favorite historical mystery authors, Jacqueline Winspear, the author of the popular Maisie Dobbs series. If you haven’t heard about the series and like mysteries set in post-World War I England, you can check out Ellen’s DIK review of the first in the series here at AAR.

The booksigning was held at one of the larger independent bookstores in town. I arrived nearly 30 minutes early and planned to browse before the event. My plans changed when I discovered that nearly every seat in the place (over 100) was already filled with people. I quickly snagged a copy of her book and sat down. By the time Ms. Winspear arrived, people were sitting on the floor and standing wherever possible.

Although I’ve read the entire series, I really knew nothing about Ms. Winspear until this event. I was pleased when she announced that rather than doing a reading from the new book, she would tell us a little about how she came to write the series. Originally from England, Ms. Winspear’s grandfather was shell-shocked in World War I. Even as a little girl she was fascinated by English history from 1913-1950, and in particular, with the history of women during that period.

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Romance Author Booksignings: February and Beyond

Lately, while looking for booksignings to post, I’ve noticed that a lot of authors are going to be appearing at various book festivals around the country.  I’ve only been to two book festivals, and have to admit that I didn’t really enjoy either one. The first I went to was the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago. It’s held yearly in Chicago in early June, and the year I went it was unbelievably hot, and the festival was just packed. I really didn’t know what to expect, and ended up fighting the crowds for a few hours, trying to get close to tables with books, without a lot of success. I finally left, without buying anything or seeing any authors.

My second experience was the Texas Book Festival in Austin, held in October. I didn’t know the festival was happening, and happened to be downtown with a friend and discovered the festival by accident. We didn’t have a lot of time, so just rushed past a lot of tables. Once again, it was very hot, very crowded, and I didn’t buy anything.

Now I’m starting to wonder if my experiences are typical, or if I’m missing out on a good thing in book festivals. Have you ever gone to a book festival? If so, which one? Are there any opportunities to interact with authors, or to have them sign your books? Would you travel a long distance to get to one, or is it something really just for the locals?

Once again, I’ve found a number of romance author booksignings in the coming months. I’ve tried to list as many as I could find , but as always, could use your help. Do you know of any authors who are coming to your home town? If so, please let us know about it. If you know of any events that we missed between now and mid-March, please post them in the comments section. If you know of any events occurring after mid-March, please send them to us at aarbooksign  AT and we’ll add them to our mid-March post.

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Upcoming Author Book Signings

Lauren WilligThis has been a banner month for me for book signings. In late October I attended a signing for a debut mystery author, Gary Corby, at my local mystery book store. He was charming, and ended up talking and answering our questions for almost 90 minutes. I walked away with his book – The Pericles Commission – as well as a handful of free bookmarks.

But as fun as that event was, the real literary highlight for me of the past month was attending a book signing by Lauren Willig, on tour for The Mischief of the Mistletoe (yes, Turnip’s story). I arrived at the event about 30 minutes early, and a lot of the chairs were already full. As I settled into my chair, more and more readers arrived, and the bookstore staff kept busy bringing out extra chairs.

Ms. Willig actually arrived a bit early, and chatted informally with the audience as people continued to arrive, assuring the bookstore owner that “start time is just a prompt.” While we waited , we were treated to a number of “embarrassing personal stories” including a tale from an early book tour that included changing hose in the backseat of a cab, while the cab driver carried on a conversation with her, as if nothing unusual was happening.

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Upcoming Romance Author Book Signings

book signingIn January I did a post on my efforts to look for book signings by romance authors. After my original post, several readers and authors commented that they would like to see this as a regular feature at AAR. Time, and personal obligations prevented it from happening sooner, but we’d like to give a serious try to having this as a monthly feature at AAR. But I’m going to need your help! There are only so many signings that I can locate on the Web. But I know that with the diverse geographical representation of AAR readers, we can locate a lot more book signings.

So, to get things going, I’ve set up a special email address (aarbooksign AT for this feature.  I hope that readers, authors, publishers, and booksellers will send information to me there about upcoming romance author book signings. If you learn of an upcoming book signing in your area, or are going to be doing a book signing somewhere, please send me the details (author, date, time, store name, store address), and I will add it to our next monthly post. We’re going to limit this feature to events that are free for readers, so will not be including dinners or events that require paid tickets to attend.

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