I’ve presented The Art of Rebellion at three book clubs so far, and it’s been a tremendous experience. Always thinking of myself as hating public speaking, it turns out I love to talk about books – er, my book in particular. A new facet of my self-image has emerged.
This fall, I present at three more book clubs and can’t wait to do so. The responses and questions I get are always so interesting and make me think about how once a book goes out into the world, it’s the reader’s book, not mine.
So thank you, all you book clubbers! You are awesome and really lift me up!!
When a friend emailed me to say my book had hit Number 6 on the Bestselling Fiction list of our local newspaper, the Calgary Herald, I was a bit stunned. I ran out to buy a copy of the paper, and had to open it to the Books section before I believed her. Sure enough, there was my name in the newspaper in proximity to literary heavyweights like J.K. Rowling and Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale is on my bedside table).
After I got over the initial excitement of being on the list, I realized why it meant so much to me. The reason I write is mostly to express my creativity – telling stories by playing around with words, plot and characters. It’s fun. Or I probably wouldn’t do it. But when I take time to really dig deeper into why I pursued publication, I realized it wasn’t for fame (too fleeting and superficial) or for money (impossible to make money at this gig!). It was so that my stories would reach a greater audience than just family and friends.
Discovering my book on the bestselling list means I’ve reached a broader audience. That’s where the lasting satisfaction lies – knowing there are readers out there willing to be taken on Gabbi’s adventures – for better and for worse. Mostly for worse, because that’s what makes stories, after all.
So thank you to all those people who purchased The Art of Rebellion, and are reading it. Welcome to my world. (Ed.note – The Art of Rebellion has appeared on the Calgary Herald bestseller list four times in 2016, most recently at #5.).
The wise saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child…” but when it comes to launching a book, I believe this also applies. It certainly did for mine.
I cannot express my gratitude enough to all of those who worked behind the scenes to prepare the food, the decorations, the house and yard, and those who worked diligently and joyfully during the launch party evening.
I’m also grateful to family and friends who came to the launch, listened to my readings and even bought some books. And, especially, a huge thank you to the team of wonderful authors/editors/artists/marketers at Rebelight Publishing, who took a chance on my story, envisioning it to be a published novel! Thanks to Deborah Froese, Suzanne Costigan, Melanie Matheson and Melinda Friesen.
Now for the “villagers” behind The Art of Rebellion – in order of mug shots below…Maureen Boudreault, Dave Loader; Lucas Johnson; Lanice Jones; Rona Fluney; Joyce Sunada; Sandy Kemmet; Maryse & Peter Doner; Barb Lawrence; Diane Standing; Guy Sunada; Carole Atkinson; Inge Leahy; Vicki Keller; Stella Ehrler (who donated the book launch cake, created by her daughter Alix); Mark Moss and my amazing husband,Reyn Johnson; Eric Norrie; Connie Takken; Ellen Sidorsky; Jane Senda (not present but present in spirit through her gift of The Art of Rebellion aprons and tote bags).
I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting my website, and are as excited as I am about the impending release of my historical novel, The Art of Rebellion. Look for it in independent bookstores and on Amazon and Chapters online.
Over the course of the next several weeks in this blog, I’ll expand upon many of the fascinating facts I stumbled upon while writing the novel. My first blog, already posted, is all about detective cameras – miniaturized cameras developed in the mid- to late- nineteenth century that allowed for secretly photographing people or places – imagine a camera hidden in a hat or pistol!
My next post will explore nineteenth century hairstyles – for men and women. Discover what a “hair rat” is and how one was used, plus many more hair fashion tips from over one hundred years ago. I’ll try to spare you from some of the grosser details. 🙂
As always, I welcome your feedback! (See the Contact tab on my website).