A busy week, with a few ups and downs and surprises AND a special blogcast this week!
Last Tuesday I had a speaking engagement with the Retired Omaha City Employees, a presentation my Aunt Shirley had helped set up... but then I had accidentally scheduled it for when she was in Florida!
I got there early to set up the Power Point and the room was already packed - I had heard they liked history, but enough to get there a half-hour early? Nope, they just like to get there early - the organizer told me that the restaurant had even asked that the retirees PLEASE hold off on their arrival so the staff could set up the room, but they still get there early to visit.
There was close to 70 people in the room! I had around 40 books with me and was somewhat worried that I could run out. Anyway, the presentation on "The Forts of Omaha and Council Bluffs" went well, I took a few questions and then set up to the side to sell and sign books. I only sold one book! A couple guys came over to talk history and I may have another speaking gig, but still disappointing for such a large group.
Much better on Saturday - Sue and I went down to Nebraska City for a signing at the Book Clinic, a bookstore in our former doctor's offices (Keitha Thomson - Dr. Thomson's wife - is one of the owners). After breakfast with our friends Scott and Joyce Harpster, we went to the store and were happy to find about a dozen books already waiting for signatures!
This was the Applejack weekend and traffic was pretty steady throughout the morning. I ended up seeing a lot of friends come in - Tom & Cathy Boeche, Mike Redelfs, Kent Schwartz, Linda Sedlacek, Brian Volkmer - and met a lot of new people. We ended up selling 35 copies, which is the best since the "coming out" party at the General Crook House. Fun time at the Book Clinic - hope to be back soon!
(Oh, and if you read the article in the Nebraska City News-Press, you can take it with a grain of salt - I'm saying it was "based on a true story," as the writer took a lot of liberties. Keitha was wondering why it didn't mention the signing, which was the reason I wanted the article in the first place!)
Sunday had us off to Lincoln for a presentation/reading/signing at Lee Booksellers, one of the state's best independent stores. Jim McKee was a great host and provided a fine introduction - I yodelled for about a half hour about the book and the history of the forts, read the chapter on Fort Sidney and told the story of U.S. Grant's visit to Fort Sanders. With the pre-sold books, I think we sold around 20 copies, a very respectable turnout!
I also made contact with a representative from the Nebraska Humanities Council whom I've been visiting with via email, and also with Lori McAlister from the Barneston Otoe-Missouria Reservation Heritage Project. I'm certain my family has some relation with the Barneses of Barneston - this might be a good way to find out by getting involved with the group.
On Wednesday I'm the guest blogger at petticoatsandpistols.com, a web blog site for mostly female western romance writers. They saw the feature article about me in the Omaha World-Herald and asked if I'd be willing to sit in this Wednesday and talk about forts. Absolutely! Hope all of you tune in!
On Friday I'm at the Borders at 132nd & West Maple from 7 pm to 9. Hope to see you there as well!