You may know you can find me on the worldwide web, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, GoodReads, the Book Club Network, and on my blog—Hindsight. You may even know you can connect with me through my quarterly e-newsletter update, but you may not have thought to look for me at a chuckwagon supper or at a carriage house.
Last month, Bob and I embarked on a Colorado Road Trip Book Tour for The Bride Wore Blue, the third book in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. Book signings give me the opportunity to connect with bookstore managers and staff as well as with readers. That’s all good! But since I was going to stack a few book signings back-to-back, I tapped my fingertip on my chin and set myself to thinking of ways I could mix it up a bit. I don’t know that you’d necessarily consider my ideas brilliant, but they were definitely fun to instigate.
I write western stories set in the 1800’s. Furthermore, my present series is set in the late 1890’s. While I feed stories into my computer, I try to bring my time period and characters to life for my readers. Why not do so during promotional events?
That question sent me on a search for period appropriate costumes. Gowns, day dresses, skirts, shirtwaists, petticoats, gloves, boots, and hats. No crinolines, corsets, or bustles for me. That decision saved us the trouble of having to haul around a fainting couch. J
My sister Cindy, the tea party lady, told me about www.recollections.com and the owner of a cowboy shop in Sedona told my hubby, Bob, about the Wild West Mercantile in Mesa, Arizona. Both were much more reasonably priced than other resources I’d investigated.
Several years ago, at Murdoch’s in Montrose, Colorado, I’d found a pair of brown lace-up boots. My sister Linda and I both bought a pair. When I bought a purple and black lace Victorian set from the Wild West Mercantile (www.wwmerc.com), I needed a pair of black boots. My hubby Bob found them at a yard sale in the color and size I needed. You can see more about Bob’s yard sale treasure hunts on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/monahodgson/bob-s-yard-sale-finds. And don’t miss the upcoming post that features Bob’s top tips for yard sale success.
Add a New Venue
I appreciate traditional bookstores and booksellers, and included several in my stops on the book tour. The staff and customers at Mardel Christian Store in Colorado Springs loved the costumes. That dapper looking fellow in the bowler hat is Bob.
As I planned this trip and thought about my particular target audience—the readers of historical fiction, I began to brainstorm venues that might hold special appeal for my particular audience. For its western theme, I came up with the Flying W Ranch. The chuckwagon supper and cowboy show was a bonus. For its historical appeal, the Glen Eyrie Bookstore, which is set in a carriage house. Glen Eyrie is the home of the Navigators and the grounds host many historical markers, including a castle. Both venues provided grist for this historical novelist’s idea mill.
I’m making a list for additional pieces I’d like Bob to find for my costume wardrobe and I’m always on the lookout for book signing locations that offer a twist. Might you have ideas for out-of-the-ordinary venues for my book signings?
Side note: I purchased the calico set from www.recollections.com and the purple and black lace Victorian dress at the Wild West Mercantile in Mesa, Arizona (www.wwmerc.com).
To read more about my travels, writing, research, and personal adventures, please visit my blog, Hindsight by Mona Hodgson ~ A Historical Novelist Muses. I also feature Guest Authors and Book Giveaways on Hindsight.
MONA HODGSON is the author of Two Brides Too Many, Too Rich for a Bride, The Bride Wore Blue (May 2012), and Twice a Bride (October 2012), all four books in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series (WaterBrook Multnomah). You can learn more about Mona and her books at www.monahodgson.com and connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/Author.Mona.