BACK THE TRUCK UP TO THE DOOR

Know what’s very exciting and a little bit scary? Watching the ginormous delivery truck pull up with a shipment of books Dogwood Press is publishing. The trucking company almost always sends a polite driver who expertly unloads the palettes of books from the truck. Those pallets, which are shrink-wrapped and contain as many as 40 cartons of books, are always labeled with DO NOT STACK. Yes, that would seem to be a no-brainer. But I had a really bad moment a few years ago when a pair of (inexperienced/clueless) guys tried to bring two stacked pallets off the truck.
They got as far as the lift gate when the top pallet began to lean…

Disaster was thankfully averted that day, although I was immediately on the phone with the company that shipped and told them I would be having nightmares about a half ton (literally) of books tipping over and landing in the driveway. That led to DO NOT STACK labels being affixed to all shipments.

But busting open the first carton of books is always a little spooky, too. Sure, it’s a big thrill, whether it’s the debut by one of my authors or one of my own novels. Until we’ve eyeballed an actual hard copy and held it in our hands, we don’t know for sure that it turned out okay. Do the colors pop off the cover like they’re supposed to? Any pages printed upside down? Is the copyright page information correct? Is the author’s name (and book title) spelled correctly? There are all kinds of stupid mistakes we can make on this end, and there are a variety of problems that can take place where the books are being printed.

I’m happy to report, though, that John Floyd’s DECEPTION turned out great, and we had a barn-burner of a launch at Lemuria on May 1!!!

John has some of the most loyal fans anywhere! 

Not pictured: truly nasty weather conditions, making the great attendance all the more remarkable!

This young Floyd fan can’t wait to dig into DECEPTION after a heaping spoonful of Gerber!

 

Meantime, I was invited to be part of PITCH FEST at the 2013 Oxford Creative Non Fiction Writers Conference & Workshops this past Saturday. This was an event where prospective authors pitched their works to literary agents, magazine editors, and publishers. Each writer had four minutes to pitch his or her work, and it was truly fascinating to hear the different ideas out there. I talked to 15-16 writers and thoroughly enjoyed it. My thanks to author/publisher Neil White, who worked very hard to put on a very thorough four-day conference and assembled a LOT of talent–anyone who attended all four days received an education you just can’t get in a textbook.

That’s me with Neil White. In addition to writing the fantastic memoir IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS, he runs Nautilus Publishing Company from Oxford and has released a variety of successful titles in recent years.



Listening to a pitch from an author at PITCH FEST…

 



…and pitching books at the Hattiesburg Books A Million. That’s old friend Lauren Amburgey Shurden.

Several events this weekend: I’ll sign my Oakdale novels at Books A Million of Meridian this Saturday at noon; John will sign DECEPTION at Books A Million of Hattiesburg this Saturday at noon; Valerie Winn will sign FORSAKING MIMOSA in Pascagoula this Saturday at the Live Oak Arts Festival. Come say hello and pick up a signed book! They make great gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation presents, and birthdays!

And DECEPTION will be available for Amazon Kindle users in several days. Here’s our list of Dogwood Press titles you can grab if you own a Kindle:

JOHN M. FLOYD – DECEPTION (available the week of May 6)
JOHN M. FLOYD – CLOCKWORK
VALERIE WINN – FORSAKING MIMOSA
JOE LEE – THE MAGNOLIA TRIANGLE
JOE LEE – THE LONG ROAD HOME
JOE LEE – LAST CHANCE TEXACO
JOHN LEE – THE LEGEND OF ROGER

While all that’s going on, we’re knee-deep in our preparations to release the Michael Hewes novel, WATERMARK, in October. Really excited about this one, and here’s a sneak peek at the cover.

In addition, John, Valerie, and I will join Michael for a really cool seminar at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs on October 12. It’s a 10am event that will last about 90 minutes. We’ll all discuss different aspects of what we do, take questions, and sign books. WATERMARK will be brand-spanking-new at the time and a REALLY hot item on the Coast!!!

Coming to a bookstore near you this fall!

 

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