Monday, September 30, 2013

Something I've longed to see all my life: my book on a library bookshelf. Blue Hydrangeas.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

As World Alzheimer's Month draws to a close free Kindle downloads for Blue Hydrangeas begin at midnight tomorrow through September 30.  If you haven't had a chance to pick up this book now is a great time.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Signing at Bethel Woods

It’s been an exciting last few days as the print copy of Blue Hydrangeas finally reached my anxious little hands and I had the opportunity to launch it into the literary marketplace one-on-one at a book signing at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located on the grounds of the original Woodstock concert site. 
As expected, the festival had a huge attendance and traffic in the craft tent (where I was located) was heavy and steady.  Lou and I reached out to and talked to a ton of people.  I introduced myself as the author for the day (BW reserves a table for a local author at all festival days) and described my book as an Alzheimer's love story.  Some people smiled and walked on by.  Others let out a little gasp, "oh, that's a tough one," and leaned in for a better look at my display.   
This disease is a tender subject and touches so many lives.  Some people cried just talking about it, such as the woman who recounted the story of her good friend and the husband who cared for her with love and patience until the last day, and the woman who lost her dad to Alzheimer's last year and had to walk away because the pain was still so raw she could not speak of it without choking up.  Others were curious about the book and didn’t hesitate to buy a copy, including the woman who lost her father years ago, yet still reads everything she can about Alzheimer's to further understand what happened to him and what may happen to her and other family members she loves. 
I was not sure the book would be welcomed by those currently living with the disease and was surprised to sell a few copies to current caregivers.  The majority of my customers were middle-aged women, avid readers, with a personal interest in either the disease or a good love story.  Some bought the book as a gift for someone they knew living with the disease.  I had the good fortune to sell a copy to a local newspaper columnist and his nurse wife, and an English teacher from my daughter's high school who lost his mother to Alzheimer's a few years ago.   
I also made sure to talk about the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative, to which I am donating five percent of my profits.  The API provides information and updates on the latest news about brain health and connects people who are interested in participating in prevention research with medical studies.  To get involved visit endalznow
It was a cold, cloudy, blustery day and Lou and I were under dressed for the weather, but we kept busy talking about the book and sampling some of the delicious foods available: spanakopita, baklava, hot cider, Philly cheese steak, and cinnamon rolls. The festival is known for its artisanal breads, cheeses, and the best pesto around, and we made sure to take home some of our favorites.  A trip to the Bethel Woods Harvest Festival is always  a pleasant day, book or no book.

Friday, September 20, 2013

They're here! And they're beautiful!

So, my books arrived very late this afternoon and I was sweating bullets waiting for them to get here.  I have my first book signing on Sunday and the books were scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.  When I checked the status of my order with the publisher on Monday I saw it was still in production.  I panicked, realizing it was unlikely they'd make the Wednesday delivery date.  After many phone calls and much anxiety I received word late yesterday afternoon that the shipment had left the building.  I followed the packages' journey online from Rochester, NY to Buffalo, then Philly, Nanuet, and New Windsor until they finally landed in my garage. Whew! What a disaster if they had not arrived today.  As an indie author I am responsible for everything and can only blame myself if and when things go wrong.  I cut it close ordering the books last week but there were issues with the publisher that led to the delay.  Next time, I'll know what to expect and will give myself a little wiggle room.  Anyway, they're here!  And they're beautiful!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Some Things Really Are Serendipitous

Is it a coincidence that I chose to launch the paperback edition of Blue Hydrangeas during World Alzheimer's Month?  Or is it an ingenious marketing method I planned for months ahead in an effort to take advantage of all the buzz about the dreaded disease? 

Hard to believe, but it really is a coincidence, a delightful one.  Those who have followed me throughout this long and arduous process may recall I originally planned to release the paperback earlier this summer.  Yet delay after delay stymied my plans: falling a little short of the learning curve while trying to do it all myself, then conceding I could not finish the project without some professional help; exacerbations of repetitive strain injuries that enforced rest; a serious case of perfectionism that caught minuscule imperfections in the final product, resulting in yet another upload of yet another improved manuscript, and then the waiting for the final proof, which turned out not to be so final.  Sometimes I can't get out of my own way.  But, as things started to really come together, and I had no more reasons to delay, and final publication was getting closer, I looked at the calendar and wondered: Are there any coinciding events coming up that would tie in with my book launch?  World Alzheimer's Month in September stood at the top of the list.

Sometimes things really are serendipitous, and I call these occurrences "green lights," meaning GO! take the chance, dare the risk, put yourself out there, don't stop now.  It's that time for me and this book.  Yes, I know I published on Kindle, which was a lot easier and very satisfying, but my lifelong dream has always been to publish a "book" - a paper book, because for almost all of my life that was the only kind of books there were. So now I've reached the point where I have to let it go, when my book and my dream can no longer be mine alone, and, like the child I've raised and nurtured for years, I need to understand I've done my best and now it's time to share what I've accomplished with the world.  The fact that I'm sharing it during the most opportune time possible is simply good timing, a little luck, my guy upstairs watching out for me. 

Promise me you'll spend at least a moment thinking about Alzheimer's disease this month.  Find one small thing you can do to prevent it from happening to you.  Join the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry at  Take a walk here  .  Make a donation here .

The memories you save could be your own.