Return from Mobile

I returned from Mobile about9:45 pm last night. It was a short night as I had to prepare and pack for Saturday. I arose early, went to Farmerville and marched with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The crowds who came for the parade loved us. After our mile march, I set up to sell books and did sell some at the SCV booth. I also was interviewed live by K-104 about my new book on the radio. I met some really cool people too.

I made many good contacts this week in Mobile. Sold a good many books and must have booked scores of engagements next year (some of them in Mobile) to tell the story of Jim Limber. I learned much about Mobile. I’m sure many adventures await me there this next year. I’ll have more posts about some of the people I met there.

Hotel Thoughts in Mobile, Alabama

Tonight I’m in a Super 8 motel in Mobile, Alabama. Thankfully they have wireless that works. I left Monroe around 10 am, stopped at six different libraries promoting my book and arranging for future signings. I did get some sales out of it, but in some of the libraries the decision makers or directors weren’t there. I had hoped to visit ten, but after 5:00 pm there’s no need of stopping in usually. I’m tired, with more work to do tonight before I go to sleep. I’d also like to read some, and of course I need to write–work on a short story or my novel.

Tomorrow begins the National Convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I’m expecting tons of sales and many future speaking/presentation appointments. If I can keep my expenses to a minimum–and I can–I expect to come out ahead. I’m flipping through one of the Mobile Bay tourist books in my hotel room. It says that Mobile Bay is the culinary capital of the Gulf Coast. There’s many homes and museums that look interesting. However, I know I’ll be working too hard to get to any. I guess I can come back and play another time. Tomorrow night and Thursday, I’ll be in the Radison Admiral Semmes Hotel downtown. According to their advertisement, this landmark hotel has 170 luxurious rooms and suites designed with Queen Anne and Chippendale-style furnishings. It’s within walking distance of the Battlefield Hotel where my vendor’s booth will be. Though it’s a little fancy for a struggling author like myself, I got a good price because of the conference, so the rooms cost only a little more than my Super 8 hotel tonight. I’m sure I’ll have another post describing my trip and Mobile as the Radison Admiral has wireless Internet also.

As I drove here, I finished listening to the twelve audio CD’s of Stephen King’s The Cell. I found it a haunting and engaging read. (I do count listening to a book as a read. Often, I pick up on things I would not have if I had just read it with my eyes). It made me think about the whole cell phone phenomenon. I recall watching a group of a dozen or so female students walking across the university one afternoon. All were talking on cell phones.

Jed Marum

Here is a review I wrote of a great Confederate CD.

In January of 2000, Jed Marum began his year by leaving a lucrative career so he could devote himself to his music. His first year as a fulltime musician earned exactly one tenth of what he had earned the year before. To his credit, he hasn

Book Signing in Sherman, Texas

Saturday, July 21, I’ll have a book signing at the Books-A-Million in Sherman, Texas for my children’s book, Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House. Since that’s the first weekend for sales of the new Harry Potter book, traffic should be intense. Should be an author’s dream-signing. Yes, I know they’re coming for the Harry Potter book, but they’ll all see mine and since lines are likely to be long, I should be able to talk to many people. Channel 12 news has promised to have a photographer there to cover my signing. I’m very excited about this event. I’ll also get to see my parents where I’m staying. We’re all still having some difficulty in adjusting to our lives without my younger brother.

Sherman is the largest city in that part of the state. BAM is the largest bookstore in the area. I write a weekly column for a paper in the area called, TGIF Weekend Bandit, and my latest column concerns Sherman’s history, so I decided to post that short column today as well.

When the Devil Came to Bonham and Sherman

The cities of Bonham and Sherman Texas are such quiet towns these days that it

Radio Interview

Today, I was interviewed on 540 AM Talk Radio by Bob Teague and Corey Crowe. The interview was conducted at 5:30 pm, prime drive time. I found the pair to be sharp, lively, funny, and skillful interviewers.

Peddling Books in New Orleans

I really enjoyed my little book-signing tour in New Orleans last weekend. The city looks much better than it did when I was there the spring after Katrina (at least in the areas I went to). The FEMA trailers that were in every other yard it seemed are now gone, the abandoned cars under the bridges have been hauled off, and many buildings and houses have been repaired. The traffic is still horrible, though I find New Orleans drivers more polite and less risk-taking than New York drivers.

I enjoyed meeting people and telling them about the Jim Limber story. I sold books to people from Atlanta, Scotland, Ohio, New Jersey, various parts of Texas, Alabama and other Southern states. As always when I do signings, I learned some things about how to best promote my book business. I know many authors don’t like this part of the business, but I happen to love it. The fact is, you won’t sell books unless stores order them, and unless you’re like nationally famous, the stores won’t order them unless they have a reason to promote it. Thus, signings are very important.

I love to people watch in New Orleans. I probably got a dozen story ideas while I was there. Enough for now. Writing work to do.

Return from New Orleans

I just returned from my little book signing tour in New Orleans. I’m tired, but excited because it went so well. After the signing at the Ruston Library Thursday night, I had to pack for the trip. I only got a couple of hours sleep, and was on the road by 3:30 a.m. Reached New Orleans in time to visit my publishing company, Pelican, before my first signing at the Algiers Naval Exchange. Security was tight, and there were all kinds of hoops to jump through. (Don’t go to a military base without proof of insurance and car title!) After I was signed in by the commissary staff, I took my station at the Exchange and sold lots of books. All were wives of men stationed there. Military mothers are really cool—so down to earth, so concerned about their children. I also read from my book to a group of 34 children in summer camp there. I had a grand time.

From Algiers, I drove to Napoleonville and did a living history/book talk presentation with a Civil War show and tell table and a talk and some music on my guitar. There too I was well received and sold a good number of books. From there I went to my friend’s house in Napoleonville where I spent the night.

Saturday, I drove to the 1850’s house on St. Anne Street in the French quarter. This place was a bookstore and museum sponsored by the Friends of the Cabildo. Really interesting and committed people work there. I set up a table outside and was selling books like crazy till it started raining and I had to retreat inside. The crowds coming in dwindled, and so did sales.

Another Busy Writing Week:

My week’s writing schedule is filling up fast. Today, I’m making phone calls, tying up loose ends, handling business that was dropped during my week in Oklahoma because of my brother’s death, and working on editing the Daily Harvest book. I also have an SCV meeting tonight. The rest of the week relates to my new children’s book, Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House:

Wed. July 11, Public Library presentation in Winnsboro, LA 1:30 pm