Book Signing

Last year, about this time, I had already attended two signings and was gearing up for number three; an event geared towards publicizing upcoming writers and local authors.

As most of you, or at least those of you who follow my occasional ramblings, know, I was met with some success at said event.  While my books didn’t fly off the shelves, (due to the blizzard raging outside), I made several great contacts and had the chance to meet some awesome readers!

This year has been somewhat frustrating for me, what with the delays, setbacks, and other such business, so this couldn’t come at a better time.  I need this.  I am ready for this.  I only wish I could say that I’m walking in with my completed trilogy.

Oh, don’t get me wrong!  I have two books waiting to be released.  J.R. van Helsing was met with great interest in September by a publisher whom I have spoken at lengths about a possible partnership.  (I’m currently waiting on a response once they have fully reviewed my work.)   The Darkness Defines Us is also finished, however, I am waiting on the cover art to be completed.

There have been some hassles with the latter, but I believe I have found an answer to my problems.  With this title, I wanted to do a local promotion; ‘Local Author & Local Artist Combine Talents For Book’, or some such thing.  This wasn’t an idea I was first willing to run with, but after meeting with artist who volunteered her skills, it soon grew on me.

Unfortunately, I think she didn’t know what she was in for and had to bow out of the project a month later.  It’s only too bad that I had to find out a month later!

I found another who wanted to try his hand at the project, and I offered it as a passing when he showed some interest in getting back into the art world, but he, too, had much more on his plate than he could handle.

Finally, I ‘think’ I have found someone with the time (and gumption) to get the job done.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but if this works out it will be very cool for both sides of the party.  His work will represent my book, and I can help spread the work of a musician/artist at the same time!

That being said, I wanted to share with you my upcoming book signing.  I realize that most of my readers won’t be able to attend, however, in my excitement I couldn’t help but to share!

I will be at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (1515 SW 10th Ave, Topeka Kansas, 66604), at their ‘Great Writers, Right Here’ Event on December 6th from 1-5pm CST.  

What Do You See?

When I was much younger, and while I was still in school, an English Professor brought an empty book to share with the class.

It didn’t have a title, nor did it have any art on its cover. When you opened it, there was no Table of Contents and not a word adorned the pages inside. It was as I said, an empty book.

He passed it around and one by one my peers flipped through it.

He hadn’t told us what he was sharing and he asked that we kept our thoughts to ourselves until it returned to his desk.

Because I sat in the back of the class, I was one of the last to get my hands on this new treasure. I watched with interest as some students snickered when they discovered its secrets, and confusion when others grew irritated with the apparent gag they were inspecting.

It seemed like it took an eternity for the book to get to my desk, (actually only five minutes, but I was young and time was different back then) and I could hardly contain my curiosity.

Then the moment had come. Here was the object of so many mixed emotions and reactions and now it was my turn to learn the source of this mystery!

I was nervous. All eyes were on me as I slowly lifted the cover away from the first page. I hadn’t thought anything about the blank cover, I was so used to wrapping my own with paper bags from the local grocery and it was with the eagerness of youth that I looked for the first line of this new story.

“What do you see,” my professor asked. His voice broke the silence, startling all those nearest him and snapping me back to the present. I didn’t realize it at the time, and if I had I might have embarked down this path a lot sooner, but when I looked upon that blank page I saw something that nobody else had seen.

“Nothing. He sees nothing because there’s nothing there,” answered one of my peers for me.

The class murmured in agreement to the young man’s answer and a small number erupted into nervous laughter, but my instructor had enough wit to quell the uprising before it had gone too far.

“Thank you for your opinion Mr. Handke,” he answered calmly, “but let Mr. Noland answer the question.”

I looked up, startled. A bead of sweat formed above my right brow, growing larger and larger until inevitability it was drawn down by the pull of gravity.

I almost didn’t answer. I almost couldn’t!

But the word that jumped to my mind and from my mouth in that next instant was one that I believe it takes a writer to utter.