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Book Tour April 15, 2009

Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
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I’m still catching up after getting back from a book tour to Southeast Iowa, where I grew up. I did an interview at KILJ radio station in Mount Pleasant; appeared on WTJR Christian TV station in Quincy, Illinois; and did a couple of book signings with my sister Roxanne for an anthology we both contributed stories to. The TV interview can be accessed off the Web site, WWW.wtjr.org, starting May 5. I appeared on “Outreach Connection” with Dr. Deborah Peppers.

TV and radio interviews don’t make me as nervous as presentations, probably because I’ve conducted so many interviews myself as a journalist. I understand the need for a “sound bite” and try to keep my answers short.

Dr. Peppers (she uses the taglines “Add Spice with Peppers” and “Shakin’ the Salt with Dr. Peppers!”) was a gem to interview with, so inspiring herself. We talked about my picture book, The Time-for-bed Angel,  and my two upcoming teen novels, A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up to Live It Down. She’s invited me back once my teen books are released.

After the taping, Dr. Peppers encouraged me to sign up with a speakers’ bureau to gain more speaking engagements. She was a teacher for many years and then moved into professional speaking and hosting TV programs. Like many speakers, she would like to author books. For the past 10 years or more, speakers have been getting pressured to write books to gain credibility and back-of-the-room sales. Authors, on the other hand, are being pressured to speak to gain notice and a forum for selling books (a “platform”). Authors and speakers generally are not one-and-the-same. Most speakers I know are bubbling, enthusiastic extroverts while the authors are introverts content to stay out of the spotlight. To combine those two personalities, it seems a person almost has to be bipolar. But that’s what the speaking and writing industries want these days.

Part of the reason I started this blog (besides establishing another platform!) is to give readers insight into the life of a real author. TV and radio appearances and bookstore signings may sound glamorous to people who haven’t done them, but they tend to lose their luster after a while. Big-name authors like J.K. Rowlings often quit doing them.  At my first signing this past week, a sick child vomited at my table, splattering me. The next day, my sister and I were signing at a chain bookstore and an elderly mall walker strolled past our table, expelling gas all the way. My sister looked at me like, “Can you believe it?” I had been vomited on and tooted at in just two days of my book tour. Ah, the glamorous life of an author! But one of my books earned the rank of a bestseller at the store. And, for an author, that makes it all worthwhile!