Launching The Believer at Shaker Village

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

My book launch for The Believer at Shaker Village went great. We had breakfast in the Wash House. While the building is now used for meetings, etc., I kept thinking about how it had once been a work place for the Shakers as the sisters washed the clothes. The Shakers were very forward thinking and were among the first in the area to have running water. They usually ran pipes downhill from a holding tank or sometimes a pool. They even came up with some of the first washing machines. They worked hard, but they also used every innovation they could come up with to make their work faster and easier. Efficiency was much sought but never at the expense of quality.

For sure I had a quality bunch of people there to help me get my new book off the ground and we had a yummy breakfast before I got to get up and tell them my road to being a published writer. I’ve told it so often that I sometimes get tired of hearing it myself, but most people are interested in how a writer got started. For me, it’s an inborn thing. I have an undeniable urge and even more than that, a need to write. That’s why I didn’t hang up my typewriter when I was a young mother with two babies under two years of age and more than I could get done living out here on a farm. That’s why I didn’t give up when I went five years without anybody showing interest in publishing any of my stories. I couldn’t give it up. I had to keep trying. It seems necessary to string words together to tell a story.

And so each time I launch a book, I celebrate the wonder of seeing another story in book form. It’s good to hold the book, to be able to open it up and read my words on the pages telling about the characters who came to life in my imagination. It’s a conclusion in one way – the finish of a couple of years of work. In another way it’s a beginning as now the book will be out there for people to read the words – my words – and use their imaginations to bring my characters to life in their minds. I do so hope readers like my new characters and their story, and having a book launch is a way to get the book out there into some readers’ hands.

After I talked about my writing roots, I talked a little more about the ups and downs of my writing journey. And I finished up talking about my Shaker books and reading a few excerpts from The Believer. At the end we had a Q & A time. That’s always my favorite part whenever I give a talk. Sometimes the questions are about the Shakers. Sometimes the questions are about writing or how I write. I never know where the questions might take us but it’s usually interesting.

If any of you have any questions, we could always have a Q & A time on the blog here. Of course I won’t promise to know the answer to every question. There’s plenty I don’t know such as what sort of book will be popular two years down the road. A how-to writing article I read once said to do that – to figure out what people are going to want to read two years from now when the book you’re writing will be published, but I’m not good with trends. Of course some people probably thought I jumped on what some in the industry call the “bonnet fiction” popularity trend with my Shaker book, The Outsider, but actually I researched and wrote that book twenty years ago. See that time I wasn’t behind the trend. I was way ahead of it.

I do appreciate everyone who came to the book launch and Steve, Bonnie and Mickey from the Corinth Christian Bookstore for hosting the event and making all the arrangements. It’s great to have reading friends who support you by showing up when you’re trying to get a new book off the ground. I’ll be doing another book event here in Anderson County next month. I may change the date on that one, so check my website in a few days.

Right now might not be a good time for me to try to get anything changed on my website because I’m in the internet doghouse again. My grandson came to visit and thought he wasn’t downloading anything on my computer, but he must have. I’ve exceeded my daily limit – again, and it doesn’t look as if I’m going to be able to post this until I get out of the doghouse. This new satellite internet service isn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be.

I did get some remarkable news last week. Summer of Joy is a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year in the contemporary novel category. How about that! I’ve already shared the news with those of you who visit me on Facebook. Come on over and we’ll be friends there too.

I did draw for my fourth July winner. And it’s Carrie of Kentucky. I’ll be sending her an e-mail to let her know she’s a winner if I can ever get out of the internet doghouse.

Hope all of you stay out of the doghouse this week. I love dogs, but this is getting ridiculous. I’m almost ready to go back to dinosaur dial-up.