a note from Bob...
Amazon and Barnes & Noble now both have Bearskin to Holly Fork on-line, or you can order it directly from the publisher at http://www.windpub.com/. If you're like me and would prefer giving your business to a local independent bookstore, Wind Publications uses Ingram as a distributor, and any store can order it. If you can manage to convince the store manager to order a few extra, bless your heart.
Two events have been arranged to date:
June 16th at 7:00 p.m. we'll be at Danner's Bookstore and Coffee Shop in Muncie Indiana. That's a Monday, and the day before, the book is scheduled for a splashy show in the Star-Press, the local paper.
Danner's is the best sort of bookstore: independent, owned and operated by Susan Danner, who loves books. She also loves cats: there's a big one running around loose in the store all the time.
July 17th we're scheduled at the Berea Arts Council, in Berea KY, again at seven o'clock. We'll be with Charlie Hughes and Steven Cope, poets from the Lexington area, and you oughta come and hear these guys even if you already have a copy of Bearskin or are tired of hearing me. Steve's got a well-deserved national
reputation, and Charlie's one of my favorite poets.
July 30th there's a book release party at P. S. O'Rourke's a nightclub in Indianapolis IN. Thanks to my son --who happens to own the place-- and the local Jim Beam rep, this will be a "Bluegrass, Bourbon and Bob's Book" night.
I've never been to a signing in a saloon, and suspect you haven't either. If you're anywhere near Indy, come and see us.
(by the way, plural pronouns --us, we, etc.-- are used here because Julie's a full partner in this project, and has as much to with making it happen as I do. We're learning the easy part is the writing. What comes next, if your publisher is a small high-quality literary press like Wind, is much harder.)
Our first "official" signing was June 4th at Coffeetree Books, here in Morehead. The event featured a slew of other authors, including historian Thomas D. Clark (there was a cake in honor of his approaching hundredth birthday) and novelist Silas House (who the same day received the "Thomas and Lilly Chaffin Award for Excellence in Appalachian Writing"). We hoped to sell all the copies Coffeetree had ordered, and did so by around two thirty. The publisher provided more copies, which were gone in an hour,
and Julie finally had to dip into our personal stash. Not having enough books is a good problem to have...
This was especially gratifying since there's a hidden agenda in our marketing of Bearskin. A book is considered "successful" if it sells five thousand copies, especially a collection of short stories. My agent is currently offering other
work to big dawg publishers in New York, and if Bearskin sells well, it'll prove there's a market for this kind of writing. If you've bought a copy of the book, maybe bought others for gifts, if you've convinced your local library to put it on their shelves, or talked a store into stocking it, you've done far more for me and other small-press writers than you perhaps realize.
If you're within a couple hundred miles of Morehead, and know of a group, book-club, bookstore or other organization that would let me come and talk about it, please let us know. And if there's a radio station you know of with an "interview" show I might get on,
maybe via long-distance telephone, we'd like to know about that too.
Thanks for being interested in what we're doing.
PS - While I was typing the above, we got word Julie's grandfather, Richard Brooks, died this morning, in Williamsburg VA, within six months of his ninety-fifth birthday.
I was privileged to visit Dick several times, and developed a profound respect and affection for him. Like most folks who live into their nineties, he had problems remembering what he had for breakfast, but retained vivid recollections of thirty or forty or fifty years ago. Dick believed every day ought to include a "martini hour" at five
o'clock sharp. I can't stand the taste of gin, but thoroughly enjoyed being in his apartment as he mixed a pitcher of drinks for whomever was visiting.
Dick was a retired professor and university department head, with a lot to say about the current sad state of higher education. It's a pity his notions about education weren't heard by rooms full of college presidents. A psychologist by training, he had an extraordinarily distinguished career. Among other things, Dick was one of the original researchers and authors of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the ubiquitous MMPI most of us encountered somewhere or other.
He'd been in a steady decline since the death of Rose, his wife (and love of his life) almost exactly two years ago, and no one doubts he was ready to follow her to whatever comes after that portion of the Wheel of Life visible to mortals. But his leaving means the world
is a smaller place, and I am truly sorry there won't be another opportunity to ask him to "tell me about back then."
You all take care of yourselves and one another.