On July 28, 2019 I went down to my publisher’s office and opened the first boxes of LET ME IN books. They were, literally, hot off the press. One of my best friends from book club was there, as was my son and admin assistant, Lee. I sliced open the boxes, and pulled the first books out. There I was, a 20 something face staring out at me, phone at my ear, my mom’s kitchen surrounding me. That’s the cover shot, taken one vacation when I was home but still conducting business over the old fashioned phone, racking up long distance charges on my mom’s line.
Earlier in the summer I had begun networking with groups in the Twin Cities. While I had been on the Ski Sojourn roadtrip, I had gotten my forwarded mail and read the Sun-Current local paper. A small blurb caught my eye—about a group called Aging but Dangerous. I had been going to their chapter meetings and signed up for their author membership. I figured this group would be one of my target audiences.
I also began going to WOW meetings—Women of Words—writing networking groups. It was there I met mystery writing novelist, Barbara Deese. She shared one of her books with me that I read and posted reviews on several sites.
Mid-summer I met with another author, Nancy Dahl, whose business book, Unplugged, had been on the market and she was generous in sharing her experiences, contacts, and most importantly, her audio book producer. She narrated her book herself.
I had already decided I would not narrate my book. When I was in college on holiday break, we were preparing Thanksgiving dinner and I asked where the gravy ladle was. I pronounced it “laddle” like saddle. My mom and sisters roared with laughter at my expense. Ever since I have been self-conscience of mis-pronouncing words. For this first book, I wanted a professional to do the work… and I wanted to spare myself the embarrassment of a mis-spoken word—or two.
Nancy directed me to Marshall Davis, Davis Sound, who happened to have his sound studio less than four blocks from my Hopkins condo. How fortuitous!
Marshall sent me four sample tapes from female voice talents. I listened to all four, but didn’t really know what I was listening to or for. I picked the second one. Jennifer Lund. Another random act.
In July Jennifer and Marshall began the process of recording the book for the audio book. Another item checked off the list.
In July I began playing tennis with the Alexandria Tennis Association M/W/F group. The first time I went, I knew no one, and my first doubles partner was a tall and lean retired gentleman. As I have done a million times, I made small talk with this guy, really wondering whether he was going to be a good partner or not. It turned out he was retired (I had guessed that, since we were playing at 9 am on a Monday) and had owned a business at Carlos Corners building steel bridges. My interest was tweaked—I had been a follower of these bridges for at least 20 years. They were everywhere—at golf courses, but also at parks and on walking trails. Then for conversation’s sake, I asked him what his wife did. He said, “Kathleen owns and operates the Cherry Street Bookstore in town.”
OMG, you gotta be kidding me. Here we were, playing doubles on the middle school tennis courts in Alexandria, Minnesota, and my random doubles partner is the husband of the owner of the local bookstore. Someone was looking out for me. I met Kathleen Pohlig and she lined up a book event for me. And the rest will be history (after the Alexandria book signing event—September 21 from 1-3 pm at Cherry Street Bookstore).