A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Writer's Dream: Teresa Rhyne Debuts Her Book at Book Expo America

            Talk about exciting news!  Some of you may remember an earlier visit to this blog from Teresa Rhyne.  Teresa was talking about her upcoming book The Dog Lived and So Did I.  Recently she was featured with that book at the Book Expo America in New York City.  In this post she tells about that thrilling experience.

        We arrived at the Javits Center in New York, where Book Expo America was held, the day before the event was to start. My marketing manager, Valerie, had suggested we meet at the exhibition hall that afternoon so I could see the publisher’s booth (they were setting up) and pick up my nametag, along with one for Chris, my significant other. Valerie met us in the lobby and then took us upstairs to Sourcebooks’ “booth.” I was greeted with this:

         Yep. That’s my book. That’s my dog. That’s my life! (Well, you know, if you read the memoir.)  I was so shocked (note surprised look on my face). I had no idea. Nor did I know there’d be a two page spread featuring my book in their fall catalog:

         It was beginning to get very real. My memoir was actually, finally, really going to be published. Another reality quickly hit as I started meeting the talented team at Sourcebooks—and they already knew so much about me (and Chris!). Because, of course, though I failed to comprehend the meaning of this—they’d read my book. Oh, right. So people are going to know stuff about me. In fact since we joke that Chris is basically naked for the first three chapters of the book, much fun was made of that (Editor to Chris: “I did not recognize you with your clothes on.” Chris to marketing group: “My eyes are up here ladies.”)

        On the day of my signing (200 books were gone in 35 minutes!) the “people will know about my life” reality deepened as folks told me about their dogs or the people they’d known that had cancer. At the American Library Association conference the same thing happened. Several times I was asked to sign the book for someone currently in treatment or (so hard) in remembrance of someone who’d passed away from cancer. I met a lot of breast cancer survivors. And I heard a lot about people’s beloved dogs. I hope I responded well.

       Those are the topics of my memoir—the love of dogs, canine cancer, breast cancer and finding love 9oh, um, human that time). I wrote a book about those things. And amid all the fantastic fanfare and celebration of books that is BEA and ALA, there was this revelation: I shared experiences with many people. They would now share their experiences with me. And isn’t finding this commonality what writing memoir, at least in part, is about? Isn’t that part of the experience? I don’t know why I wasn’t fully prepared for this—maybe one can’t be. And perhaps especially not when one is a debut author dealing with all of the excitement of going to BEA and all that leads up to that. But by ALA (2 weeks after BEA and here in California, so no jetlag time change to deal with) I think I was better prepared. I’m looking forward to the chance to talk to more folks, to hear more shared experiences. To know I was not alone in what I felt, or did, or said. And to help somebody else feel that way.


           BEA and ALA also meant that Advance Reader’s Copies of my book are out. And I got a few for my personal use. So you memoir writers know what that means, right? Yep…the families (Chris’s and mine) have read the book. Mostly, I can let out a sigh of relief over the reactions (also, I can finally stop answering the “am I in the book?” question!). Not everyone was pleased, of course. Some (many, maybe most) people are more private than I am. But I’m comfortable that what I told was my story from my point of view.  And it appears that everyone will be supportive, even if “in their own way.”  At least no one has accused me of lying.

          Other take-aways from being at these two huge book events? Memoir is alive and well…among celebrities. I kid, I kid. There were many memoirs by we nobodies on display at both events and hey, I totally understand why Teresa Guidice (from Real Housewives of New Jersey) had a longer line for her book than I did for mine (no, no I don’t ;-) But I do understand why Neil Young’s memoir was in bigger demand, and I will admit I wanted to stand in line for Molly Ringwald’s book myself.). I was just happy I had a line.  Also, there are 1000s and 1000s of books coming out each season. Suddenly it was all clear to me why an author has to be ready, willing and able to promote the heck out of his/her own book. It was also clear to me why my publisher put my totally adorable dog on the cover of the book.

If you want more on my BEA or ALA experience (including the Rock Bottom Remainders final concert), please check out my blog at http://www.teresarhyne.com/blog
     
        As always, I’m happy to answer questions.





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24 comments:

Betty J. said...

What a great promotion story! I wish you a big success with this book. I'm anxious to see the movie.

Teresa Rhyne said...

Thanks Betty! A movie!?! Ha...now that would be an interesting experience.

Ella said...

Congrats Teresa, this all sounds amazing...what a story to share~
I look forward to reading your book :D
ATB

Teresa Rhyne said...

Thank you, Ella. It has been quite an experience. I hope you enjoy the book!

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Congratulations on your achievement! It must have been a real buzz to participate in the book-signing. Keep having fun.

Empty Nest Insider said...

What a great title! I'm sure that your experiences are an inspiration on so many levels. Congratulations on your success, and I wish you and your dog continued good health. Julie

shelly said...

Very, very cool!

Shelly

Teresa Rhyne said...

Thank you all. Yes, definitely a breathtaking experience. And as for the title--it was very important to me. I love dogs but I can't read a dog book if there's a remote possibility the dog dies. I know I'm not alone! I was thrilled the publisher agreed.

Teresa Rhyne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine Rains said...

Congratulations! And what a great story. I love the title too. :)

Teresa Coltrin@Journaling Woman said...

First of all, what a great first name you have. ;)

Secondly, that experience IS a writer's dream. Congratulations!

Teresa

Dee said...

Dear Teresa, I'm so happy for you. Congratulations. You've have such success in getting the book published and I wish you additional, pressed down and overflowing, success with getting the word out there about your book and with financial success as well.
Lots and lots and lots of sells! Peace.

Teresa Rhyne said...

Christine, Teresa and Dee (and everyone!), Thank you all so much. It has seemed like a dream--albeit one that a lot of work went into. And Seamus sends his "AAAARRRRROOOOOO" to all.

J.L. Campbell said...

Congrats on that. That's some good exposure via your publisher. Wishing you more good things with your book.

Teresa Rhyne said...

J.L.--my publisher is Sourcebooks, and yes, they've been absolutely wonderful!Thank you.

Sherry Ellis said...

200 books sold in 35 minutes? Wow, that is awesome! Congratulations on your success!

Teresa Rhyne said...

Sherry--well, that would be awesome. But what is also awesome is at BEA they are giving away the books. They are ARCs, specifically for promotional purposes. But, since attendees can't possible take every free book there (for an avid reader, it's like some crazy dream!) one does have to self-select. So I had visions of everyone over in line to get Molly Ringwald's new book (she was there) or Sherman Alexie or any of the other well-known authors with long lines, while I sat quietly hoping someone would want my book. So, I was still thrilled with 200 books in 200 readers hands in 35 minutes. (And thrilled beyond sleep--literally--with being at BEA).

Talli Roland said...

Wow, talk about living the dream! How fantastic. Many congratulations!

Teresa Rhyne said...

Thanks, Talli. Still dreaming!

Heather Murphy said...

I haven't heard of Teresa or her book but this sounds like a book I would love. I will add it to my TBR list!

Lynda R Young said...

What a fantastic experience for the promoation of your book. Congrats!

Shannon Lawrence said...

How exciting! Sounds like a fantastic experience. Molly Ringwald has a memoir out? I had no idea. Continuing good luck with your book!

Arlee Bird said...

Teresa, thanks for sharing this great story on my blog.

Thanks to all who stopped by with comments.

Lee

Teresa Rhyne said...

Shannon--oops, no, Molly Ringwald's book is fiction. (Honestly though, she could have been there signing napkins and there would have been a line down the block!)