Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Like most 'overnight successes,' I toiled in obscurity for decades before I was published, and it took another decade after I was published before anyone knew who I was. Still, this was a big moment for me -- walking into a bookstore and seeing my book on the shelves for the first time. I had my share of empty signings or poorly attended ones. I remember sitting outside a table at Waldenbooks in the mall in Concord, CA, giving directions to Sear's. I think I signed one bar napkin that day. Sold zero books. I remember walking into another store with fifty chairs set up for the signing and two people waiting to hear me. Neither of them bought my book. They were there to get advice on getting published.
I would talk to any group that would have me: nursing homes, private book clubs, church groups, even an association of bricklayers (tough audience). I used to sit in Barnes & Noble for a two hour signing time and watch people making a wide arc to avoid me. I'd pass my time keeping notes on interesting people who walked by, practicing my character descriptions. To this day, whenever I go to an event, I get the nagging doubt that no one will show up. It happened to me often enough in the old days! That's another reason I'm grateful for the success the books have had -- because it didn't come easily or quickly, and I know what it's like to be on the bottom rungs of the publishing ladder.
1997 seems like so long ago. It was a pivotal moment for this writer, but I sure am glad I'm not there anymore! The funniest thing: occasionally a fan of my adult mystery series will still wander into one of my Percy Jackson events, completely oblivious to my children's series, and demand with exasperation, "Where did all these kids come from?" Thank goodness for all those kids. They are my audience!
Thursday, February 23, 2012
For those waiting for Mark of Athena news, it will probably be the end of May or June before we reveal anything -- cover, sneak peeks, etc. We like to focus on one book at a time, so The Serpent's Shadow is up first in early May. After that, we'll get back to you on all matters Heroes of Olympus. Never fear though, I'm hard at work on Mark of Athena, though there is still much to do. Fingers crossed, it should be released on time this fall, but there is absolutely no chance it will be released earlier!
Friday, February 17, 2012
looted by armed robbers. I got the same punch-in-the-gut sadness I felt went I learned that the Baghdad Museum had been robbed during the last Iraq War. People in terrible situations are driven to do terrible things. Even in ancient times, the pharaohs' tombs were subject to grave robbing. Still, it's tragic to think of thousands of years of cultural heritage being lost because of the economic turmoil in Greece. And I have no doubt that was at least one motivating factor behind this robbery.
I was lucky enough to visit Greece several years ago and found the Greek people to be incredibly warm and welcoming. I've followed the news about their economic troubles with alarm and grief. The looting of the museum, such a symbol of Greek importance to our cultural heritage, is just insult to injury for the Greeks. I hope the artifacts are recovered. More importantly, I hope Greece begins to see some glimmers of hope in its current situation, though I fear the worst is still to come.