The Local Author – One Book at a Time
By Susan G. Weidener
When you find a few good people to spread the word about your book, then setting up tables and displays at fall festivals, standing in burning hot sun all day, and talking to people, who even after a lengthy conversation don’t buy your book, makes it all worth it. Why? You have met potential readers, shared something meaningful.
After a workout class at the Y, a woman stopped me. She had read Again in a Heartbeat. She went on to tell me that following a power outage brought on by high winds and heavy rains, she read my book, finishing it by flashlight. “Your memoir brought tears to my eyes,” she said. “I, too, loved my husband dearly. How I miss him.” We briefly talked about dialysis. Her husband had been on it, as had mine. I knew this woman would remember my book and recommend it to a friend.
Another encounter: By chance I ran into a woman in the hardware store parking lot. She had come to the Women’s Writing Circle and read my memoir, Morning at Wellington Square.
On that day, at that moment, she confronted the imminent death of her mother. “I believe some things are meant to be. Your story came to me at the time I most needed it,” she said. I had written about my mother’s death following a stroke and in some way it helped her realize she wasn’t alone in confronting the downhill spiral and death of her parent.
These are but two of the dozens and dozens of readers who have approached me, shared their views on my books and told me how my stories resonated with them personally in the five-year journey since my entrance into the publishing world as an independent author.
Now, with A Portrait of Love and Honor, a novel based on a true story, I again await the reactions of readers. My story is about one man and one woman’s quest to find honor and connection in a world that is often rife with disillusionment and cynicism. It is about sharing a deeply personal love story based on my late husband’s memoir.
I'm a local author. I’m excited to help women and men get their stories where they want – whether read in the Circle, a few copies published for family, or for a broader audience.
People never ask me who published my book. They don’t care. If we get caught up in the politics of publishing, we run the risk of losing the reasons why we write; as well as eroding the ambition necessary to see a book through from beginning to end, getting it in print against all odds.
Ways I have connected with the community:
- Book signings and talks at libraries and bookstores
- Sharing with book clubs
- Offering writing workshops
- Facilitating my own writing group
Wasn’t it always about the simple act of faith in the written word? . . . facing the blank page each morning over a hot cup of coffee and hoping to write something worthy that would touch a few folks? Conversations and connections drive the local author as we reach our audience, one person, and one book at a time.
*Blogger's note: I was so excited to learn that Susan's writer's group meets a short distance from my home! Susan, I hope my schedule (who am I kidding ... my children's schedule) allows me to join one of your critique groups sometime soon! I so appreciate authors who make it a priority to help other aspiring and developing authors.
About A Portrait of Love and Honor:
Newly-divorced and on her own, 40-something Ava Stuart forges a new life. One day, at a signing in the local library for her novel, a tall, dark-haired man walks in and stands in the back of the room. Jay Scioli is a wanderer – a man who has said good-bye to innocence, the U. S. Army, and corporate America. His outlook on life having changed, his health shattered by illness, he writes a memoir. In his isolation, he searches for an editor to help him pick up the loose ends. Time may be running out. He is drawn to the striking and successful Ava. Facing one setback after another, their love embraces friendship, crisis, dignity, disillusionment. Their love story reflects a reason for living in the face of life’s unexpected events.
Based on a true story, A Portrait of Love and Honor takes the reader from the halls of the United States Military Academy at West Point during the Vietnam War to a moving love story between two people destined to meet.
About the Author:
Susan G. Weidener is a former journalist with The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has interviewed a host of interesting people from all walks of life, including Guy Lombardo, Bob Hope, Leonard Nimoy, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and Mary Pipher. She left journalism in 2007 and after attending a women’s writing retreat, wrote and published her memoir, Again in a Heartbeat, a memoir of love, loss and dating again, about being widowed at a young age. Two years later, she wrote and published its sequel, Morning at Wellington Square, a woman’s search for passion and renewal in middle age. Her novel, A Portrait of Love and Honor, completes the trilogy, inspired by and dedicated to her late husband, John M. Cavalieri, on whose memoir the novel is based. Susan earned a BA in Literature from American University and a master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania. An editor, writing coach and teacher of writing workshops, she founded the Women’s Writing Circle, a support and critique group for writers in suburban Philadelphia. She lives in Chester Springs, PA. Her website is: www.susanweidener.com.
Thank you to WOW - Women on Writing for providing this stop on Susan G. Weidner's blog tour!
For more information about blog hostess, Audry Fryer,
please visit: www.audryfryer.com