LIVING THE DREAM, Part 4: Is This Really Me?

Tuesday, August 15

Comfort, Texas

The magic day — the day my first shipment of books to arrive — dawned at last! I woke up early, flipped on the coffeemaker, and began listening for the UPS truck.  Around noon, I heard a rumble of a truck and the crunch of its tires on our rocky road.  I looked through an opening in our living room blinds and glimpsed something brown. Seconds later, I heard a rap on our door. It was the driver carrying the last of three boxes that he had stacked beside the door.

My heart beat like a drummer in a 1960’s rock band — snares and all — as I picked up the top box and tried scooting it inside the door.

“Hey, babe, come on in. Let me do that,” Jeff said, as I went inside and flopped into my recliner.

After Jeff toted the heavy boxes up the steps of our fifth-wheeler,  my breath caught as he picked up the first box and sliced it open with his pocket knife. Inside the box, beneath a layer of bubble wrap, lay copies of my debut novel, FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS. I picked up the book on top and feasted my eyes on its cover: black silhouettes of two women and a baby centered on a glossy, green cover. I fanned its 232 pages.

My book. The “baby” I delivered at the end of an eight-year pregnancy. As any other new mother would do, I wept out of joy, relief, and  disbelief. It has seemed like a wonderful dream.

Since January 2009, when I flew out to Port Aransas, Texas, to reunite with Cousin BeeGee and attend the Laughing Gull Writing Workshop in Port Aransas, I have been working on one draft after another of BY HER DAUGHTER’S HANDS, the book from which FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS originated.

Now, these beautiful green books  bearing my name — Kim Terry — were here at last. As an adoring ‘first-book mommy’, I could hold them in my hands. Feel their pages between my fingers. Smell the ink. Kiss them, even. Okay, that last visual is weird, but you get the point.

Right away, I remembered the books I promised to my sons, so I autographed them on the Dedication page, and Jeff packaged each book in a padded envelope  for Tam, Terry and Colin (Terry’s best friend since college who has been like a third son to me) and a fourth copy for a high-school friend.  Having already booked four signing gigs, we were glad to receive them in time. The first two signings on August 18 and 20 at Hill Country Distillers, in Comfort; Saturday, August 19 event at Hill Country Cellars Winery in Bandera, and Wednesday, August 23 event at the RV Park USA clubhouse, immediately after our bingo game.

In preparation for the launch, my publisher and his team have broadcast information about me, my book, and my events on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram nationwide.

And, speaking of Amazon, I have set up my page on Author Central. You can access it by clicking on the ‘page’ link, above. It contains links to my book, blogs, events, photos, and videos.

Now, since my book is on Amazon in two formats: the large-print soft-cover (available now through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers) and the e-book (available on the official launch day of November 7) At this time, the e-book is available for pre-order.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the book-signing events at the Distillery, once I learned to mingle with the crowd instead of stationing myself behind the signing table the whole time. On that first night, we sold thirteen books. When we returned, we sold one more, as I received a check from a friend of mine for the book she requested.

Over the weekend, as I was mixing with the people at the Distillery when I met Steve and Shawn Owen. As I shared author anecdotes with them, Steve requested an interview with me at a quiet place in the next few days,  so we reserved the clubhouse here at our RV park. The interview, to be available on iTunes, will be aired in January 2018. The first five listeners to respond will win autographed copies of FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS.

This “star” treatment has been both thrilling and humbling. It took only one phone call to one person to start the ball rolling. In June 2017, I took the first step in my journey to becoming an author.

Loyal readers, I look forward to your comments. Did you enjoy this post? Let me know by leaving your comments at the end of this post.

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LIVING THE DREAM, Part 3: Realer and Realer

Friday, 8-4-17

Comfort, Texas

Jeff and I are on the patio and lingering over our first cup of coffee when we hear a rumble followed by a hiss of brakes. I look up to find a UPS truck parked at the edge of our site. Minutes later, a brown-clad UPS man brings us two packages. One is long and rectangular; the other, square.

We already know what they are but, still, I can hardly wait to open them. Toting them inside, we unwrap the long box and pull out three posters, 500 business cards, two spiral notebooks and 100 flyers, all bearing my photo with three, long-awaited words: Author Kim Terry.

Author. Kim. Terry.

My breath catches. The only way I could possibly be more excited is to hold my book in my own hands. The Vistaprint materials that Jeff expertly designed, with my approval,  have arrived just in time for my book-signing gigs. Now, all we need are the eighty hardback copies of FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS, due to arrive on or around August 15.

Book-signing gigs. To seasoned authors, they may be no big deal, but to a debut author like me, the very thought of them makes my pulse race.

Later, that day, Jeff and I gather up the new supplies and drive into historic Comfort to Hill Country Texas Distillers where Head Distiller, James Stout, doles out medicine-cup-sized samples of ‘specialty distilled spirits’ in tantalizing flavors including jalapeno, lemon, grapefruit, orange, and coffee made from Texas cactus. After we flash my business card and a flyer, we explain that we want to book a signing at Hill Country Texas Distillers.  He calls the bartender, Esmeralda, into the room to ask her to tell us what the best days and times would be for our event. While we discuss them, she bangs out a soul-searching Bloody Maria and presents it with a garnish of Spanish olives. With the first sip, my eyes water and my nose runs. In other words, it’s perfect. As I savor the spicy drink, she and I decide on two days and time slots: Friday, August 18 from 4-8 p.m. and Sunday, August 20, from 3-7 p.m. On our way out, we bag a 375 ml. bottle of coffee-flavored “Dulce” sure to boost our morning java.

Whoa, but these two gigs are just the beginning! A few days later, Jeff and I set out to book as many gigs as we can, including our clubhouse at RV Park USA and, maybe, even the Black Pig, a rustic but charming cafe nestled in the rolling hills outside the town of Fredericksburg.

With the help of my publisher, the next step will be publicizing the events on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, WordPress.

As we count the days until the first event, I remember times when I would be coming to a “rolling boil” on a work-in-progress, only to be forced to put my project on the back-burner long enough to go teach my English classes. Days when I churned out lesson plans when I would rather be churning out my novel. Days when I wondered whether that blessed day would truly come when I could settle into my recliner and write to my heart’s content. On December 31, 2016 — the day my retirement from teaching began — that day dawned at last.

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