It was a thrill finally to open the boxes of books when they arrived in mid September!
The cover, I knew, was gorgeous, as I had received marketing cards that feature the cover. And I loved the heft of the glossy paper, even as a softcover, and the size of the photos.
There's nothing quite like paging through for the first time and re-reading passages here and there. I enjoyed starting at the beginning to relive the launch of my journey at Walden Pond. I'll admit, sometimes I could barely remember what I had written and enjoyed reading it almost like it was the first time. Other parts I could almost recite in my head. I especially like how the chapters with Gracie and Woody at Frenchman's Pond came out.
And I was also anxious to see how my dialogue with Thoreau came out in Chapter 23. It took some doing to weave his real, historical quotes into the dialogue. I had imagined having Thoreau join me on part of the journey, and I thank the late, great Edmund Ware Smith for the inspiration after reading his own imagined conversation with Thoreau in his story in Upriver and Down.
Speaking of Thoreau, I have a book event upcoming at the Walden Woods Project/ Thoreau Institute on November 12 in Lincoln, MA near Walden Pond to talk about how Thoreau's "excursions" inspired my own journey, observations and commentary. I'm excited, and quite humbled, to be talking about Storied Waters and Thoreau at Walden Woods. Should be fun!
My first two book events have gone well. I celebrated the release with a talk and reading on October 9 at Norwich Bookstore, which is an excellent independent store with a loyal customer community. I was pleased to see as many new faces as there were familiar faces, so it's comforting to know that someone other than my closest friends will read it.
I also did a presentation and signing at the Pemigawasset Trout Unlimited chapter meeting at the Common Man Inn in Plymouth, NH. I had done a successful event with them a couple years ago to discuss The Confluence, and was glad they invited me back. The audience was attentive (hardly anyone nodded off for very long) and a good number bought signed copies. It's always a pleasure to hear specifically why readers are interested, or to whom they plan to give a copy as a gift.
I have another event upcoming next week at the Converse Free Library in my hometown of Lyme, NH. It's a small library but there are those who love it. AND...yes, it is named Sidney Converse, a relative of Marquis Converse (1861-1931) of Lyme, who founded the Converse Rubber Shoe Co., makers of the iconic Chuck Taylor basketball shoes. I'll wear my Chuck Taylors.
Meanwhile, Storied Waters got a top-line plug in MidCurrent.com's weekly newsletter email; MidCurrent.com is one of the largest fly-fishing e-zines. Storied Waters is for sale in their on-line store. My friend Ed Baldrige let me know that Storied Waters is also in the latest catalog from The Rogue Angler, and for sale on their website.
I got a nice email from my friend, George Smith, telling me that he wrote a review for The Bangor Daily News, also posted on his blog. George has long been a respected voice of the outdoors in Maine, so his review means a lot to me.
And last, but not least, I just received my first review (5 stars) on Amazon, which also has reported solid sales for the first couple weeks. My thanks to Kevin McJunkin, a writer and fly fisher from Pennsylvania.
I look forward to seeing more reviews (please!) on Amazon and other sites including MidCurrent, Rogue Angler, Goodreads and other outlets, as these on-line reviews really help people make the decision to buy, whether on-line or at their local bookstore.
So, overall, I am extremely happy with the early results during the first month after release. Yes, it's tough to compete with Margaret Atwood's The Testaments, which was released about the same time as Storied Waters. But I'm not competing in the dystopian genre, so that's a positive.
A special thanks to all my blog subscribers for hanging with me on this Storied Waters adventure. Please spread the word about my blog and the book.
In future WatchYourBackCast.com posts, I'll be adding a new topic: raising a puppy to be a bird dog, featuring our newest addition to the family, Autumn, a gorgeous
Llewellin Setter pup, just 8 weeks old.
Who can resist puppy posts! Stay tuned!
My first clue that Storied Waters was on sale was an email I received from a fan of The Confluence who saw it on the shelf at Titcomb's Booksshop in East Sandwich, MA on Cape Cod. When I called them to thank them for carrying it, it was encouraging to hear that they had sold the one copy they had ordered and have another on back order.