Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Day Is It? I'm Soo Busy!

We have set up a base camp and after a few days of general running around I've started my research projects. Hey now, that's not as bad as it sounds. I've gotten to see friends and family - my cousin and my best friend from high school. There are still a few people I want to look up.
I've never felt isolated or out of touch in Kentucky, because my parents and my sister moved down. However, here I'm very aware of how many blood relations I have that I haven't seen in 20 or 30 years. Many of them can only be visited in graveyards.
Last night the wind came off the lake, dropping temps into the low 60's. We were fortunate to be surrounded by trees, so the camper got knocked around a little bit, intermittently.
Today my cousin took us down to Tinker's Hollow. Which, to my surprise is on State Road and has a covered bridge over the Conneaut Creek.
There is a vineyard nearby - not in the Hollow, because of the curse, you see.
I was also petitioned by some of the local flora to set them free. They were in a sandbank and doing poorly. I promised them a place in my garden. So I'm returning with a bucket full of Tinker's Hollow Tiger lilies.
I hate to admit this, but I'm a crappy researcher. I thought I could whip through the files on the Ashtabula Horror Bridge Disaster. Wrong, I did get a few things scanned, but didn't have the time or a quiet place to read through it all.
The Kingsville Public Library was a good place to start. I spent most of Monday there.
Today is Tuesday - we took a big slice of the Covered Bridge tour - Kingsville, Tinker's Hollow, Gageville, Ashtabula Harbor and Main street. Spent a couple hours at the Ashtabula public library too. I just scratched the surface there.
Also had the COOLEST encounter with Jim Drew, a writer, and his wife at the Marine Museum (which was closed - only open on weekends - I'll bet they're funded on a shoestring.) Jim writes SciFi - and has 1 book self-published to Amazon.
We exchanged email addresses - I gave him a couple URLs and blogs to check out. Told him to read to Dean Wesley Smith's "Think Like a Publisher' because it was the best place to get started. He mentioned being overwhelmed - which I understand - and not knowing what to do next.
I figured this was my chance to pay-it-forward in a big way.
WOW - what a day!


Jim Drew said...

Kate - Jim Drew here, pay it forward in a big way you certainly did. What a day for Carolyn and I, too. I've been putting much of your good advice to use. Thanks. How is your research going on the train wreck? Last night I picked up a book of Great Lakes disaster stories and decided to pick one to read. By chance the one I picked turned out to be a story about the wreck of the Pacific Express in December 1876 in Ashtabula. I think that is the wreck you are researching. This particular story centers around one of the people who died in the crash along with his family but does give some details. There are photos of the bridge before and after it collapsed and a photo of the memorial in the Ashtabula cemetery where a number of the unidentified victims were buried en masse. The book is "Ships and Men of the Great Lakes" and the particular section in the book on the wreck is titled "Let The Lower Lights Be Burning." Maybe that is of use to you.
Thanks again.

K. A. Jordan said...

Hi Jim!
It was so good to talk to you!

The book sounds like a good one. I'll see if I can get my hands on a copy. I got to the Chestnut Grove Cemetary but I didn't get down to the site of the wreck.

My books were waiting for me when I got back.

Have you been able to use any of the information I gave you? Hope so!

Jim Drew said...

Hi Kate, yes, been reading Dean Wesley Smith's stuff, went ahead with Kindle Select and downloaded the Smashwords material which I plan to use later (after Kindle expires or maybe my next book).
Bought a copy of Swallow the Moon from Amazon but haven't received it yet. I sometimes go to sci-fi and gaming cons and note that a lot of those people are into paranormal/supernatural stuff. Supposedly next year there's a con near here that is going to do some stuff for authors. Might be interesting.
Remember to let us know if you get back up this way.

K. A. Jordan said...

Aha! You are the person who made my day, buying the first copy of 'Swallow the Moon.'

DWS is the bomb - he and his wife have found the perfect middle ground between trade and indie publishing.

Keep me informed on the Con - I've not been to one in years, but I'll see if I can get it together enough to go.

Let me know how your books are doing. I have an email contact here.

Jim Drew said...

Hi again,
E-mail address? I think I wrote mine on the back of the card I gave you so if you want to do things that way, send me something.
Your train wreck has taken over my life. I was at our Jefferson plant yesterday and got to talking with one of the engineers who is a sort of amateur historian and we started talking about the train wreck. He says that two of the three hotel buildings that were there when the train wreck happened are still standing and that there is a historical map site that shows what was there. Also he mentioned that the buildings that remain are haunted - or claimed to be by some. He doesn't believe it. Something about the bodies were dragged up the hill to the hotels which must have been near the train station.
I let you know what comes of the con if it materializes that they are going to do something for authors.
Have a great day.

K. A. Jordan said...

The Hotel Ashtabula is one of the buildings. I think it's the basement that held the bodies. I've loaded the PDF files I scanned to a Scrivener file. I'm experimenting with this software because I'm frustrated with Word.

I'm hard at work on that series. The bare outline of the book is starting to emerge.

I've got another book to finish before I can give it my entire attention.

Did you get the copy of 'Swallow the Moon' yet?

Jim Drew said...

Hi Kate, got Swallow the Moon and set aside the book I was reading to start reading it. So far it has keep me turning pages - a really good thing. However, I'll reserve final judgement until I see where you take me. Keep at it.

K. A. Jordan said...

Hey - Glad you like it!

It will take you on a wild ride. I've got a couple of great motorcycle chase scenes!

I'm really pleased with the way they turned out.

Jim Drew said...

Hi Kate,
I finished Swallow the Moon and enjoyed it start to finish. Honestly, I was a bit hesitant to buy the book as the quality of work published through CreateSpace varies widely and some of it can be crap, at least in my opinion. You are certainly proof that there are good books to be found on that list. I am curious about how you are marketing your work and wonder how that is working. Right now I only have the one book available, it being near-future science fiction so I’ve put most of my efforts into Sci-Fi cons as that seems to be where my audience is concentrated. Swallow the Moon being “urban fantasy” I’d think many of your potential readers are in that same con-attendees group. My next novel, which I am planning to have published by the end of the year, is not sci-fi so will need to look for other marketing venues for it. If you know people who read science fiction, please send them to my website or at least pass along my name. I will do the same for you.
Another thing, which you may have already researched. We visited Bridge Street again this past weekend and I was surprised to find a little shop there that handles all kind of what I would term “alternate religions” stuff including books. I noted a Wicaan spell book among them. Have you tried getting that shop or the one other shop on Bridge Street that I see carries books to handle Swallow the Moon? I mean, it takes place in Ashtabula, for crying out loud. Local store, local books.
Lastly, I see an e-mail address for you in the back of your book. I’m going to try that going forward as it will make keeping in touch easier for me. OK?
Have a great day,
Jim Drew

K. A. Jordan said...

I'm going to do a book signing at the "Sliver Branch" this fall at the Wine and Walleye Festival. They were very happy to accomadate me - because they are very interested in ghosts.

I'm glad you took the chance. I'm very picky about the way my books come out. The first one 'Let's Do Lunch' had a few issues - though it 'sold' 10k copies on June 27th & 28th during an Amazon give away.

'Swallow the Moon' isn't selling very well at all. I'm puzzled as it is the better of the two books. I've sold 5 copies this month. "Lunch" sold 35 - after that spectacular giveaway.

I'll gladly feature your work on my website, would you like to write a 1k word essay on your book and how you came to self-publish it? I'll post it with links to your website and the sales page if you like.