Every year, the Polish community of Bremond, Texas holds Polski Dzien (Polish Days), a wonderful small-town festival with a parade, a Polish Pickle Run, 42-tournaments, washer-thrower contests, a barbecue cook-off, and booth after booth of wares sold by tired, hot vendors–all to lively polka music cranked up loud on the PA system.
This year, I was one of the vendors, peddling Give the Lady a Ride, and I sold out–a fact which was a surprise to no one but me.
Bremond is the heart of Yezak country. My husband is related to just about everyone there, so I expected to have a good day. What I wasn’t expecting was so many people I didn’t know saying, “I saw you in the newspaper!” or requesting to have a picture taken with me. Me. Can you believe that?! The first person who wanted a picture with me was the town librarian, Tessy Crawford. I had contacted her through Facebook and told her I wanted to donate one of my books to the library. That photo op I understood, but the others? After the third person requested a picture with me, I started wondering what was going on. According to one of MSB’s cousins, having a “famous” author in town is a big deal. I wonder what it’s going to be like if I really do get famous.
My books weren’t the only ones I had for sale this past Saturday. In this pic, MSB and my grandson Tyler are sitting next to the display I set up for some of my writing friends. The idea of including other writers’ novels didn’t hit until late, though, and only two authors managed to get their books to me on time. Another sent her promo material.
K. M. (Katie) Weiland’s Behold the Dawn was the first to sell, and since that one was the only novel I had not set in the west, not with a western theme, not featuring cowboys and cowgirls, I was afraid the others–including mine–weren’t going to sell. But they did. I sold books in each title. As for mine, I sold out by 11:00 am!
My sister-in-law has already climbed down my throat for not bringing four cases of books, but for some reason, I just didn’t think I’d do as well as I did. Things have been so insane around here that I didn’t get to run my ad as I had planned (the same as before the Blueberry Festival last month), and I had forgotten one of our cousins had already put an article about the book in the newspaper, so I was expecting to have a good day, not great. I mean really–who buys books at festivals? They want colorful beads, gaudy purses, tacky t-shirts, and sausage-on-a-stick!
I wasn’t thinking about hubby’s influence, or about the power of a few cousins and a sister-in-law who aren’t in the least bit shy about pushing something they believe in. “Come ‘ere, come ‘ere, come ‘ere!” they’d shout to folks on the street. “You’ve gotta meet this lady. She wrote a great book!”
I didn’t bring enough books.
Folks who know me know I don’t do heat. Totally heat-intolerant. Totally. I don’t sweat like normal people. I start with an oily sheen long before I begin to sweat. By the time the salty drops pop up on my skin, I’m already roasting on the inside and frying on the outside. When my forehead gets damp, I’m already close to passing out. Let me tell you, this worries my husband no end. God blessed us with a light breeze and an afternoon low 100 degrees (instead of the 106 average of the previous week), but He blessed me more with a husband who packed a portable AC and kept it aimed directly at me the entire day. At one point while I was with a customer, I kept feeling something on my legs–first one, then the other. I looked around to find MSB with a cold, wet rag in his hand. He’d been washing my legs with ice water to make sure I stayed cool.
Believe me, there is more than one way to say “I love you,” and an ice-water wash ranks right up there with an Elizabethan sonnet.
MSB and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had a terrific, successful day. I’m able to send checks to my writer buddies, and deposit a nice little chunk o’ change into my own account. The income didn’t beat the expense, but it was still worth it simply for the exposure.
We’re going to do it again, but I need a name for my little traveling bookstore. That’s where you come in. What would you name it? Any ideas?