On Sunday I started getting texts from friends congratulating me and saying they had just received word from McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg that my novel Lost on the Prairie which they had pre-ordered was ready to be picked up.
What? I was so surprised. My book was due to be released on May 28th. Apparently it was hitting at least some bookstore shelves about three weeks earlier than anticipated. I quickly checked the McNally Robinson Booksellers site and there it was listed as in stock at their Grant Park Store.
I contacted the patient and experienced Heritage House marketing manager Monica Miller who is doing such a great job of helping me promote my book and asked all kinds of questions about the early release. She assured me it was a positive thing.
Monday was a busy day for me and I didn’t have a vehicle but my wonderfully supportive sister Kaaren headed on down to McNally’s to take photos of my book on the shelf so I could post them on social media. I think she also may have been the first person to purchase a copy of my book.
I was in tears the next few days as some two hundred people offered their approval and congratulations on my Facebook post about the book going on sale including family members, friends, members of my writers’ group, former work colleagues, fellow church members, former students, former editors I’ve worked for, Stephen Borys the director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and even Winnipeg author Colleen Nelson who had just been nominated for the Governor General’s award for her middle grade novel Harvey Holds His Own.
Then Monday evening…….. that moment all authors wait for ……my author copies of the book arrived in the mail. My husband Dave even took a video of me opening the box.
On Tuesday the efficient and organized John Toews who is coordinating my online book launch on June 16th took this photo of me signing the copies of my novel for sale at the McNally Robinson Booksellers Grant Park store. I headed over on my bike and John set me up at a table in the area where I would have had my in -store book launch had the pandemic not happened. Later my brother Ken who lives in Victoria texted the news that my novel was for sale at two independent bookstores there, Munroe Books and Bolen Books.
Wednesday I received a message from the Manitoba Writers Guild they would like to feature me in an upcoming newsletter and I got an e-mail from reporter Jordan Ross that he would like to interview me for a feature in The Carillon newspaper. I dropped off a copy of Lost on the Prairie at my children’s home here in Winnipeg and sent another one off in the mail to my children in Saskatoon.
Thursday I was able to share my exciting news with the members of the Anitas my children’s writers group when we had our regular online meeting. Without all their helpful criticism and endless encouragement Lost on the Prairie would never have been published. I should also mention that prior to the pandemic McNally Robinson Booksellers generously provided space for our writers group to meet in their store, so every chapter of my novel was read aloud there.
Friday I biked down to the Forks with Dave so he could take a photo of me with my book on the shelves of the McNally Robinson Bookseller location there and then I met Carillon reporter Jordan Ross in Steve Juba Park near my home for an interview.
Friday night Dave and I went out to celebrate my book being for sale with supper on the sunny patio of the Nonsuch Brewery just down the street from our home. We love the food there and have often ordered from their take out menu during the pandemic.
After we got home Harriet Zaidman who will be my guest at the online McNally Robinson Booksellers Lost On the Prairie launch on June 16th sent me a photo that shows her reading my book. A copy had just arrived at her home from Heritage House.
Yes it’s been a whirlwind week, and an unexpected one at that. I thought I’d be welcoming my novel to the world at the end of May and here I am doing that at the beginning of the month.
Now I am waiting in nervous anticipation to see what people will think of my book after they’ve read it.
At this point Lost on the Prairie is available for pre-order on Amazon and Indigo and my publisher is trying to make arrangements so hopefully it will be available for purchase in Steinbach shortly. I will post updates when I know more. But for now it is for sale at both McNally Robinson Bookseller locations in Winnipeg.
Other posts about my novel Lost on the Prairie can be read here.
From now on with every post I do about my book I want to provide links to posts I’ve written about the work of other Manitoba authors. I realize one of the main reasons my book is in print is because of the wonderfully supportive writing community in our province.