My first reading is today.

Today is a big day for me. It will be my very first “author event,” a reading and discussion of e-books at the Watertown Library. 

I posted once that I get stage fright before every class I teach. Well, I’ve got stage fright now.

Part of my brain is babbling incoherently about having to stand up in front of a bunch of people who probably knew me as a child, and ohmygod, what if the nun who taught me in the fifth grade is there and I forget to bleep myself out while I’m reading? What if my shipment of books doesn’t come in this morning and I have to go to a signing without them and what if my car breaks down or I have an allergic reaction to my lunch or my one print copy of Beware the Hawk spontaneously combusts and I lose my voice and pass out?

Another part of me knows that’s just stage fright. I hear that kind of nonsense from my brain at least three times every week.

A third part of me – the part I’m paying attention to – is so very excited to be going back to my hometown to read from a book that I wrote and that a company published. I can’t wait to get up to that podium and talk about e-books. I can’t wait to see Watertonians that I haven’t seen in ages. I can’t wait to sit down and sign some books.

And if the books don’t come in? I’ll sign Post-Its instead.

And if I lose my voice? I will use large poster boards to deliver the talk silent-film style.

And if I forget to bleep myself out and my fifth grade teacher is really in the audience? She’s heard those words before. Probably from kids who were published for saying them. I’ll just have to resign myself to having my mouth washed out with soap.

The reading/talk will take place at 7 p.m. today at the Watertown Library in Watertown, Connecticut. If you are free, come by. Maybe you’ll get to see me get my mouth washed out with soap. Maybe not. Either way, it should be a blast.

I’m reading at the Watertown Library! (And not silent reading like when I used to do my homework there.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that I will be doing my very first reading in just a little less than two weeks at the Watertown Library in Watertown, Connecticut.

This reading, which will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday March 28, will be very special because Watertown is kind of my hometown.* Also special? My mother worked for the library when I was growing up. She worked at the Oakville branch of the library and did all the story hours there for years. So I spent most of my time there during grade school and middle school. I shelved books and did my homework and occasionally had to be told off for being too rowdy.

And that may be what happens again, because I’m hoping to draw a big crowd to the Watertown Library’s main branch on the evening of March 28.

Here’s the deal: Watertown Library included e-books in their collection on the first of March. Because my book is an e-book, I’m going to give a talk about my experience publishing an e-book and then do some reading. And then? We party. Responsibly, and in a literary fashion, of course. I have no idea where people go to party on a Wednesday night in Watertown these days. If I’m honest, I didn’t even know where to party in Watertown when I was living there. But no worries, we’ll figure something out.

Warning: Parents of young children, my book has language in it. Not language, but language. Also, it has situations in it, which cannot be bleeped out the way language can. I will do my best to read responsibly, but my book contains adult material and I don’t recommend bringing the kids to hear me read.

Hope to see you all there!

*Actually I’m from Oakville, which is a big neighborhood/”census-designated place” in Watertown, but to people who aren’t from there, it’s basically the same thing as being from Watertown.

Fabulous book news!

Last week I spoke to my editor at Vagabondage Press and she delivered some fabulous news: Beware the Hawk is coming to print on March 20!

This won’t come as a surprise to the people who follow my Facebook author page; they hear just about all my news just about as soon as it happens, thanks to my raging social media addiction and my possession of a smartphone. (Just another reason to “like” my author page, or stay the hell away from it.)

Beware The Hawk novellaI’m pretty excited. Beware the Hawk was planned as an e-book and an e-book only, so it’s exciting that a print edition is being released. Since it’s a novelette, it will be a pretty slim volume, but it will be fabulous to have it, to be able to do real book signings as well as virtual signings, to carry a bunch of books around in the trunk of my car so that I can peddle them.

Even better, it will be nice to have a copy of my book accessible to the folks who can’t read it on an e-reader, or who prefer not to. There are, actually, quite a few people who have approached me and said some variation of “I’d like to buy your book, but I don’t have an e-reader.” Well folks, save the date. On March 20, physical copies of Beware the Hawk will become available.

Another announcement: I will be doing my first actual event in my hometown, Watertown, Connecticut, at the Watertown Library. The date has changed from my original announcement. I will provide more information soon.

Erin of Reinventing Erin interviews me.

Today represents Day Two of my blog-tour sojourn over at Reinventing Erin. Yesterday, I guest posted about the fears I had when the e-book was published, and today Erin’s been kind enough to interview me about my novella Beware the Hawk.

Who is Erin, you ask? Erin is a classmate of mine from the Fairfield University MFA program who is a long-time blogger. She’s a non-fiction writer, but she talked to me even though I was one of the unruly fiction types.

Check out her site. You’ll be happy you did.

Ending Spy Week with a bang. And by “bang” I mean “giveaway.”

Beware The Hawk novellaOr more in keeping with my character’s dilemma, I’m ending Spy Week with a crunch.

Remember when I said I was having a hard time telling people what my book is about?  I’ve had to summarize my novella a lot of different ways since then, but if you get right down to it, it’s basically about a girl who is having a really bad day at work. A bad couple of days, actually.

So here’s the deal. If you’d like a copy of Beware the Hawk, leave a comment telling me about the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever had to do for work. And then ‘like’ my Facebook page, because I’m needy.

This contest will be active all Friday. Then I will put all your names into a fedora and pick two at random. I will send those winners copies of my e-book.

And if you’re not into all that? Click here to watch another spy with issues.

Also, I’m still hanging on for more beard submissions, folks. But I do have some awesome beard pictures that were sent in to me, so I will be posting about that later today.

Spy week and day two of the blog tour at the Book Den.

The book release so far has been a thundering success. I have gotten so many kind comments, people telling me that they’ve bought the book, people sharing information about my book and folks requesting signed Post-Its. (I’m still doing that, folks! Send me your addresses and I will mail you a signed Post-It. Because that’s how I sign an e-book, and because I love you.) Also, my publisher has declared the entire effort to be a  (Facebook) event – Spy Week. That’s pretty awesome.

So, what’s up next for Spy Week? Well, the book tour continues with a guest post over at the Book Den, a book site that features many dark and interesting books. (Seriously, I’m sharing space with at least five books about zombies. That’s pretty cool.) My post is about the value of authors revisiting old work. Check it out and then stick around to check out the rest of the site. Just watch out for the zombies. They might getcha.

 

 

Virtual book signing

News!

The official release date was tomorrow, but I’m told that my  book, Beware the Hawk, is already available on Amazon.*  There will still be a lot of hubbub tomorrow – I’m starting my blog tour over at WordVagabond and the book will be available at Vagabondage Press (no relation), but this is like a soft opening.

Signing Pen

A mentor gave me this pen to use at my very first book signing. I was bummed that I wouldn't be able to use it - until now.

So, for those who have asked, Beware the Hawk is an e-book. This is awesome for lots of reasons – it’s easy to download, it stays in print forever, it doesn’t weigh anything and it’s not killing trees. In short, it’s kinda made of magic. But one thing you can’t do with an e-book? You can’t sign it.

That’s a bummer, because book signings are fun. One of my writers’ groups once published an anthology and held a book signing and it was amazing. I could have signed books all night. I considered coming home and signing every book in my bookshelves, but luckily my roommate at the time, (who was also in the writers’ group, but who also had books on the shelves that she probably didn’t want me to deface) distracted me.

I digress.

Anyhow, I was sort of saddened by the fact that there would be no book signing at first, and then, during a conversation on Facebook, I realized that I don’t need to have a physical book to have a signing. In fact I don’t even need to be in the same room with everyone to have a signing. Here’s the deal.

From now until next Monday (Jan. 23, 2012), people who buy the book can send me an email with their mailing address. I’ll send you an autographed Post-It that you can put on your Kindle, Nook or computer while you’re reading my book. Not very fancy, perhaps, but who doesn’t like getting mail that’s not a bill?

So, if you want your autograph, send your mailing addresses to annjoconnell<at>gmail<dot>com. (Just until Jan. 23. Because this week is a special week.)

Then keep an eye on that mailbox. Now, if only I could figure out how to do a virtual reading.

* If you want to help a woman out, get it from the Vagabondage Press site. Both the publishers and I get better royalties and you get the book in three formats. Also, why reward Amazon for releasing the book early?