The event was helped tremendously by the generous goodwill and creative energies of my friend Barb who took it upon herself to go to the store during her lunch hour and set up everything for me. She had two tables arranged, a blown up copy of the book's cover, and several steampunk themed hanging pictures, here amusingly modeled by my friends Nicole and Matt.
I was almost moved to tears by Barb's generosity: she made the entire event much easier for me, and it was wonderful to simply show up at the store and not have to worry about arranging a table and making space in the store for my display. Barb fittingly put everything in the steampunk section of the store and I could not have asked for a better place to hold my first book signing.
In attendance were several people from the Steampunk Society of Nebraska, many who strolled around the mall in costume attracting attention and directing people towards the signing. I also had the assistance of Whitney (center below) who stationed herself outside with a sign to attract passerbyes. Whitney was also much envied for her corset dress, and I am going to have to get my hands on one of those.
Also in attendance were several people who had wandered into the costume store and gravitated our direction. I sold some books, marketed myself, and had a wonderful time with some dear friends. Thank you all!
Captain Roberts is now supervising the comings and goings in my office, his magnified presence replicated in paper format and adhered to the wall next to the closet containing one vacuum cleaner full of dog hair and a wedding dress I have owned for seven years of a fruitless hunt for a husband.
If I'm tempted to shirk or whine in any area of my life, I know that Captain Roberts will look upon my nonsense with furrowed brow and stern admonishment to pull myself together and act like an adult. As I turn my attention towards the next book, I'll be writing away under Captain Roberts' constant gaze. I only hope I can write worthy of him.
Ah yes, the second book. The age-old question plaguing every writer, "So when is your next book coming out?" I have not looked at the draft for the second book in months and am not even sure what its title will be. Opium Skies is the title of the third book, but I have not settled on a title for the second book. Since it will be about the Crimean War, something appropriately battle-like would be good for the title.
Another question I have been chewing over for Book Two is just how much technology will play a role in my version of the Crimean War. While a typical steampunk novel would set a war scene full of mechas, enormous laser guns, and other technology marvels, in reality the soldiers of the Crimean War were lucky if they had food to eat, let alone medical supplies, bullets, and bandages. Twenty ton mechanical war elephants are well and good, but how do you ship them across the Black Sea and how well would they fare in two feet of mud?
These are just two of the many questions facing me in the upcoming weeks. I plan on taking a few more weeks to work on promoting and marketing Steam on the Horizon, then turn my attention towards Book Two and the clouds of war. Hmm. Clouds of War might not be a bad title.......