Tips for being in two places at once

The magic of a modern-day book launch.

file0001820510540I’m not in the habit of defying the time/space continuum, but this month I’ll be giving it my best shot. July is the official launch of my World War One-era novel Go Away Home, and the month is packed.

My first event is a library book talk today. The week of July 8, I return to eastern Iowa where I grew up for three events. At the same time, I’ll be zipping through cyberspace making the first four stops on a virtual book tour. The rest of the month repeats the challenge with more blog stops and more in-person events each week. July’s last event (at least that I know about right now) is July 25.

Maybe the best I can hope for is not to meet myself coming and going. I’ve taken these steps to ensure a smooth launch:

  • Written four versions of a presentation that focuses on Writing History. It’s a challenge to anticipate what audiences will want to hear, but my journey from memoir to fiction with an emphasis on the historical commonality seems a good place to start. With four outlines in hand, I can adapt on the go as the presentation evolves based on audience questions.
  • Wrote a multitude of guest posts. Invitations by author/bloggers Shirley Showalter, Annamaria Bazzi, David Lawlor, P.C. Zick (July 9),and Christoph Fischer (Aug 4) to visit their blogs have helped me prepare for interviews, focus my thinking and get the word out. I’m grateful to them for hosting me.
  • Product in place. My eastern Iowa events are in towns without bookstores. Since I know from my memoir experience that people want a local place to buy the book, I’ve arranged with two pharmacies, the county historical society and a library to stock copies.
  • Media outreach. I’ve returned to my public relations roots to prepare media materials and made them available on my website. I’ve targeted pitches to key media for interviews. I’ve made sure local media in the geography surrounding my events have news releases and images well in advance.
  • E-mail marketing. On the theory that people who know me will be most interested in hearing about Go Away Home, I’ve sent a series of targeted e-mails to everyone on my list. The response has been encouraging and sends me forward on a wave of good feelings.

Modern technology is a wonderful thing. Without the Internet, wi-fi, and cell phones, this would not be possible. Time will tell how my body reacts to being in two places at the same time.

No doubt, I’ll arrive at the end of the July exhausted. During the month, I know I’ll have reconnected with old friends, met many new friends, and had a lot of fun.

I think I’m prepared. I hope so. But are there other things I should be doing? If you think of something, let me know. It’s not too late. After all, if I can be in two places, surely three can’t be that difficult ;)

“Wonderful debut novel” – A Writer of History

M.K. Tod started my week off right when she published her review of Go Away Home on her blog A Writer of History. Mary was one of my advance reviewers and I was particularly interested in her opinion since she also writes about the World War One era.

Here’s how she starts her review:

From the very first chapter of Go Away Home, Carol Bodensteiner draws us into the central conflicts of her debut novel: old ways versus new, farm versus city, youth versus maturity, man versus woman.

She continues:

The story flows with excellent dialogue and compelling descriptions, and each chapter ends with a hook that drives the plot forward.

I’m honored that Mary focused both on the story as well as the writing style.

If you like historical fiction, check out M.K. Tod’s novel Unravelled.

Go Away Home – New historical fiction

Go Away Home Final eBook Cover 4-24-14 Large

Go Away Home – A Novel

Start spreading the news! Go Away Home is now available on Amazon and through bookstores.

I’m excited because of what reviewers are saying:

  • The perfect story of coming home.” – Samantha Rivera, Readers’ Favorite 5 Star review
  • Go Away Home is …  gently compelling and highly believable” – D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
  • Go Away Home is a coming of age novel that is well-written, compelling, and endearing” – Kara Logsden, Iowa City Public Library
  • “… a heart-warming and heart-wrenching tale” – Paulette Mahurin, historical fiction author
  • A poignant, romantic tale …  characters that tug at your heart strings” – David Lawlor, historical fiction author
  • “Bodensteiner … captured the era … with meticulous historical detail” – J.P. Lane, author

Go Away Home – The Story

Liddie Treadway grew up on a family farm where options for her future were marriage or teaching. Encouraged by suffragette rhetoric and her maiden aunt, Liddie is determined to avoid both and pursue a career. Her goal is within her grasp when her older sister’s abrupt departure threatens to keep her on the farm forever.

Once she is able to experience the world she’s dreamed of, Liddie is enthralled with her independence, a new-found passion for photography, and the man who teaches her. Yet, the family, friends, and life of her youth tug at her heart, and she must face the reality that life is not as simple, or the choices as clear-cut, as she once imagined.

GO AWAY HOME is a captivating coming-of-age novel that explores the enduring themes of family, friendship, and love, as well as death and grief. This novel will resonate with anyone who’s confronted the conflict between dreams and reality and come to recognize that getting what you want can be a two-edged sword.

Celebrate with me at launch events throughout July in Iowa and cyberspace.

In person:

  • July 7 – 7 p.m. – Preston Public Library, Preston, Iowa
  • July 8 – 6 p.m. – Clinton Public Library, Clinton, Iowa
  • July 10 – 7 p.m. – Jackson County Historical Society, Maquoketa, Iowa
  • July 18 – 5:30 p.m. – Beaverdale Books, Beaverdale, Iowa

Follow the blog tour – Dates and link posted in July.

Go Away Home_Tour Banner_FINAL

 

 

 

 

To buy now, click on these links:

Go Away Home in paperback             Go Away Home for Kindle

Thanks for letting me be giddy for a bit. Publishing my first novel is, after all, a once in a lifetime experience. Please share this news with anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

It’s magic. Spring prairie emerges as old growth melts away

Spring in the prairie. New growth begins to displace the brown.

Spring in the prairie. New growth begins to displace the brown.

I tend to take fewer prairie pictures in the early spring. What’s to see? It’s brown. Tall fronts of dried prairie grasses wave in muted contrast to the new green of surrounding trees and grass. The seed heads of purple cone flowers and black eyed Susans are nearly bare, picked clean by birds over the winter. It’s all brown.

“What do you do with it?” asked my brother in law who visited in March.

“Nothing,” I responded. “Eventually, the brown just melts away.”

He was skeptical. As I was when a friend who’s had a prairie for longer said the same thing to me. But she was right. Eventually, the new growth comes on and last year’s dried out plant material disappears. As though by magic.

Golden Alexander

Golden Alexander

Now in June, the green of new plant growth is more evident. Particularly along the edges of the prairie where the plants enjoy more sun.

And if you look closely, you can find the first flowers. Golden Alexander and white foxglove.

Foxglove - one of the earliest prairie blooms.

Foxglove – one of the earliest prairie blooms.

I extended the prairie another twenty feet last fall. I didn’t need to spread any seed. The prairie had already done that. I only needed to kill the grass. The new area is full of prairie plants. Unfortunately, the deer have found these tender shoots particularly appealing. The tallest plants are neatly clipped off each morning.

Eventually, the deer will move on. And I have faith the prairie will persist with its spring magic.