This blog has taken a back seat now that I am working in Ottawa for a federal member of parliament, and am surrounded by the intrigue of the political world. The Harper government received the support of a mere 24.3 percent of voters, and yet it now has almost total control over our lives. And with the robocalling fraud in up to 200 ridings during the last election, there is even more doubt about the “mandate” the Harper Conservatives brag about. All in all, the world of literature is so much more appealing and innocent compared to politics … but I can’t ignore what is being done to Canada!
My book, Lost and Found in London, is about personal and political change – internal and external transformation. But I must admit that, lately, the latter seems to be overshadowing the former. Blame this on Canada’s aggressive and destructive Prime Minister Harper! I simply can’t sit by and let him push through his latest pet pipeline, the Northern Gateway from northern Alberta to the fragile coast of BC, so that mainly foreign corporations can dig up endless barrels of tar sands muck, while polluting rivers and local communities, cutting down forests, threatening the cariboo – and then ship it to China. But, it is important to remember that our society generally convinces its citizens that they are not worthy of a voice. That’s where the internal/personal focus is key. We must convince ourselves that our opinions and actions are crucial! Especially in a threatened democracy …
Because my book, Lost and Found in London, has had problems galore from editing to printing, I am going to consider Jan. 1, 2012, the real launch date! The most recent version with the publisher’s error removed will be the official one … The good news for those who bought the original copy is that it will be a collector’s item … if all goes well! Never to be printed again! Lost and Found in London is now on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, Union Square, New York City … Thus begins my year! All the best for yours!!
If I’ve been silent recently, it’s been for good reason … s. Mid-December, I cruised through the Caribbean … Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and more … with The Nation magazine. This meant I combined intellectual and political pursuits with snorkelling … I’m sure you can appreciate that this was an excellent mix for MOI! After the cruise, I spent two days in New York City dashing from store to store with Lost and Found in London in hand. Unlike Toronto, the response from the independent bookstores was mildly luke warm, if you get my point. Barnes and Noble on the other hand was quite welcoming and I’ll report on that later. It was a great way to BE in NYC … as an author promoting her latest accomplishment. And then, Christmas with my lawyer/writer brother and part of his family in Toronto, plus my Mum. It was a good month all in all! Best of the season to my readers!
This book business isn’t lucrative! First, it’s difficult to get enough media attention to publicize the fact that my books are sitting on the shelves of several independent bookstores waiting to be purchased by happy readers … Word of mouth just doesn’t cut it! Sure, a sale here or there, but much more momentum is required. Second, I’m getting two dollars for every book that’s sold. How many thousands do I have to move before I can eat and live comfortably? Do the sad math! Yes, after all the work I’ve done to make Lost and Found in London a reality, the reality is that I can’t survive … Nine to five awaits.
Now that my books are nicely settled in Toronto and other bookstores (just the beginning, of course), I’ve updated my website … www.kathleenohara.ca … Another trick in this author’s bag of … So, go to my website and check under Book (yes, really) to find Readers’ Reactions, and Where Available … I love the reactions so far of many friends and others … from my 87-year-old aunt to a businessman in Cairo … Who knew I’d please so many with my words?? Yes!!
After rushing around Toronto with a trusty bag full of Lost and Found in London, I can now say that the city is pretty well covered! All the top independent bookstores here have taken copies of my book, and they are now sitting happily on various distinguished shelves. Now to get customers rushing in, demanding Lost and Found, throwing down their money etc … That means more publicity! Should I go nude on the subway? No, the weather’s too cold!
Two weeks into real book time and loving it! My Kingston book launch was reasonably well attended, including my 91-year-old uncle. I spent most of my time trying to think of original things to write in people’s newly purchased copies! I also read to my loyal audience and answered their thoughtful questions … then was asked to read some more! I took that as a compliment! Following day I was interviewed for a local CKWS television program Live @5 with a great host, Heather Butts … Now, I’m in Toronto spreading the word! So far, not one of the independent bookstores I’ve called has said No to stocking my book! The responses range from wanting to see and read first to taking six copies! How wonderful to discover that there is such support for new authors out there!!
I’m in a whole new phase of my writing life … the post-writing part to be exact … Now, instead of sitting in front of my computer creating or correcting, I’m out promoting, distributing, and selling my book! I think this is definitely the fun part … Did first bookstore reading, first online mag interview, organizing first launch … Yes!