As you may know, I run a contest for U.S. Military Wives every year from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. Last year’s Grand Prize Winner was Carrie Reyes and part of her prize was for me to come have a book signing in her hometown. Carrie graciously agreed to hold off on her prize until the release of Unleashed. The plan was to hold it at the Columbus, Georgia Barnes & Noble from 1pm-4pm.
I was very excited because we were able to get some coverage in the local newspaper, the Ledger Enquirer. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Katie McCarthy, who also happens to be a military wife and you can read the article here if you’d like.
At any rate, all of the planning looked like it was going to help us get the event off without a hitch.
Well you know what they say about best laid plans….
Needless to say the trip evolved into a series of planes, trains and automobiles.
I arrived at White Plains airport with plenty of time to spare and everything looked like it was going smoothly. Sitting in my aisle seat with the earbuds of my iphone nestled snugly in my ears, I waited patiently for the flight attendants to begin their familiar albeit slightly unnecessary here’s-how-to-put-on-a-seat belt-bit.
However, the pilot came on to inform us that there was a mechanical problem with the plane. Apparently, they discovered a leak in one of the fuel pumps. Hmmm. I was just happy they found it before we took off. The flight attendants and pilots were really very accomodating and kept the passengers comfort their top priority. Bottom line: they let us off the plane and allowed us to wait in the terminal as opposed to beging squished inside the airplane.
After a couple of hours of waiting, the flight was cancelled but I was able to get booked on a flight out of LaGuardia that was scheduled to leave in just 90 minutes. I caught a van ride with ten other displaced souls, made it to the airport and ran through the place like I was on an episode of The Amazing Race.
Phew! I made it to the plane and arrived in Atlanta at 1pm….yeah….I was supposed to be in Columbus for the book signing at 1pm. Not so much.
Next step–the rental car.
If you’re reading this and you’ve been to Atlanta International Airport you know that it’s really like a small city. I disembarked my plane and hopped two separate trains to get out of the terminal and to the rental car center.
Then I had to drive about 90 minutes to Columbus. All I will say is that the speed limit on Georgia highways is 70 mph 🙂
I finally made it to the B&N in Columbus at 3:30pm and was greeted by the smiling faces of Carrie Reyes, her mom and two of her kids. I’d called ahead and kept them in the loop about my misadventures and they were very understanding.
Since Carrie won last year, we’ve become friends on Facebook so it was wonderful to finally meet her in person and get to know her kids. Carrie’s mom, Joyce, was the one who actually sent her story in and nominated her daughter. They were real troopers and stuck around for the next three hours while we sold all of the copies they had in stock.
I’m a new author so when I have a book signing, I don’t expect there to be throngs of people waiting for me. However, this time we had several folks show up who had read the Ledger article and came out to get their signed copies of Unleashed. I even had two guys who were sent there specifically by their wives to get a copy. Now that is romance!
I’m happy to report that we had a SOLD OUT event! The staff at the Columbus Barnes & Noble was absolutely fabulous and were very understanding about my travel conundrum.
After we ran out of books, I took Carrie and her family out to dinner. Good food, a very good beer and really good people.
Throughout this publishing adventure, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some pretty fantastic folks. Life is good.
If you know any military families, please feel free to tell them about the contest. I accept entries all year long and will start posting stories Memorial Day weekend 2012. People can send their story and picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put 4th annual U.S. Military Wives contest in the subject line.