Anyone who writes knows it isn’t so easy to get published. But what many writers don’t seem to consider is everything that happens after a book is published. In many ways, that’s when the real work – albeit of another kind – begins.
As I made plans to launch my latest book, Flightpaths: The Lost Journals of Amelia Earhart, I had a whole set of important dates to play with.
The first – and the one that allowed me an exciting venue for the initial launch – was in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. On May 20, 1932 (exactly five years after Charles Lindbergh made his famous New York to Paris flight), Amelia Earhart departed from this small town in Newfoundland, embarking on her own solo transatlantic flight. Thanks to email and other wonders of modern communication, an event was arranged at the Conception Bay Museum – a building Earhart would have had to fly over as she left the continent – and best of all, on May 20th, the 85th anniversary of the flight.
My hosts at the museum saw to so many details. They’d invited a journalist from the local paper to cover the event. And they’d sent out invitations to one and all, with the result being an overflow crowd for our meeting room. I even encountered posters in storefront windows on the main streets, which I admit was a bit unnerving, as they made me imagine what it might have been like to see one’s image on a wanted poster long ago.
Museum staff, understanding the significance of the date, drew our attention to some of the Earhart artefacts in the building. They even went so far as to open an old guest book to the page where Amelia Earhart had signed her name, warning us we couldn’t touch the page, but were welcome to look and even take photos.
That night we needed to make our way back down to St. John’s, as an interview had been set up on CBC’s Sunday morning arts show. Then, two days later, there was another event – this time a reading at a bookstore.
A busy schedule, to be sure, but one I can’t complain about, even though today, there was yet another radio interview – this time on the west coast where I live.
There are two more reading events this month, as well as several during July, including one on July 2nd, the date the famous pilot disappeared. But yes, the books are selling. And I am signing, and I am happy.
It’s undeniably exciting to have a book come out. And yes, the scent that rises from the pages truly is one-of-a-kind. But it’s important to remember that there’s more to having a book come out than simply writing it – and it goes beyond just enjoying that new-book smell.
Heidi Greco writes in many genres – with poems, fiction, essays and book reviews to her credit. Her books include a novella, Shrinking Violets, which was co-winner of the Ken Klonsky Award in 2011. Her work has also appeared in many anthologies, most recently in Make it True: Poetry from Cascadia (Leaf Press, 2015) and The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil, 2015).