|At Main Point Books with Beth Kephart|
My favorite job was matching customers' individual tastes with new books, but the hardest work happens behind the scenes. Main Point Books is open 7 days a week, and Cathy is up at dawn placing orders, organizing author events, cleaning the bathroom and doing paperwork. I filed reams of book packing lists/invoices and learned all about Ingram, a book distributer. Empty shelf space indicates recent sales. Cathy's business savvy (a Warton MBA with experience in marketing) is as important as her love of fine literature. Her knowledge, energy and hours are making this bookstore a success. It helps to have such a welcoming and enthusiastic community too. And there's a cupcake store next door!
Beth Kephart, in person. I'd asked Cathy to order Beth's two historical YA novels, both set in Philadelphia. Dangerous Neighbors takes place during the Centennial and focuses on twin 16-year-old girls who dare to become involved with boys beneath their social class. Through extensive research, attention to detail and a fine ear for period dialect, Beth brings the past to the present. Dangerous Neighbors is a perfectly crafted novel; it's as tight as a short story with prose as lyrical as poetry:
"Then she steps through the hall and toward the front door, the whisper of her black skirt fading to silence."
"Katherine saw how his eyes were like pieces of dark green-brown glass, shining and absorbing shine at the same time. She wondered if he'd seen her, then wondered why she cared..."
Craig Johnson added an unscheduled stop to his book tour while visiting his daughter, who lives near Main Point Books. His Longmire mysteries have become a televised series, and his fans (men and women) came eagerly to hear him speak. Craig showed up in a 10-gallon hat, weathered jeans and cowboy boots, looking like he'd hitched his horse to the parking meter. He spoke eloquently about writing and shared many humorous anecdotes. His aim is to make the reader feel like he/she is sitting beside him on a barstool, not reading a book. Although western mystery is not my genre, I bought The Cold Dish, the first book in the series. Authors take note: you don't need to read your book out loud to gain a new reader, not if the story behind the story is equally interesting. Craig promised to return to Main Point Books - don't miss him.
|Author Craig Johnson with Cathy Fiebach, owner of Main Point Books|
|Follow Main Point Books on twitter for updates.|
Thank you, followers! Your encouraging comments on my last post helped. Revisions are nearly finished. There will be a final round of polishing once I get feedback from my agent, who is reading again. I haven't missed much summer. It's been raining in Maine for so many weeks on end that I've lost count. Mushrooms are springing up instead of wildflowers in our lawn. I even found one growing in the kids' bathroom (our 1920's home lacks central air conditioning.) When I went to print my manuscript, the paper kept curling up. I had to open a new pack of paper to keep the printer from jamming. This morning the rain has paused, but the trees are hiding in fog. This is my fault for mocking Seattle in my last review. I'm looking forward to catching up on your blogs soon. I've missed you too!