big night

Some of you know I had a pretty big night earlier this week.

On Monday, I was the featured author at the monthly Authors in Pubs event. This was my eighth (I think) time participating in Authors in Pubs, but it was my first appearance as the headliner. If that wasn’t groovy enough, that’s the night that event organizer Don van Kirk arranged for KGW’s “Live @ 7” program to do a segment from the Jack London Bar, where Authors in Pubs is held each month. Not only that, but when the TV crew asked Don for an author to be interviewed live on-air, he volunteered me.

Here’s the segment:

I’d assumed Don chose me simply because I happened to be the headliner that evening. Instead, he told me that he’d appreciated the testimonial I’d written for Authors in Pubs several months ago, and just wanted to return the favor. That was a very nice reminder that helping out someone else really can come back in a good way.

But before the television crew even arrived?and this may have actually been the bigger moment for me?a stranger came up to me in the bar just as I was arriving and getting settled at my table.

“I just have to tell you how much I loved your book!” she exclaimed. “And now the second one is out, too?”

She was asking me about Iduna’s Apples, the second volume in the Valhalla series?for which I still haven’t done much in the way of real marketing. I told her that the second book is available for Kindle only right now, but that it will be out in print soon.

“I wish you could sign my iPad!” she enthused, then added, “I’m buying and downloading the second book tomorrow. I can’t wait!”

For real. I didn’t know this woman. That level of unrestrained enthusiasm from a reader with no other connection to me truly rivaled?and possibly even surpassed?the live TV appearance and the “Featured Author” slot.

I write to tell stories. I write to entertain readers. Sometimes there’s a deeper lesson in those words, but mostly it’s about bringing joy and making people happy. So that one encounter really made my night and left me feeling that perhaps I’m actually onto something here.

And if you’re curious about how the reading went:

The conditions for recording video without a pro set-up in that venue are pretty challenging. I’ve made recordings of other author appearances, but I’ve never been happy with how they turned out. I’m still nervous and (I think) stilted in front of a live audience. But I’m just sucking it up, acknowledging that waiting around for “perfection” is an exercise in futility, and posting video anyway. (By the way, this marks my first-ever YouTube upload?)

Posted in news, thoughts from the spiral, writing & publishing.


  1. Jen – this is so cool! And wonderful that a fan of your work actually got to meet you in person.
    Wish I were closer to Portland so I could hear you read *live* – and to shush those talky folks so I could hear better!
    More readings, please!


    • Thanks, Katy!

      I’ll see if I still have some of those videos of previous readings. I was disappointed with the sound. Since the mic is built into the camera itself, it’s picking up more of what’s happening in the immediate vicinity rather than out in the audience at large. So there’s a lot of laughter and gasps and such that I can plainly hear when I’m on the podium but which aren’t making it onto the recording. Oh, well… 😉

      Thanks again for your great encouragement and support.

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