April 8 in Boulder, Colorado
Fabulous Authors, Presenters, and Booksellers!
|The American Booksellers Association and booksellers from the MPIBA region met at the beautiful Boulder Public Library in Boulder, Colorado, on Friday, April 8, for an energizing day of presentations and book industry news, followed by a wonderful Author Reception at Boulder Book Store.
… to Oren Teicher and Dan Cullen for conducting ABA’s exciting presentation, “Indie Bookstores and the New Localism.”
… to Lisa Casper from Douglas County Libraries and April Gosling from Boulder Book Store for conducting the MPIBA session, “Love Your Library!”
… to Stephanie Schindhelm, Arsen Kashkashian, and Erin Mazza for their help in organizing the Author Reception at the Boulder Book Store.
… to HarperCollins/William Morrow, Macmillan/Flatiron Books, Penguin Random House/G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Simon & Schuster/Scribner, and Workman Publishing/Algonquin Books for sponsoring the authors for the Author Reception.
“Love Your Library!”
Working with School Libraries: April Gosling
Say yes. To nearly everything until you know enough to say no.
This will let you create the relationship with your library (school or public). And will also make sure you can say no from a place of experience.
Hand deliver books whenever you can.
The online school in my district has an admin who loves that I bring the books out to them. By delivering the books, I get to meet the teacher/librarian face-to-face when we would otherwise only communicate via email. And who doesn’t appreciate a real smile, not an emoji?
In the case of ticketed events, we normally give the cost of the ticket (or a portion of it) off the book rather than including the book in the price.
This is only for bookstore events though. If the library is hosting and I’m just selling, then the ticket (if there is one) is just a ticket.
Both the bookstore and library use the relationship as a launchpad
to demonstrate to publishers that we are working together to sell books. The united front helped us bring in Cassandra Clare in March, and we sold nearly 400 books!
Libraries and Book Stores –
Enthusiastic Booksellers and Authors Mingle
A Note from “The Missing Author”
Hello, indie booksellers I didn’t meet.
This is Fernanda Santos, also known as “The Missing Author.” I’m the one who should have joined the reception at Boulder Book Store on Friday night, but didn’t. There was a scheduling mix-up, so I was out on Pearl Street, reading the notes I’d prepared for you and waiting as the reception went on inside.
I was lucky enough — blessed, I’d say — to have met Heather Duncan of Tattered Cover Book Store when I walked into the reception room as you were all walking out.
Heather introduced me to some of the booksellers who were gathered at a restaurant nearby, and I had a chance to speak to the group about The Fire Line, my first book. I wanted all of you to hear about it, though, and Laura kindly agreed to distribute my notes. I hope you take a few minutes to read them, and I hope you’ll consider featuring The Fire Line at your stores.
About THE FIRE LINE by Fernanda Santos
My husband was the first one at our house to notice that something had gone terribly wrong in an Arizona wildfire on June 30, 2013. It was Sunday, early evening, and we were home having pizza and wine with our neighbors. My husband brought some dirty dishes to the kitchen, and stopped to scroll through Twitter. He saw that nineteen firefighters had gone missing and were presumed dead in a fire that was burning along the western edge of an out-of-the-way town called Yarnell. I grabbed some clothes, my laptop, my cell phone and portable charger. I apologized to the neighbors, said goodbye to my husband, told our daughter, “Mommy will be back soon,” and started driving.
That night, and for eight days after that, I anchored the New York Times’ coverage of the fire. I found out that the nineteen firefighters had died at the bottom of a canyon, and that the canyon had been covered in thick, parched brush when they entered it. I knew these firemen all belonged to the same crew, the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and I quickly learned three things about them: They were well-respected as a crew that got the job done, and done well; they were young, healthy, ambitious and incredibly fit; and they knew fire.
They were five hundred yards from a ranch when they came face to face with a wall of flames forty, fifty feet high. Still, none of them broke rank. None of them ran.
I wrote The Fire Line to answer this question.
To find out why, I learned what these nineteen firefighters were about, what their work was about. I learned about wildfires – how they burned, and how the fire in Yarnell burned. I traveled to five states to meet the wives, children and parents of these firemen. I read the diary that one of them kept. I read the books that two others left on their bedside tables – Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire and Shael Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. I slept in the same bedroom that one of the firefighters slept in when he was a boy.
I trained as they trained, at the same wildfire academy. I experienced what it feels like to swing a Pulaski and cut fire line on the hardened desert soil. I learned to speak the language of fire and understand what it means. I drank beers, hiked and kayaked with young men who also fought fire, many of them alumni of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. I did the work, and I earned my place in the tight-knit family the nineteen firefighters in my book belonged to, their fire family. An outsider, I was allowed in.
I learned about the lives they lived at home, scenes that reminded me of my own life, others that served as life lessons. On the night before he left for Yarnell to fight his last fire, Travis Turbyfill played with his two little daughters on the living room carpet. Stephanie — Travis’ wife, the girls’ mom — watched them. For a moment, she considered running to her bedroom to get her cell phone and take a picture. What a great Facebook post that would be, she thought. But then she stopped herself. She chose to stay in the moment, enjoy it. Not everything about her life, about their happiness, had to be shared with the world. I’ve made it a point to remember that.
Another of the firefighters, John Percin Jr., kept post-it notes on the wall above his dresser. They were messages of self-affirmation, reminders to a recovering drug addict of his self-worth:
I am human.
I am a good son.
I am a good brother.
I am a wildland firefighter.
These were ordinary men who did extraordinary work, day in, and day out. They valued the values they shared. Their boss, Eric Marsh, aspired to turn into great men, a tougher task than creating great firemen. Marsh rewarded honesty and loyalty, and he believed that one was complimentary to the other. He also believed that, together, his Granite Mountain Hotshots were one.
The Fire Line also discusses big-picture themes, like the escalating cost of fire season, the growing danger of fire, and the immense risk firefighters face every day on the job. These are important topics, and there’s no better time to talk about them then now, as another fire season is upon us.
The United States had its costliest wildfire season in 2015 — $1.71 billion. This year, all signs point to a higher cost — and greater devastation. Alaska had its first fire of the year in February. New Mexico has experienced twice as many fires as it had by this time last year. Hawaii exhausted the money it had set aside for firefighting last month, three months ahead of the busy summer fire season. The United States Forest Service spent more than half of its entire budget fighting fires last year, and it has been caught in a dangerous circle: It doesn’t have enough money to manage our forests, and it’s spending more and more to fight fire in these forests because there’s just too much to burn.
I believe The Fire Line will get us thinking and talking about the big themes. But the book’s strength — its heart, really — is in the personal stories that carry the narrative. The Granite Mountain Hotshots were family men. Three of them never got to meet their first child — their wives were expecting when they died. Fourteen of the nineteen were still in their twenties.
In this individualistic world we live in, the Granite Mountain Hotshots offer a great counterpoint. They valued teamwork. They built a culture of loyalty predicated on a simple premise: We’re only as strong as our weakest link. They were imperfect, but they were also heroic and exemplary. Through their stories, and the story of the fire that killed them, The Fire Line immerses readers in the shades of gray. It recalibrates our definition of guilt and blame. But more importantly, it sifts triumph from tragedy and builds strong emotional connections between characters and reader. In doing that, it gives the story a lasting presence and it makes all of us care. That, at least, is my great hope.
Posted April 14, 2016