Nov. 17, 2015
A book is born! THE BLUE HOUR weighs in at a hefty 1 pound 8 ounces, measuring 5.5 by 8.5 inches, and containing a whopping 559 pages. The author and book are doing fine – until the book’s website crashes the very next day. This requires a transfer to intensive care and a visit from Nathan Meyers, MCS (aka my husband and in-house internet specialist). A day later, the problem is diagnosed and a cure administered. The book is taken off life support (and I can breathe again). To distract myself during the crisis, I set up the first Goodreads giveaway.
December 30, 2015
The digital version is released. Unfortunately, it’s too late for Christmas (who’d have guessed that digital formatting would take so long?). Fortunately, it is in time for a very happy New Year. Nathan and I raise our glasses to the “year of THE BLUE HOUR.”
January 5, 2016
The book takes its first baby steps with the first reader review on Amazon, a 5-star rating: http://amzn.to/2eWj4LK. The review is quickly followed by four more.
January 26, 2016
A long-ago friend from junior high, a musician and artist currently living in Nuremberg, Germany, sends me a song he wrote about Samuel Todd, the villain in my story. I’m blown away that a character in my book would inspire a song, even if it’s a less-than-flattering portrait (which, in truth, Samuel deserves).
February 2, 2016
The first Goodreads review appears, another 5-star rating: http://bit.ly/2fFAygX
March 3-10, 2016
We’re now at the teething stage, and the book is doing its best to take a bite out of every possible promotional opportunity. This means that the month of March finds us (me and Nathan, acting as my roadie, along with boxes of books) in rainy Oregon. We treat ourselves to a stay at Portland’s Heathman Hotel, which — surprise! — has been taken over by the film crew of Grimm.
With the trunk of our rental car stuffed with boxes of books, bookmarks, and posters, we make our first stop at the End of the Oregon Trail Museum and Interpretive Center in Oregon City for an author event and book-signing.
An enthusiastic crowd attends, including a high-school classmate and her book group. They contribute to a lively discussion, after which the museum purchases several autographed copies for their gift shop.
A few days later, we make a trip down-valley to our old stomping grounds in Corvallis, where I do a second author presentation and book signing at the Majestic Theatre. It’s wonderful to see so many dear friends, and even more wonderful to sell all the inventory we brought.
I return to sunny San Diego brimming with goodwill, and schedule a second Goodreads giveaway.
The book is pulling itself up, and beginning to stand on its own. It receives a nice review from the Historical Novel Society: https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/the-blue-hour/. Later in the month it’s a Pitch Perfect Pick at Underground Book Reviews.
Underground Books selects the THE BLUE HOUR for review and gives it 4.5-stars! https://www.undergroundbookreviews.org/review-of-the-blue-hour-by-vicki-righettini/
August 28, 2016
The book is now toddling, venturing farther into the world. We travel to the Bay Area, where I appear at a friend’s book group.
Their questions and comments are incisive and insightful, and the afternoon flows with intelligent conversation. An added bonus is spending the evening with special friends afterwards.
October 2, 2016
I join sixteen local authors at the Upstart Crow Coffeehouse & Bookstore at the San Diego waterfront, my first book event at home.
The weather is perfect and the place is packed; I make connections with still more school friends as well as some fellow historical fiction authors, and sell and sign a few copies. The store buyer asks to carry the book, giving THE BLUE HOUR its first placement at an independent bookstore.
Whew! The rest of the year looks fairly quiet, but there’s more to come:
During the month of February, 2017, the San Diego Public Library will display THE BLUE HOUR as part of its 51st Annual Local Author Exhibit, free and open to the public at the downtown Central Library. If you’re in the area, please stop by for a look at the display, and to check out this magnificent new facility.
Also in 2017 (the dates are yet to be determined), I’ll be discussing my book with a private local book group, and at the Rancho Penasquitos Library, hosted by their evening book group (the library event is also free and open to the public). In both instances, I’m looking forward to spending time with my local literary tribe.
Finally, none of this could have happened without YOU, dear readers. My deepest thanks to everyone who read the book, reviewed it, rated it, came to author events, passed your copy along, gave it as a gift, or simply told someone about it. Word of mouth is the most potent tool an independent author has – you’ve helped make THE BLUE HOUR’s first year an exciting and eventful one. It really does take a village!
A postscript: If all this talk of book groups has you thinking you’d like your group to read THE BLUE HOUR and invite me to the discussion, please give in to the temptation. Contact me at: http://vickirighettini.com/contact-2/ and let me know your dates. If you’re within driving distance — or I’m able to coordinate it with other travel — I’ll be delighted to be there in person. If not, I’ll happily join you via Skype. I do this gratis for my devoted readers. It’s the best way I know to say “thank you.”
All the best,