I love it when things like this happen!!
I wrote the novel, Island in the Clouds, and released it in 2012, first as an eBook then in print. I was on Bequia shortly after the eBook version was released and was trying to drum up some interest by posting announcements about it around the island, including at a friend’s restaurant and bar.
The novel has continued to be “discovered” by tourists visiting the island and I’ve received some pretty terrific compliments and reviews of the book from people all over the world as a result – people I had not previously met.
Sales and discovery of the book have slowed down considerably over the past year or two. I get it! The people who read and enjoyed the first novel set on Bequia are waiting for me to finish writing the second one – and I’m writing as fast as I can right now!!
So, it’s especially gratifying when something like this happens …
Dennis, as most of you know, is a property manager, and he looks after a number of foreigners’ homes on the island. He was working on a Saturday morning at one of the houses that had been rented over the Christmas holidays to a Canadian couple. He told me the woman was READING A PRINT COPY OF MY BOOK (the “house” copy, as it happened) while he was there, and she commented to Dennis that the book could be about him, because the main character is a Canadian who runs a property management business.
Dennis laughed and said, “No, it’s all fiction in that book.” Then she asked what it was that I did on Bequia.
“She’s an author.”
“Oh, what’s she written?” the woman asked.
“Well, that book you’re reading, for starters.”
He told me all this when he returned home later that morning, and also said the woman was enjoying the book immensely. Since then, her husband has read it as well and they told him they were going to buy a copy to take back home with them at the end of their holiday. So I signed a copy and sent that over with Dennis to give to them. (They insisted on purchasing it!)
It just all reminds me that we never know who will read what we write or how they will come to our writing. In this case, I heartily thank the homeowner for being such a big support of me and my writing, and for providing a reading copy of my book for her guests to “discover”.
Unlike the reader in the first instance (in the link I included at the beginning of this story) who was actively seeking out books set on Bequia, many tourists and visitors will never see the ads I place in Bequia This Week
or set foot in the Bequia Book Shop or the Bequia Tourism Association office
to find out what “local” books may be available. I have to depend upon word-of-mouth promotion from my readers and friends who will share what I write in whatever way they can. And then I have to hope that readers, like this Canadian couple, who do “discover” my book will now take it home with them and tell this same story I’ve just told you about how they first met and spoke with the property manager whose partner is the author of a book they enjoyed reading.
Because it’s personal stories like this that help sell the stories we all write!!