Meet Author Helen Simonson on Monday!

The Writers’ League of Texas is pleased to team up with BookPeople to host an event with Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 10.

WLT Executive Director Cyndi Hughes will talk with Helen about her books, the craft of writing, her writing life, and much more!

Here’s a preview of the book: The courtly Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet, quite proper life in the English village of Edgecomb St. Mary’s. When his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village, they soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. This debut novel charmed the staff at BookPeople and introduced a wonderful new writer to the world.

For more details, visit BookPeople’s website. Let’s have a great turnout to welcome Helen to Austin!

Helen also has a great post about writing on Timothy Hallinan’s Blog Cabin. Among our favorite quotes:

“My writing style can be best described as procrastination plus panic.” (we think a LOT of writers can relate!)

“Sometimes I really like the writing. What I like is the completely blank mind that comes …after I have said aloud the awkward meaning of what I am trying to say, only ungrammatical…and just before the perfect phrase pops up; syntactically shiny and glowing with freshness. Those moments make me get up from my office chair, numb-bottomed in my jeans, and do a little jig of joy.”

Read the whole post here.

How to Bring Sexy Back to Book Signings (Feature Post)

By Tolly Moseley

PR by the Book


Let me ask you a question: When was the last time you attended a book signing for an author you had never heard of? Last month? Last year? Last…oh forget about it, it’s not important.

Except, it is. Whenever one of my authors decides to book a string of bookstore signings, and the “signing” part of the event is truly all that they plan, I die a little bit inside. Why? Because it’s boring. Let’s face it: what’s exciting about watching another person – a stranger – write their own name, over and over again, inside countless covers.

When an author, publisher, or publicist arranges a bookstore signing, we publicists can secure tour media, but we can’t guarantee potential buyers will attend.  You have to woo them, especially if you’re a first-time author. While many bookstores  are more than willing to accommodate some off-the-wall book signing ideas, I want to talk to you about thinking outside the bookstore for your next event. What if you viewed your signing as a full-fledged party?  Don’t you get a little bit excited to hear about a party? Here are some ideas for hosting creative events that will turn your book into a cause for celebration.

Before We Begin – A Few (tiny!) Caveats

As you’ve probably guessed, this is definitely a quality-versus-quantity strategy.  Continue reading