It's been almost a month since I've added anything to this blog. As my military husband would tell me, there's no excuse for going AWOL, but I do apologize to anyone who has wandered by here, hoping for a new post.
So what have I been up to? Well, start with the book launch. It went on for three days, which was probably a day too long. By the time it got to be 10:00 pm on Friday night, and I could shut down, I was thoroughly drained. We did get an incredible response. Nearly 900 different viewers visited the launch website during that time. Sales were "so-so." It's hard to keep up with what's being ordered on my site, Amazon, my Amazon Associates page, Kindle, and Smashwords, and some of the purchases came after the actual launch period. So far, I can say this. I've sold out of my first 100-book order and have just opened a new shipment. Amazon figures are still not in, but there were 38 downloads from Smashwords. I'm encouraged that people are still visiting the Katzenhaus site, which I've just updated, by the way, and that books are beginning to circulate. I'm looking ahead to at least three book-signing opportunities before Christmas.
Three days after the launch, we left for an eight-day trip to Milwaukee for the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum. That's the big conference that Floyd and I hosted here last year. It was lovely to be one of the attendees instead of the person everyone screamed at when there was a problem. We also enjoyed getting out of the Memphis heat (103 degrees the day we left here) and discovering that late September really does mean fall is here. No only did we bring some cooler weather back with us. Four days after our return from Wisconsin, we were on our way to the Smokies for a three-day meeting in Townsend, TN., and we found even more cool weather -- trees turning, smoke rising from chimneys in the mornings, and even reports of a dusting of snowon one of the higher mountain peaks. Lovely!
Now I'm busy with research for the next book. (I'm finding that there is always a "next book' waiting!) There's an amazing group of northern women who traveled to the Low Country of South Carolina in 1862. They were missionaries, teachers, and doctors -- all hoping to do their bit to improve conditions for the slaves who had been left behind when the southern planters fled the Low Country when the Union invaded. "Beyond All Price" began to explore the problem of how to handle emancipation, but these women were in the front lines. Their reactions differed widely. A couple found they were totally unsuited to the task and went home within weeks. Others struggled with the problems until poor health drove them out. Other stayed but clashed with one another over what the former slaves needed most -- formal education? religious instruction? health care? encouragement to adapt white culture? help with preserving their own African heritage? These questions, and the conflicting solutions reflect in microcosm the problems faced by the US government when it came time to act on matters of emancipation and reconstruction. Fortunately, many of them left behind diaries, journals, and letters, so getting to know them should be fun. I'll tell you about a few of them in upcoming posts.