Live blogging at Arts in the Park

11:30: All set up

Never open with the weather, said Elmore Leonard. Okay. Now that I’ve opened, I can tell you that it’s a beautiful, clear, sunny and hot day in Stittsville, Ontario. This is my second year at this event, just a few kilometres down the bicycle trail from my home in Kanata.

No, I didn’t bike here with 70 books, posters, display holders and other paraphernalia for exhibiting. My son, Super Nicolas, dropped me off and helped me unload the car.

I’m among painters and potters and crafts makers, and some other authors, too. I hope to get to know some readers and art lovers, collect some email addresses—and sell some books, too.

12:15: Slow traffic

I set up my table right beside where the paved path through the park intersects the sidewalk along the street—a sort of secondary entrance. I thought it would mean good traffic, but unfortunately, the traffic flow seems to be along the aisle between the rows of booths just to my right.

And it is hot here in the sun. Time to polish my head.

I2:40 I’ve moved into the shade

I gave up on my original spot, and moved onto what seems to be the main traffic artery through the park. I’m across from another author and a painter.

And I’m right beside a booth for the local Progressive Conservative candidate, staffed by the candidate’s sister, who’s offering free face-painting to kids.

There seems to be a steady flow of people past the tables and the rented pop-up nylon canopies. I’m not sure, still, how well these kinds of events are suited to authors selling books. I sold a good amount last year, but the personal contact so far has been pretty limited.

I did meet one man, Lars, who bought the entire Eastern Front trilogy last year and stopped by to tell me how much he liked the three books.

1:10 pm: I spoke too soon

Or wrote too soon. I just sold five books: a copy of each book in the Eastern Front trilogy (a real deal at $25 for the set), and a copy each of The Bones of the Earth and Wildfire.

A man wheeling a bike showed interest in the Eastern Front trilogy, too. He took away the postcard I made for it, which has QR codes so your smart phone camera will take you right to the Amazon page.

1:30 The crowds thicken

The local PC candidate has shown up and joined her sister in face-painting. There’s a line-up of preteen girls and some young boys, too, waiting their turn. I was hoping their parents might be interested in books, but so far, it’s not working. Maybe I should move over beside the Liberal or NDP candidates? Oh, wait—they’re not not organized enough to be here.

It was no surprise when Kathleen Wynne announced she had no hope of winning this election. It was obvious weeks ago that they weren’t making much of an effort, at least where I live.

Gotta go—someone’s looking at my books.

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