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Senior Correspondent

We have been invited to participate in the OCIM ”Authors on a Mission” fundraising event on October 20. Just so you know, OCIM serves the needs of citizens in Northern Orange County (that’s N.C.’s Orange County). OCIM provides food, shelter and medicine to those in need. Along with other authors, we will all do a 15 minute reading from our book.

Purple Crow Books in Hillsborough will have books to sell that authors will sign. Sharon Wheeler, the owner of Purple Crow is donating the profits from books sales to OCIM. We will get to meet other authors who are much more established and experienced than us. That’s were the intimidating part comes in.

OK, this should be a fun event, but we have never done a reading from our novel (or anyone else's novel). So far, our “author events” have been to talk about our own long road to Paris.

There was a "Welcome Home" party that our friends, Jackie and JP hosted for us at The Depot in Hillsborough. The Depot is a hard to describe eclectic hangout with food, music and good people. And how can you not have fun when you get to be the center of attention? Since we couldn’t use Powerpoint, we (make that Jan) put together a poster with photos of all three parts of the trip, the US, Asia and Europe. The hard part was deciding which photos to include.

In addition to friends gathering, Whit — that's Bill Whitmore, provided music and started the group with our modified rendition of Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Stewball." In case you don’t know, that is the song that inspired our car’s name. In  the song, Stewball is a race horse that never drinks water. (He only drinks wine.) Our 67 Beetle is air-cooled and this seemed an appropriate name. Let it also be said that Stewball was the underdog and since we were the oldest team that seemed to fit too!

The final addition to this event was the appearance of the doll,  Marie-Claire who will now travel with us to all author and book events. Who can resist buying a book that this beauty recommends. Made by our friend Jan McCall who now lives in Oregon, Marie-Claire arrived just days before our party and was an attractive addition. She even offered to gift wrap books after we signed them.

But now back to our first reading experience. The first decision we need to make is: What to read? We have 15 minutes. Here’s where you come in. We want your help. Which part do you think will enthrall the listeners and entice them to buy and read the book? The beginning? Many authors do that. Some later chapter? Our dilemma is; we don’t want to give too much away. The mystery and suspense are big parts of the story and we want the twists and turns to be a surprise for the reader.

Help us out here, you can post your comments with page numbers or chapter numbers so we can decide what to read. We’ll let you know what we pick. If your idea is chosen, we will sign and gift wrap a book for you to give as a holiday or birthday present (yup, we’ll mail it too) since we presume you have it already. Any other ideas or experiences in doing a reading or listening to authors read are welcomed.

Jan and Ed

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