Thursday, August 16, 2007

People make Small Towns Special

The jitters are building as the weekend approaches. I have my first-ever book signing by myself (Yikes) at the Waldenbooks this Saturday in my hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. I'll be signing the last book in my McKade Brothers series, Ryan's Renovation. The PR work that has gone into this event has made me appreciate more than ever "small-town" people. No wonder these towns play such an integral part in many of our American Romance books. To me, the people are as important as the setting in this popular Harlequin line.

Today, with a population inching toward 60,000, most poeple no longer consider Janesville a small town. But when I grew up there things were much "smaller". Few fast food restaurants. Posted speed limits of 25 miles per hour. The biggest retailer was K-Mart and Farm and Fleet. But amid all this change and growth the people in Janesville have remained constant--warm, friendly and supportive of one of their own...

I was hoping to secure a blurb announcing the time and date of the book signing in the Janesville Gazette. (Local newspaper) The editors gave me a front-page story above the fold. Then someone in town heard about my signing and called the Beloit Daily News (next town over) and a day later I did a phone interview with a reporter from that paper.

Then someone told someone else at the Headberg Library and the adult services coordinator contacted me to do a program for the library in the near future and another book signing. Then a friend of my sister's (Lorri) posted my book signing news to all the local media (radio/TV) internet lists and high school alumni lists. This action prompted several phone calls to the Waldenbooks asking if this Marin Thomas person was really Brenda Smith, the girl who grew up in Janesville.

So here I am sitting in my office typing this blog, while those wonderful people in my hometown are doing what they do best--spreading the word about my book signing and supporting one of their own. No wonder I love writing American Romances--small-town characters are part of my roots and what I know best.

Ryan's Renovation Aug 07
For The Children Oct 07


Estella said...

I love small towns, even tho everyone knows everyone elses business. I live in a small town--population under 5000.

bettye griffin said...

I know precious little about Wisconsin, although I'm in Illinois, just 10 miles south of Pleasant Prairie in the southeastern portion of the state. So where's Janesville? Maybe it'll be close enough for me to drop by and say hello (and buy a book, of course!

Bettye Griffin

Marin Thomas said...

Bettye-what a sweet offer! But I think you're way too far away to "drop by", lol. It's about 20 minutes north of Rockford right over the Wisconsin border. I just joined Chicago-North RWA this past week, are you a member of any of the Chicago area RWA groups?


bettye griffin said...

No Marin, I decided I'm too far out. There really are no RWA groups in the immediate vicinity, like in Kenosha, which is closer to me than Chicago.

I see you're well west of me. Oh, well. Have a great signing!


Bettye Griffin

Lily said...

It is so nice... they are spreading words in your home town... must be a great feel... I come from a big town (4M) so I am a city girl.