iUniverse’s Douglas Gardham returns with a recap of 2016 – a year of some really impressive milestones!
The Author’s View 2016
I got to know an engineer-turned-author a little better this year and had a chance to sit with him for a few minutes before I wrote this piece.
For instance, this is what 2016 looked like for the man I talked to as he finished his last book event on the weekend. He had completed over 54 appearances that included book signings, book clubs, and other author events that just happened to correspond with his age. He did his first signing in Barnes & Noble Amherst NY early in the year followed by seven more in some of their other bookstores through the northeastern United States. He did 44 signings in Indigo-Chapters stores across Canada. He drove over 40,000 kilometers to attend these events.
Over 10,000 new followers joined his 91,000+ Twitter following that includes authors Margaret Atwood, James Rollins and Heather Graham. He met authors Neil Pasrisha and Terry Fallis at book events. He sold over 1100 copies of his books at those author events and met thousands of constant readers and book lovers along the way.
In October he passed a milestone 2500th book at a book signing. “There’s some irony there,” he said, “As I originally had no intention of doing even one event after The Actor came out.” Now he can’t imagine his writing life without them.
In between all this, he’s finished the follow-up to The Actor. Entitled The Musician, he hopes it will be published in early 2017. Along with The Musician, he also wrote the third book of the trilogy, The Author.
At the beginning of the year, he launched a new website www.douglasgardham.com for The Actor and The Drive In as well.
He’s conducted three of four webinars for the Author Learning Center on Booksignings and Creativity, with a fourth planned for December 14th at 1:30 p.m.
He managed to get in Canada’s The Globe and Mail with a front-page article in Globe Arts by Books Editor Mark Medley who wrote “The Actor, a bizarre, David Lynch-like thriller about obsession, delusion and determination …”. He was featured in one of The Sudbury Star’s “10-Questions” interviews; did a TV interview for Rogers TV in Canada; and a radio interview with Cap’n Dave Somers at 99.3 County FM. He had two in-store video interviews at Chapters Kitchener and Chapters Woodbridge. His latest video interview was for his event at Barnes & Noble Burlington MA.
But after talking about all the stats and figures of the year, he looked me in the eye and said “but it was the people, the book lovers and constant readers, I’ve met over the year that made the most difference.”
For instance, at a recent signing, his last of the year as a matter-of-fact in Burlington, Ontario, he witnessed something extraordinary between two strangers. A friendly young reader was looking at The Actor and was overheard by a kind young lady behind him that his budget didn’t have room for another book. “I haven’t done anything nice for someone this week,” she said to the man, “I would like to buy you The Actor.” He accepted and she did.
He told me if there’s one thing he’s experienced at his many book events, it’s that the world is full of good people. It’s renewed his faith in humanity.
Another shared experience took place in the summer in Kingston, Ontario where Betty-Anne Howard (author and financial planner) drove from out-of-town to attend the event and then included The Actor in her Making Dreams A Reality blog. Another was Mary, a blogger he met at an event in Pittsford, New York in October. She hadn’t blogged for months but she had a new blog posted before the end of the month. He was reacquainted with friends from high school and college like Craig and Paul and Dave and Bob and Jerry and people he’d worked with like Gord and Donna and Rob and Donna and Laura (who invited him to her Book Club when The Actor became one of their monthly selections). Even readers who’d seen him on Twitter like Heidi and Mike and Shauny stopped in to say hello.
He’s says it scares him at times when he thinks about what he gets to do today, so different from what he ‘d done for most of his life. “I’m grateful for all that’s been granted me in this life time and that I get to do what I do today.”
Much like what he says when talking about his novel The Actor being about “a dream that’s not quite what it seems”, so was this interview as this author friend is in fact … me.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.