Suck It Up And SMILE!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

It happened again. Great venue. Tons of publicity and lots of empty chairs. It was last weekend in a neighboring town. 

Ironically, the book involved is selling like gang-busters, the best of the twelve other publications I have had on the market. 

Most authors won't admit this but empty chairs are the reality of doing author presentations, unless, of course, your book made it to the New York Times Best Selling list, you have amassed a huge following or this is your first book and all your family and friends gather to cheer you on. It doesn't happen all the time but when it does, it can throw you for a loop and make you wonder is it your book or you or something else? 

But don't sweat the small crowds because different opportunities come from a more intimate group. You'll get to inspire readers in a way you wouldn't have in a large group. People will feel freer to ask questions and make comments. And you never know if one of the three or four or five in the audience might have the connections that may result in future speaking engagements and opportunities far beyond anything you could imagine. 

Before becoming an author, you see long lines at book talks and signings and assume that's the way it will be for you. It might be some of the time, but I'm willing to bet that even well-known authors can remember events when the unfilled chairs out-numbered those filled. 

When the time comes and you find yourself staring out at those empty chairs, push back the tears and thoughts that no one cares, and focus on the seats that are filled. 

When the empty chair syndrome happens to you, what do you do? 

You suck it up and smile! 

And then give the same dynamite presentation you prepared for a crowd, to the few sitting before you. They showed up! They care! They want to hear what you have to say. You owe it to them to deliver what they came for--a dynamic peak into the pages of your latest work. 

Have you attended a book signing and been one of a couple in the audience? Has it happened to you? I'd like to hear your thoughts. 

Where The Writing Leads

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Congratulations to Kathleen Burkinshaw! You won a book of your choice from my last blog, Your Book is Out...Scary Words. Just go to, select a book and send me an


When the writing bug hit me, I had in mind writing for children; books to inspire and entertain. Never in my wildest dreams did I think about writing for adults; parents, teachers, general audiences. It wasn't on my agenda. I never gave it a thought.

And then one day my telephone range. It was a woman, an Army Reservist, a stranger just returned from the Persian Gulf War. She wanted me to write her memoirs, her life-changing experience serving in Iraq. She had to talk me into it. I was a children's author, after all.

Another time I met an editor for a Home Improvement magazine who asked me to write an article about radon. Radon? Really? "You want this non-science minded writer to pen an article about radon?" Crazy as I am, I said "yes." I found experts in the field, talked to folks who had to mitigate radon from their homes, and wrote the article.

A good friend who is also a writer, wrote a story about a school and then was approached to write a book about fly-fishing. She knew nothing about fly-fishing but she said, "yes." Months after the book came out, she was asked to write an article for a trout magazine.

As writers, we need to be open to whatever opportunities come our way. We never know where the writing will lead.

Have you been asked to write something that surprised you? Something you knew nothing about? Did you say, "yes?"


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About Me

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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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