This weekend, The Murrihy River Tour arrived in Whanganui. I was very excited to finally make it down, as this area is the principal setting in my novel. I was also happy to include copies of friend and fellow Taumarunui author Cate Sutherland‘s book, In the Shadow of the Hills on my table. I had high aspirations that the Wanganui Chronicle would run an article on my visit and that I would sell enough books to at least pay for the travel and maybe accommodation.
I sold ONE copy of my book at the Whanganui River Traders Market today. Bugger.
But nevermind! I also avoided the rain (for the most part), spent a lovely morning with my most-patient wife, took some photos, met some interesting people and completed an important leg of the Murrihy River Tour.
The River Traders Market is very well run and I was warmly welcomed by the organisers and the stall-holders on either side of me. I was based within sight of the river and it felt good to be there.
The Wanganui Chronicle did run a short article about my visit which appeared in the morning paper – I discovered it while at the market.
But, with so few books sold, what were the highlights of visiting Whanganui?
I did catch up with some friends who I thought were out-of-town. They have been very supportive – their daughter has even read Redeeming Brother Murrihy as part of a high school English assignment.
I also met another writer, Christodoulos Moisa, who has published a collection of short stories. Chris told me he worked as a teacher, but I see from his website he has worked as an artist and poet for many years now as well. He recommended I submit my novel to the River City Press so I will be sure to follow up with this. (UPDATE: Chris Moisa ended up writing a review himself for the River City Press. You can read it on my Facebook page here.)
I spoke with a lady who is associated with a group who have just hosted the Whanganui Literary Festival a few weeks ago. She recommended I contact the organisers for more details.
And then there were these drummers!
Finally, I decided that this trip would conclude the Murrihy River Tour, at least until Christmas. It was always my plan to market “Brother Murrihy” as much as I could until October, when I would then commit myself to writing my second novel. So – it’s time to write with less attention to markets and online promotion.
I’m looking forward to it – and here’s a cryptic preview of what I’m working on:
- some OCD
- a treasure hunt
- a tree (though not this one)