Castle Danger

Today’s post is by Verily Sherrilee

When Chris from Owatonna announced on the Trail a couple of months ago that he had published his novel, I was thrilled – as a member of our blog community and as a reader. I couldn’t wait to get a copy and when Chris mentioned he was having a kick-off signing I asked for the afternoon off right away.  tim and I  both went down for the occasion.

It was a perfect day for a drive down to Perfect Day Cakes where Chris’ signing was held. The bakery was all set up, including a delicious-looking array of cupcakes and fancy doughnuts.  Chris signed several books and then spoke a bit about how he got to today.

During fundraising for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, an organization he has volunteered with for many years, Chris used to write long letters describing his own experience and the progress of his Little Brother.

Danger4Many of the recipients of those letters commented on his writing ability and eventually several folks encouraged him to write a book. While he was writing he was also researching the independent publishing industry which has evolved greatly over the past decade. Now that he is published, he hasn’t forgotten how he got his inspiration.  For every book that he sells, $1 goes to Big Brothers/Big Sisters; after he re-coups his hard costs, then he’ll raise that to $2 per book.

Castle Danger is a thriller with mystery, suspense and romance set in northern Minnesota during the height of blizzard season.  Chris is thinking about re-visiting an earlier unpublished book that will be a pre-quel and then maybe a sequel to Castle Danger as well.  Eventually he’d like to spread his wings a bit more and try some tween fiction as well.

I can’t wait to finish this blog piece so I can start reading my personal signed copy!

What author would you like to meet and get an autograph from?

 

69 thoughts on “Castle Danger”

  1. I have quite a few author-signed books. One is Barack Obama’s second book. He has a cool signature.

    My favorite signed book is Arnold Gingrich’s classic book on fly fishing: The Well-Tempered Angler. The “signature” is actually a sketch on the frontispiece by the book’s illustrator, John Groth. It is beautifully done.

    I’m too shy to meet authors now unless I already know them. But if I were more forward, I’d like to get Helen Macdonald to sign a copy of her incredible memoir H Is for Hawk. In this past year I’ve read two books that shook me to the core. One was the novel All the Light We Cannot See. The other is Macdonald’s book about conquering her grief at the loss of her father by training a goshawk.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Steve,
      Don’t be shy around ANY author. In my writing journeys, I’ve yet to come across any author, famous or not, who didn’t have time to sign a book and usually chat for a moment with each fan. As a group, authors are some of the most generous, unassuming, helpful, and encouraging folks I’ve met.

      Chris in Owatonna

      Liked by 2 people

        1. it must wor a littel bit ljb. you used to go weeks ata time being quiet. glad you decided to get your fingers tapping out the thoughts

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  2. I’d like to meet William Kent Krueger and get his autograph. He was an inspiration when I started writing seriously and I’ve read all his books. I tried to get his autograph last summer at Once Upon a Crime but so did seemingly everyone in the Twin Cities. When Dad and I arrived, the line was out the door and around the corner, so we passed.

    And thank you so very much to Verily Sherrilee and Tim for driving all the way down from the Cities to attend my Book Launch Celebration. I was deeply touched and honored by your presence. Babooners are a wonderfully supportive community and I’m grateful to be a small part of the group.

    The highlight of the event for me was the appearance of my first Little Brother. I hadn’t expected him to be able to make it, but his work schedule has changed due to a new job so he showed up. We were even interviewed by the local radio station (doing a live remote broadcast, of all things! How’s that for small-town news?).

    Thanks again to Dale and all the Babooners for making this a vibrant online community.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 7 people

    1. i met william kent krugger at a pen pals thing and he was delightful. you would never know he was hot stuff if he wasnt the guest of honor. he speks around town quite a bit so keep your ears open. im sure you’ll get another chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Long ago, we went to a book signing by Rick Riordan, a middle school teacher turned author who started with the Percy Jackson series. Great guy and such a pleasure to be able to tell an author how much we appreciated his work.

    I”d like to do the same with Paul Shipton, author of The Pig Who Saved the World. A really irreverent riff on the Odyssey from the point of view of one of the sailors.

    Good luck writing for tweens, Chris. They are a tough crowd.

    Hoping to get some reading time this summer and dig into Castle Danger.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I got the autograph I’d always wanted–I met Ursula K. LeGuin at a WisCon about 20 years ago, and had her autograph a beautiful letterpress edition of one of her short stories, “She Unnames Them,” that the artist had put in the Tiptree Award fundraising auction that year. I fought really hard for that book! I also got an autographed bookplate from Terry Pratchett, at an otherwise dreadful Discworld convention (I believe it was his last con out of the UK), and I’ve had Patricia McKillip sign a few of her books at the two World Fantasy Conventions I attended. Science fiction and fantasy writers are the most accessible authors, because there are so many conventions, and most of them go to at least a few.

    Also, congratulations, Chris! Having the physical book in hand is a great feeling, isn’t it?

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I too have several books autographed…several and very personal by Robert Bly (plus broadsheets). Another favorite is a cookbook signed by Julia Child. Whose autograph would I like now? Perhaps Per Petterson who wrote Out Stealing Horses…still one of my favorite recent novels read. Louis Erdrich…have to think on this while feeding the animals.

    I was shy the first time I asked for an autograph from Les Blacklock. Less shy now….

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I do not think I have any real desire to meet authors. I do not assume anything about authors by their writing.
    As soon as we get Sandy by this set of health issues, I will seek out your book, Chris. I will struggle to not think of the real Castle Danger when I read it, knowing full well you have a duly authorized poetic license.
    Strange coincidence Saturday. I had the idea to make a change to one part of my second novel. So I was working on a scene in which the main character buys a coffee from a fictional coffeehouse in a fictional Two Harbors and drives to a fictional breakwater to drink it. Right then on fb my daughter, who I did not even know was in TH, posted that she bought a coffee from a brand new coffee house in TH and was drinking it by the breakwater.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I’m happy to have TWO baboon-signed books now (Chris & Steve). Clyde, I’ll have to get your signature at some point and if Kay were still on the blog, I could get hers (since I read her book a few years back) and I’d have a complete baboon set (unless somebody else out there has written a book and hasn’t let us know).

    Hennepin library has an Author Alert system.. if you put a particular author on the list, whenever they purchase a book by that author, you get an email. I think this is probably a good list for the authors I’d like to meet: Sarah Vowell, Michael Chabon, Naomi Novik, Jasper Fford, Alexandria Fuller, Barbara Kingsolver, Louisa Penny, Michael Pollan. Of course these are LIVING authors…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will soon email you the second half of novel 2. Are you an author if you have not published? Although I am published in the educational world, 17 times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Technically I suppose I could say I’m published… poetry in a vanity publication (I didn’t know what that was at the time – I had sent in a couple of poems and when they wrote me back that they had accepted one and then asked for money, I was too young/naïve to realize that this didn’t mean I was going to be the next Robert Frost!).

        Liked by 2 people

      1. When I wrote the question for today, an implied time-travel component was included so you could get autographs from those who have already left us… at least in my brain that’s what I was thinking!!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. ive met sarah chabon and jasper from your list. two at pen pals one at the library. felt like a connection was made with two of them.

      club book and talk of the stacks are freebies and talking volumes is a cheapie. pen pals is a little expensive but the tix do become available if its a author who is not a monster famous person.

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    3. Jasper Fforde is on my list of favorite signatures. Mostly because he said, when he signed my book, “Anna Bliss…that’s a name that should be writing books.” 🙂 He was delightful.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Generally speaking, the author I would most like to meet at any given moment is the one I happen to be reading at the time.In many cases, I would have to overlook the fact that they are dead and likely to continue in that state. Right now, that author would be Sylvia Townsend Warner.
    I have on occasion sent an email to authors I particularly appreciated or with a question their writing inspired; they invariably respond, sometimes in a way that invites further correspondence.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I have on, a few occasions, meet authors who are among my favorites. I didn’t ask any of them for their signature and I am not very interested in getting the signature of any author on a book of theirs that I have purchased. Of course, I do enjoy meeting authors who I admire and would be willing to stand in line to get a chance to say hello and thank them. I would have liked to have had a chance to meet Fredrick Manfred before he passed away. I did have the good luck of seeing Bill Holm in person before he passed away. Noam Chomsky is still with us and I would very much enjoy meeting him.

    Congratulations on getting your book published, Chris. I will look forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Morning–

    I’ve got Bill Holm’s signature on two books… (not his books, just random books I had him sign. Ha! Joking!)
    There is a book called ‘Jail House stories: Memories of a small- town sheriff’ by Neil Haugerud that came from the store autographed.
    Brent Olson of ‘Independentlyspeaking.com’ autographed his book ‘Papa; figuring out what matters’.

    And of course there’s this:

    Liked by 4 people

    1. i got to meet bill holms at the talking stacks at the minneapolis library and chat a while as he signed a stack of books i brought wth me. he is aa favorite poet. and it made me sad when he died. you do get to knw the fbric of a person by meeting them and interacting only for a minute. jimmy carter peter otoole garrison, tom wolfe bill bryson kite runner guy margeret atwood billy colling edward albee etc.. the meeting leaves an impression as complete as the book often times

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Frederick Backman might be interesting to meet. He is probably sweet and nice and not as off the wall as his books.

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  12. Barbara Kingsolver and Jasper Fforde. I have a signed copy of a book about Roger Maris written by a friend – chock full of facts and statistics which makes it kind of a slog for me. I do have 2 MN Orchestra CDs which were signed by Osmo Vanska following the concerts. And CDs signed by Ann Reed and Neal & Leandra.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. nice recap of the event vs
    the day was very noce for the drive and the bakery is just what youd hope for. the cupcakes, the bread the vibe was just right. there was a radio person parked outside the bakery with a microphone to do a live interview with the local author on owatanna radio.
    i am looking forward to getting into chris’ book.
    authors signing make a book special. i in my collector mode have a bunch of signed copies that i treasure. those left to add to the collection i would enjoy are people like barock obama and hillary clinton, bill clinton, and other world figures. the author biz these days is over my head. i read suggested authors but my favorites are dying off as we go along or if they are old favorites like amy tan or bill bryson i already have them on my book shelves. pat conroy was a favorite who died a short while ago.
    i would like dylans autograph, jk rowling, stephen king, toni morrison, gabriel garcia marquez, i dont have the pulse of the writers world these days so i rely on people to tell me whats wonderful but i hate reading the popular thing i read the davinci code on vacation the year that it was the hot book and it was just odd to see everyone flasjhing their book and winking. felt like i was part of the best buy book club of the popular readers book group. i like the a is for alibi autor but have no real desire to ge ther autograph, i like garrrison and have is autograph but would like it again. the reast are from dead guys.
    i dont keep on top of it nough to know who the good guys are. musicians i know and like
    not so much with authors.
    i like ted guys
    maybe on being people who have one great things
    there are some very good motivational people in the business community like the tesla guy. virgin airlines guy people whose brain think outside the box for the most part. i enjoy classic authors who write of simple beauty and strength but i relate most to the active searchers who are always striving for th other unseen way to do it.

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  14. I have one shelf in our large bookcase in the living room dedicated to books signed by their author: Pat Conroy, Terry Tempest Williams, Jimmy Carter, Bill Holm, Garrison Keillor, John Hassler, Peter Edelman and John Steinbeck, and several others. All of those, with the exception of Steinbeck, I got by standing in line and waiting my turn for a quick chat and a signature. Steinbeck’s I got over breakfast at the Bridges’ apartment in Moscow. He got a kick out of signing a Danish language version of “Cannery Row.” One signed book I bought second hand, and it came with the disclaimer that someone had written on one of the pages is the front of the book. Turned out to be a dedication to someone from the book’s author, Molly Ivins; she had been dead several years by then, and I was thrilled for this little stroke of good fortune.

    My collection also includes books signed two baboon authors, Steve and Chris.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, tim, he was a house guest of the American family I worked for. Spent a couple of days hobnobbing with him.

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        2. so give us a steinbeck guest blog. id love to hear about minutia. hes an icon. but maybe the truth is that if you hang with a great guy for a while he turns into a guy and thats that. coffee black has a quirk or two that is interesting and other than that…. travels with charlie and grapes of wrath all come form down deep in a room with a pen. authors are so interesting and steinbeck would be one i would love to know a little bit about. …

          Liked by 2 people

  15. I love having books by people I know personally…signed or unsigned.

    I just met the new husband of a cousin who has written several books that take place in the Two Harbors area….what is with Two Harbors that I “know” three people who have written about goings on there….not including the Norwegian who also wrote one that takes place along the North Shore. Is it the scenery or the characters that inspires?

    Oh, and congratulations, Chris!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I have a few autographs on the bookshelf – Lorrie Moore, Anne Lamott, Garrison Keillor, James Lileks, Brian Newhouse.

    If I could go back in time, I’d probably choose Louisa May Alcott or Laura Ingalls Wilder to pester for an autograph. Then I’d have something to take to Antiques Roadshow when they come to town.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. If I could time travel, I would choose Elizabeth Enright (author of the delightful Melendy family books) and Eliot Porter (nature photographer). Also Robert McCloskey.

    For current authors, I would ask Jim Brandenburg to sign my copy of Chased by the Light. And if I had bought a “real” copy of Castle Danger instead of the e-book, I would ask Chris to sign it. If I ever meet him in person.

    But, honestly, I probably don’t have much chance of getting even the authors who are alive and well to sign my books. I don’t like standing in line to get a signature, and if I just happened to meet an author, it’s not likely I would just happen to have one of their books with me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s very kind, Chris, but I’m pretty sure that the label would fall off pretty quickly, or at the very least, the ink would get worn off.

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  18. Love hearing about this, VS. Wish I’d been there – congrats, Chris…

    I would love to meet and get a book signed by Michael Perry, of “Population: 485” et al. I love his sense of humor and the voice in his books, but I haven’t read nearly enough of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, BiR. I HAVE a signed copy of “Population:485”! Met Michael at the UW-Madison Writers’ Institute in 2014.He gave a keynote address during that conference. I also named the book my favorite read of 2014. He is a wonderfully charming, self-effacing, funny man, and an excellent writer.

      Chris in Owatonna

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  19. I would want to meet Lloyd Alexander,, now alas deceased, who is one of my favorite children’s authors and was the editor of Cricket magazine

    Liked by 2 people

  20. with the new rules id go hang with mark twain, jesus, kurt vonnegut, socrates, wild bill shakespeare,arthur miller, dr suess, jrr tolkein, george orwell, lewis carrol,aldous huxley, ken keesey and the other opium heads out there. jack keroack, jack london louis lamour, herman melville, ghandi, confusious, buddha,mohammad, can i meet polack picasso, miro, chagall, kline dekooning, rembrandt, manet monet degas utrillo dali, elgreco, davinci, vermeer,mondrian modigliani giacometti,henry moore, gershwin beethoven mozart , bach, yo yo ma,
    satie, babe ruth lou gerig, jim thorp amelia erhardt, gertrude stein, hellen keller mother theresa, mary casatt ( might as well make oa run on women, marilyn, kate hepburn, ee cummings, hesse,

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  21. Catching up on blogs…congratulations Chris on the book release! It’s a huge thing (both in work hours and the event itself). Glad your Little Brother was able to make it.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Just want to add my congratulations on the book, Chris. If anyone is checking back, I’d like to add that I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots and lots of famous musicians but I am very reluctant to go up to them and introduce myself. I’ve made excuses about my unwillingness, but the truth is that it’s just shyness. I really hope it’s ok to be shy.

    Liked by 1 person

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