I had the immense pleasure to sell my books at MumFest this year! It felt like a dream come true. I use New Bern, North Carolina as a backdrop to my cozy murder mystery because it’s a beautiful, quaint, river town with loads of history! Growing up here wasn’t exactly marvelous because there isn’t much for teens and preteens to do. That hasn’t really changed, I’m afraid, but I am older now. As someone who has kids and a family, I can appreciate the sleepiness of a small town. There is safety in knowing everyone. As silly as that sounds, while I write murder and mayhem happening in this same town. The fact that my parallel universe of New Bern has magical properties helps you separate fact from fiction.
Last year I helped my friend Jennifer, who owns Naturally Stoned. Doing vendor events are hard work. Doing vendor events alone can make it impossible to go to the bathroom or even eat. It’s easier when you have someone with you. This year, we made an arrangement for me to set up a small table to sell my books along with helping her with her jewelry sales. It was a very successful weekend for both of us! Luckily, the weather held up beautifully so a lot of people turned out from all over the country. I sold out of Fangs & Fiends the very first day just hours before the festival closed for the day. I sold a couple second and third copies to those that wanted my signature in the book. It was delighted to come home to see that those that couldn’t get their hands on a physical copy during the festival had ordered the ebook or a physical book to be delivered to their house! I also encourage locals to go to Next Chapter Bookstore to purchase their copies there too. You can also buy physical copies from The Bookshop in Morehead City, NC. Please always support local bookstores when you can!
What helped me sell the book was that we were set up directly across from where I envision the physical location of The Java Tavern! This is the old Bynum’s pharmacy. The storefront isn’t how I pictured Eliza’s coffee house, though. I picture The Java Tavern to look more like its neighboring building. The dark brick with balcony of Eliza’s apartment above. The next picture is of the building I’m talking about. It’s also where a real boutique is, just like the fictional “Pretty In Pink” in my books! It was a nice visual representation to center the story around.
You can see both buildings side by side here. Lula Balou is my inspiration for Phoebe’s boutique. By being right next door to each other. While I’ve met the owner of Lula Balou and she’s lovely, I don’t want people thinking I’ve based Phoebe completely off of her. If there are similarities, it’s purely coincidental. I don’t know the owner of Lula Balou well enough to base an entire character’s personality off of her, truthfully. Her shop is awesome though, you should go check it out if you live here or Wilmington! There are multiple locations to visit.
I have already ordered another round of books and hope for the same outcome for MumFeast in just a few weeks! I am so thankful, grateful to those that bought my books and taking ownership of this success.