Kate Flora: It’s Wednesday, not yet seven, and I’m already running behind. I know that many of you like to read the blog with your morning coffee, and while I’m dithering here at my desk, your coffee is probably getting cold. So what am I talking about today? That very difficult and delicate question: How much promotion should an author do, and when does it become annoying to a reader? I’m prompted to write this because in the last few weeks, several friends and neighbors have asked me if “that book about the warden ever came out?” Having spent the summer in my car, hauling crates of books and racing around to libraries, book fairs, and bookstores, I was amazed by the question. Is it really possible that there’s a single person anywhere who hasn’t heard about A Good Man with a Dog?
Evidently, the answer is yes. So today I’m wondering where the tipping point is between enough and too much. If Roger Guay—who IS the good man with a dog—and I haven’t been at your local library or bookstore, (along with Saba or Nilla or some other canine with a sweet face and lots of talent) I apologize, and urge you to rush right in to said local venue and get us invited. Meanwhile, check our websites, where our appearances for the rest of the summer and fall are listed.
In case you are curious about why my name is on a Maine game warden’s memoir, here’s a small sample of what you might hear us say at a book talk. http://www.wlbz2.com/mb/news/local/207/roger-guay-kate-clark-flora-a-good-man-with-a-dog/272122215
It all began years ago when Joe Loughlin, then a police lieutenant in Portland, wanted to
write a book about a case he was working on, the disappearance of twenty-five-year-old Amy St. Laurent from Portland’s Old Port area. He was my go-to guy for police procedure, and I was his go-to gal for writing advice. That led to the collaboration on Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine, and my connection with the Maine warden service, who organized the search that found Amy’s body. When that was over, I swore I would never do nonfiction again. It’s too hard to think about someone’s tragic death and the books take years. But along came Maine warden Lt. Pat Dorian, who told me about another hidden body the warden service had found up in Miramichi, New Brunswick. That became a five year project, and Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a Killer to Justice.
Roger Guay and his dogs were on both of those searches. So when Roger retired and wanted to write about his 25 year career, but didn’t know how to get the stories from his head to the page, guess who he called? And when gentle advice didn’t work, I ended up in his green pickup truck, driving the back roads around Greenville, holding the recorder while he talked. I discovered that he was a good man, that his dog lore was fascinating, and that he’d probably never get a word down on the page without our unorthodox collaborating method.
Now here’s a question for you: How do you hear about authors and their new books? Should I have a newsletter? Keep an e-mailing list and send you updates? Leave you in peace? Curious authors really want to know.
p.s. Roger and I are giving some lucky reader this lovely pillow, so leave a comment, here or on FB, or visit us at one of our signings, or kindly leave a review at Amazon, and you could be the owner.