Post-Turkey Debriefing

The month is over, right?
I so sleepy.

First things first: an apology.

Over the past few weeks I have been pretty terrible about reading and replying to other people’s blogs. I’ve even been slow to respond to comments on my blog. I am sorry about that.

November was nutty — and most of this nuttiness was self-imposed. All month long I was shamelessly promoting Sarah Gives Thanks at book stores and schools. When I wasn’t doing that, I was trying to conjure up 30 new picture book ideas for PiBoIdMo. (Must you really do this in November, Tara?) Meanwhile, at my day job, I was running up against hard and fast deadlines for the winter issue of The Lawrentian, the magazine I edit.

But my exhaustion was mixed with healthy servings of exhilaration, too. Thanks to the salesmanship of David Gardner, Sarah’s wonderful illustrator, he and I were interviewed on Santa Fe Public Radio. We turned out to be a good team; David was the calm and steady Yin to my blathering, rambling Yang.

Wanna hear our lovely voices? Take a listen.

I also had the chance to be a guest author at my boy’s school, which was wonderful. I did my dog and pony show all day long for the first, second, third and fourth graders. The PTA pre-sold a big stack of books (including one copy in Braille!), and I proved to hundreds of children that grownups can (and should) be goobers.

And I signed every last one of 'em!
Thanks PTA!

Also, a number of lovely people out there interviewed me or reviewed my book. The folks listed below are not just great people, but great bloggers as well. You should follow them if you don’t already.

Vanessa Chapman
Susanna Leonard Hill
Catherine Johnson
Wendy Lawrence
Tara Lazar
Susan Rocan
Nancy Tandon

I sure hope I didn’t overlook anyone. If I did, please yell at me in the comments.

Like Sarah Hale, I am so very thankful to all of you.

I’ll be back in the blogging swing of things by next week. In the meantime, take care and enjoy your leftovers!

59 Replies to “Post-Turkey Debriefing”

  1. I really enjoyed your radio show! How did I not know you had a Sarah Hale bobble head doll before this? So awesome! 🙂 And great that you got to visit your son’s school and sell a stack of books – even one in braille – very cool! I don’t think any of my books have ever been in braille. I have a new goal 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! I had a lot of fun doing the radio show. (And I’m glad I was sort of coherent. As David will tell you, I had a stomach virus at the time.)

      As fun as that was, however, the school visit was perhaps the highlight of my year. It was a blast.

      I’m sure your books are available in Braille, Susanna! They gotta be! The best part was that after I personalized the young man’s book, I was told that the Braille service would add another page so he could read my inscription. I was so happy to hear this, I kind of got a little misty.

  2. Great interview! And selling a stack of nooks in advance wow! You guys are rocking Thanksgiving. Thanks for the shoutout.

  3. I always find it interesting to hear the voices of people I have only ever communicated with through the internet. Your voice was pretty much as I imagined. It suits you. 🙂

    It must have been fun talking to kids at your son’s school and congrats on your sales! It looks like you’ve been very busy promoting.

    Speaking of promoting, I guess you were too busy to pop over to my blog, which I understand, given the over-active month you’ve had. I’m not at all offended. Anyway, last Thursday I made a modest effort to help. I wished every American friend I know a happy Thanksgiving and told them they had to buy Sarah Gives Thanks to find out about their holiday’s origins. 🙂

    1. Gah! I am so sorry! I will revise the list above. (And thank you for not yelling.)

      You were the very, very first person to interview me last year, so you will always have a special place in my heart.

      By the way, with your permission, I would like to devote a late December post to you. Basically I want to crow about your B’day and Christmas cards. Is that OK with you?

  4. No apologize necessary, Mike! I’m so glad you, Mr. Gardner, and Mrs. Hale were such a hit—that book deserves All Good Recognition and Sales Points.

    (all our leftovers are gone already . . . I honestly have no idea how that happened—probably the tryptophan messing with my short-term memory—but I’m having the biggest hamburger ever for lunch today to celebrate)

  5. Thanks for the update Mike — this is blogging too, no. You say you’ll be back in the swing of things — this is the swing of things I think. Good news about your book Mike! Really glad to hear it…

  6. Wow! I am in some seriously awesome company here. Thanks for the mention, and congrats on the pile of books. That is too cool, and well deserved! My leftovers are finally eaten so I am now proclaiming the holiday over…

  7. Fantabulous interview, Mike! I hope you sold out across the country! Are you close to your third print run by now? It is a beautiful book in so many ways. I’m going to give it to all my relatives for Christmas this year. And congrats on the school success! I’ll bet your son was over the moon about your visit. I really do wish I could be a fly on the wall at one of your “performances.” I’d take notes. 😀

    1. Thanks, my friend. I hope your family enjoys SARAH.

      Alex had a great time when I visited, I’m pleased to say. At one point I used him as a volunteer and pretended not to recognize him. Only after I compared him to the pictures I had in my wallet was I convinced that he was kin. My foolishness went over well, but Alex’s cocked eyebrow brought the house down.

      Oh, why does vaudeville have to be dead?

      I would love to do my dog and pony show in California one day. And when I do, you’re invited!

  8. Welcome back to the world of the living! (Just in time for the next holiday rush!) And thanks for the names of other bloggers to follow, I found three more to add to my ever growing list!

  9. That’s a lot of great things with your book! These all sound like great reasons to be behind on the blogosphere.
    Frankly, I think almost everyone is behind on saying hello to each other’s blogs. There are too many parties going on in November. We writers need to learn how to pace ourselves.

  10. No apologies needed. You were doing what every author is supposed to do…sell books! You have been busy and we’re glad you’re back.

    Great radio interview! So…no picture of the bobble head? I feel cheated!

    You may know this already…you were the featured book at the Plimoth Plantation website, under books and media. And did you know that the plantation is a Smithsonian affiliated program? Not too shabby! 🙂

  11. Glad November brought you equal parts of exhilaration with your exhaustion!

    Fun interview – thanks for the link!

  12. That photo…I had no idea you were so short, Mike. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    I like how David giggles at the word “heroine” in the interview. That made me laugh. You are both delightful and engaging in this conversation, although I’m disappointed that your NJ accent is basically non-existent. And you’re such a font of knowledge on all things Sarah Hale! She was an awesome broad, obviously. She really did it all, but don’t insult her by comparing her to Oprah, she’s way cooler than Oprah in my book. I didn’t know she wrote for Godey’s Lady’s Book but given how many other things she did, it doesn’t surprise me.

    And HOW AWESOME IS THE LIBRARY COMPANY??? I love that place, I go there everytime I’m in Philly. I usually need to do research either there or at the HSP so I love going down there. Which reminds me, I guess I really should get back to work on our Mr. Cornelius. I wonder if Robert and Sarah knew each other, they were contemporaries, basically. Hmmm.

    1. Yep, I’m 28 inches tall. I’m standing on my tiptoes back there behind those books.

      I am truly sorry to hear that you were disappointed with my accent. Can’t be helped, I’m afraid. I was born and raised in New Jersey, not “Joisey” — and thank goodness for that. If I went on the radio sounding like Paulie Walnuts, I might’ve freaked out that lovely Santa Fe interviewer.

      You’re a Library Company person too?! Oh, man, we gotta take a field trip there someday to write a joint biography of Hale and Cornelius. I’ll bring extra #2 pencils if you spring for post-research coffee. Deal?

      1. Deal!!! I’m serious, we should make a day of it. I love Philly in general, I try to get there whenever I can.

        Your interviewer was indeed lovely, she seems like a very nice person, and she’s a good interviewer as well.

        The last time I was at the Library Company, I was drooling over the exhibit cases because they were displaying Robert’s (yeah, we’re on a first-name basis) daguerreotypes. I was afraid they’d ask me to leave because I was messing up the nice glass tops.

  13. Hi Mike. Don’t apologise for being MIA as you perfectly described the OTHER part of being a writer – getting the Great Unwashed to buy your books! I loved your radio interview by the way – very funny and informative.

    When I am not blogging , I work for a schools library service in London, UK. I think they would be really interested in buying Sarah Gives Thanks. Can we have a review copy?

    1. Hi Janet! Thanks for your kind words and your interest in SARAH! The book came out in fall 2012, so I don’t know if the publisher has any review copies left, but you can contact the marketing folks here:

      If you want to get a little more info about the book and read the reviews, check out this link on their website:

      Thanks again, my friend!

  14. You are my inspiration. I have a feeling that promotion is not an easy ‘thing’ for you (as gregarious and social and nice-a-person as you are), and yet you have done a yeoman’s job of getting out the word regarding your (in my mind) fabulous children’s book. Congrats. And thanks for the other inspiration you gave me – I’m going to perform an interview on my next blog. Just hope it will be as witty and winsome as yours.

    1. Oh, Pam, you always say the nicest things!

      To be honest, I don’t mind the promotional stuff much. I have a background in theatre so public speaking doesn’t bother me. What kills me is that ALL of the promotional stuff for SARAH has to be crammed into one month. Then, by the time December arrives, I’m pooped — and have to get ready for the madness that is Christmas.

      And kudos to you! I cannot wait to see (hear?) your interview! When and where is it gonna be?

  15. Hey Mike – great interview, so fun to hear your voice and learn more about this amazing woman, Sarah really was something hey! Quite apart from the writing, to bring up five under 7s alone after losing your beloved husband…wow! She was certainly no candyass, right?! Loved the idea of her being the Oprah of her time. So glad you had fun at your boy’s school, and that they did you proud in polishing off a pile of books…plenty to be thankful for:-) Hugs, H xxxxxxxx

  16. I’ve been a blt slack lately too on my blog visiting with everything else getting in the way. Finally made it here and see that you’ve given me a shout out, thank you! Glad it’s all going so well and you’re doing lots with the book. I’m going to listen to the interview a bit later!

  17. that’s a fine stack of books you have there! I’m sure Sarah is proud of you for sticking to it like she would have. Happy (ever so late) thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas to all.

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