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January 15, 2014: The Writing Life – Nan Pott’s advice about Raudi’s Story

Nan Potts visited today. I first met her a few years ago at the Alaskana Bookstore in Palmer. We then saw one another around town now and then. Two years ago she came for an afternoon visit with Margaret Runzer – we had lunch and took the horses for a walk. In 2012 we again met up at a benefit for a mutual friend who has prostate cancer. I put up an item to bid – a ride of any length on Icelandic horses. Nan bid on this and won. A few days ago, Pete and I called her and said she should come out and ride.

Today she took us up on our offer. She rode Signy, I rode Tinni (bareback), and Pete rode Raudi. Hrimmi and Rainbow came with. The horses and dog behaved quite well, as now is usually the case.

Nan and Pete with horses after ride

And it was a wonderful ride – windless, and partly cloudy. And the terrain was quite nice – freshly covered snow covered hard pack.

Afterwards, we had tea and chocolate that Nan brought with her. She, Pete, and I then talked about marketing books. For some time Nan’s been working on a book entitled The Christmas Elk, which is based up a story that in her family was a holiday tradition. She hopes to find a reputable publisher, and will soon be sending a proposal to a handful of agents.

Nan’s thoughts about getting her book published are much like her thoughts about getting a horse. She tends to think things through, and is doing so in both instances. She thinks, she plans, and she then takes action. I was impressed.

So for the most part, our conversation centered around Raudi’s Story. This began after I showed her the print proof, which arrived in the mail a few days ago. (Actual copies have now been ordered and will be here in a few weeks.) Nan had a very good idea after examining the rear cover – she suggested that we have publication blurbs put on the back; that is, when we do a second printing. My thinking was that because this is Raudi’s story, that these blurbs will be authored by her horse friends – perhaps Hunar, Tinni, Jokla, Drego, and Falki.

It appears as though I’m also going to have to organize a few book signings, which will take place in Palmer (at Fireside and Alaskana Books) and in Anchorage (at Title Wave and Barnes and Noble). I will, in advance of these signings, let the Frontiersman and The Alaska Daily News know about these events. And (sigh) I’ll have to get on Facebook and let people know that the book’s for sale.

I was quite moved by Pete and Nan’s enthusiasm for this project since I don’t consider this to be my best publication effort thus far. Well, it really isn’t my publication effort; it’s Raudi’s publication effort. So I owe it to her to work hard
and sell as many copies as I can. The next book out (entitled Raising Raudi) is my point of view about Raudi’s first four years. Actually, I see Raising Raudi as being more all-encompassing than Raudi’s Story. Raudi’s Story is more of a John the Baptist kind of book, meaning that it is paving the way for Raising Raudi.

If I had my druthers, I’d send my completed manuscripts on to a publisher, and he or she would take care of layout, design, and marketing. And in the meantime I’d keep working on other books. But this isn’t the way it’s going to work. I’m going to have to get a cashbox, spare change, and come up with some kind of gimmick. The latter might involve having Raudi stand in front of a bookstore with me. She will be the one wearing the sandwich sign.

Next: 16. 1/16/14: Under the Weather