I made it home safe and sound. Yippee!!
My marathon book tour across Canada, from Vancouver Island in the west to Laval, Quebec in the east, came to an end this past Sunday, August 5. I’m so happy to be home – but boy, what a blast I had!
Since January 4, I’ve completed 133 book-signings, one library reading and three school workshops. Wow! No wonder it feels like I’ve worked hard. My car (Olive, the Dragonmobile) worked hard, too. The proof is in her mileage, with 58,000 kms added to her tally. So she’s due for a rest, too. As well as one heck of a good cleaning, inside and out. The last time she was thoroughly cleaned was when my cousin Jim Beaton in Victoria washed her, back in early May! Hey, Jim – are you by any chance coming up this way in the near future? (Hint, hint...)
Of the tour’s many memorable book-signings, a few featured major milestones. First, there was selling the 1000th copy of The Dragons of Nibiru, at the Coles bookstore in Kildonan Place Mall in Regina, Saskatchewan. Then there was number 2,000, at the Coles store in Midtown Mall, Saskatoon, and number 3,000 at the Coles in the Timmins Square Mall, Timmins, Ontario.
It was also at the Timmins Coles that I set a personal record for most books sold at one signing: 48!! The previous record was 44 books, set two days earlier in Lindsay, Ontario, so those two fine communities now have a special spot in my heart. Canada’s wonderful Celine Dion is also from Timmins, so I’d say it’s quite fitting that the heroine of my stories – also a Celine – reached such special milestones there.
Here’s an interesting bit of info I ran across on Google: in the U.S., the average new book sells only 250 copies in its first year, and 3,000 books in its entire lifespan. So, with The Dragons of Nibiru selling nearly 3,000 copies before its first birthday, July 13, I’d say Team Nibiru is off to a fabulous start. One amazing year behind us, and many more to come.
...And Many Meetings
I met some great people during my travels and managed to have lunch or dinner with some of the book’s fans. People like Ubani in Winnipeg – happy birthday, Ubani! I hope your writing is coming along well.
In addition to Ubani, I met quite a few other aspiring writers, like Lumay, Toik, Alex, John, Zach, Matthew, Mike. I’m looking forward to seeing your creations in print, guys! I’m still waiting for some of you to send in their first chapters, too, for that free review I promised. 😊
There are so many wonderful people in our world. I was humbled by how often, while on my feet greeting visitors (usually 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, without a break to speak of) someone would offer to bring me a cup of tea. A huge thanks to each of you for your kind thoughtfulness – it was as invigorating as the tea, and then some!
While at a signing in Milton, Ontario, I also received a lovely dragon-themed day planner from Victoria and Melanie. It’s a 16-month planner that starts on Aug 27, so I’m already entering upcoming appointments and signing dates. Thanks, guys
That reminds me that I need to thank all of you who so generously put me up for a night during the tour. You saved me the stress of another night in a strange hotel, far from home. In most cases, I’d never met you before the tour. And I was surprised to meet distant relatives I hadn’t even known I had. So, big thanks to Devon Eggers, Jim and Mona Beaton, Wilda Thumm, Vance and Kim Eggers, Lauren and Gerry Mitchell, Alex Thumm, Ian and Ruth Cartwright, Betty and Peter Cartwright, Pam Graf and Jeanette Chappell. Your hospitality was greatly appreciated.
My biggest thanks go to my son Devon Eggers for his endless love, support and hospitality. Special thanks also go to cousin Wilda Thumm, who really made this trip possible. She and Marshmallow welcomed me into their home during much of my time in Ontario. I miss our Netflix nights, Wilda!
Oh, and I mustn’t forget to thank Maureen Sullivan for the many artifacts she provided, for embellishing my book-signing display table. They were a huge success, Maureen. Thanks!
Many of the great joys on this trip involved meeting and interacting with fans and their families. It warmed my heart to learn how many of you make family reading time a regular activity. I was so honored that you chose my book for your special times together!
The Book Fairies
Another exciting moment took place in Regina, Saskatchewan, when I met Jennifer Khampadith. She is an official representative for an amazing group: The Book Fairies of Saskatchewan. The Book Fairies is a worldwide organization devoted to sharing books. Every day, members (Fairies!) leave individual copies of books out in public places – high-traffic areas where people will find them, pick them up and take them along to read.
Aside from spreading the joy of good reading directly, the Fairies’ idea is that once a book-finder has read it, he or she will pass the book on to others, so the joy-spreading goes on and on. What a wonderful idea, eh? The Fairies include a card in each book they place, to let the finder know how the book appeared there, and encouraging them to enjoy it and pass it on.
Film star Emma Watson helped launch the Book Fairies movement on International Women's Day in March 2017, when she and many others placed books all around the world. In June of 2017, Emma and the Fairies were at it again. This time they were in Paris, where they hid 100 signed copies of author Margaret Atwood’s phenomenal bestseller, The Handmaid's Tale. In September of 2017, and a bit closer to home, the Canadian Book Fairies placed more than 70 copies of another Margaret Atwood novel, Alias Grace — along with a small handwritten note from Margaret Atwood herself, promoting the premier of the CBC miniseries based on the book.
The Book Fairies movement encourages people to read, and helps our libraries, bookshops and writers to flourish. I was delighted and amazed to learn about the Fairies and their mission. So you can imagine my excitement when they asked if they could place copies of The Dragons of Nibiru all across Canada! Their founder and leader also wants to place the book in the UK, and do shout-out about it on their local accounts, and Canadian and Worldwide social media channels — Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Very exciting indeed!!
Team Nibiru has now donated and delivered 55 copies to the Fairies’ campaign. As soon as they set a launch date, I’ll be sure to post it on my website and social media. The Fairies will announce it on their website, too: www.ibelieveinbookfairies.com. But don’t wait! I encourage you to visit that site right away, and learn more about who they are, and the magic they’re working around the world.
I should also mention that during my travels I was deeply touched to learn how many people have read and loved The Dragons of Nibiru. Many of you took time to send emails and social media posts to let us know how much you’ve enjoyed it, and how eager you are to read the rest of the series. Book two, Dragons of Earth, is now scheduled for release in the early autumn; when an exact date is set, I’ll be sure to announce it far and wide. So, stay tuned – the wait is almost over!
End of The Tour
I was thrilled to end my tour with a book-signing in Nelson, British Columbia, where I also managed to squeeze in attending my 40th high school reunion. It was great to reconnect with old friends, and to meet and befriend many of their spouses. One of my classmates, Jay Gould, has also become a novelist. And just by coincidence, one of his exciting tales of espionage includes “Dragon” in its title. I’ve gotten my hands on copies of his first two books, and begun reading The Golden Dragon. Great reading so far!
Goodbye for now, to each of you. I hope you’re doing well and getting in a good read every now and then!
Lorna J. Carleton
Hello! I'm Lorna. I thought I'd let you know a bit about me, as the author of a tale I hope you'll love.