Writers and Editors Network (WEN) Toronto

On Saturday I attended my first breakfast meeting with this organization since I joined earlier in the summer. The energy in the room and interaction of the members was impressive as well as friendly and welcoming and a lot of good information was shared. Lucy Waverman, well-known Toronto cookbook author as well as newspaper columnist and food editor of the amazing LCBO Food and Drink magazine, was the guest speaker. As well as providing interesting information about writing cookbooks and testing recipes she spoke at length about the publishing world in general. She has seen a lot of changes in her career and noted how self-publishing appears to be the way of the future as traditional publishers struggle  to keep going. She stressed the importance of social media marketing – like it or not! More on that in my next post.

Check out Lucy’s website and bon appetit!



A very cool stranger

I love it when ‘stuff ‘ like this just happens. During the Bridge Club’s week on Vancouver Island we piled into our vehicles one morning – Bo driving 6 in the van, Barb with 4 in her car – to do the two-hour or so drive to Campbell River for lunch at Dick’s Fish and Chips. Nothing else would do! The first scenic stop was at Qualicum Beach. Gotta have a group photo … and before I know it, a gentlemen relaxing on a nearby bench has been recruited. He continues to smile as he is handed several cameras and proceeds to patiently complete the task. Wondering who we are, several of us chat with him for a few minutes, Barb takes a photo of the rest of us with him, someone hands him a postcard about the novel (the enthusiasm never waned) and off we went. Two days after I returned home, a polite e-mail (address from my website on the postcard) arrives from the Qualicum Beach ‘photographer’ asking if it is ok to contact me. Sure, I say, and thanks again for taking the great photo of us. Two more days pass and an e arrives from him containing a beautiful, lyrical, poem about his encounter with us. I forwarded it to the rest of the gang. We were all blown away. Thank you Qualicum Beach ‘photographer’ for making our brief stop that morning a very special memory forever. So cool!

On the shelf at The Book Mark!

The Book Mark, Toronto’s oldest independent bookseller, 2964 Bloor Street West, has The Bridge Club in their shop. I’ve posted some photos and want to thank them. I’m honoured and delighted.

The BC in BC

Okay, I’ve almost recovered from my ‘real-life’ Bridge Club’s week on Vancouver Island. I got back to Toronto a week ago today after seven days of perfect weather in Parksville, BC with the other nine members of our group.  I know, I know – a bridge club might have 8 members or 12 or any other component of groups of 4 but we’ve always been 10. Never mind! We spent time hiking, visiting local spots, eating, playing bridge, and laughing way too much. We were all very excited about The Bridge Club novel finally being published and postcards were enthusiastically handed out about the book as people kept asking us who were and what we were doing on the island. Somehow we just seem to attract attention. Thanks, ladies, for the wonderful reminder of the great friendship we share no matter how many miles separate us these days!

The Eagle has landed!

Holding my newly-published book in my hands was an incredibly exhilarating experience. In fact, I’m still not over it two weeks after the fact. Every time I look at a copy of the book and pick it up I feel such a rush of emotions I can hardly stand it! So for everyone who is working on something they wish to publish, I can only encourage you to keep at it. When you finally reach the point I am at, you will feel all the angst and hard work were worth it. I guarantee it!

Since The Bridge Club is a POD (print on demand), it will not be seen on store shelves for a while. However it is available online through all the big booksellers and bookstores have assured me that they are able to order it for anyone who requests it. All the information is on my website www.patriciasandsauthor.com

Now the new challenge of promoting and marketing The Bridge Club kicks in. As a writer, I really never considered to any great extent what would happen once the book was published. I’m learning quickly that once the author says “Yes, I’ve finished writing this story”, it’s all about business. I know, I know … how else will people other than your family and friends learn about your wonderful story if you don’t spread the word? It’s just that I’m the type of person who would rather give copies away. “No, Patricia,” I’m being told, “that’s not the way it works!” Thus begins the next learning stage of this great adventure.
Social media marketing! I’ll keep you posted as to how I’m doing.

I returned last Wednesday from a week away with my real ‘bridge club’ as we celebrated our collective birthday (every 5 years) on Vancouver Island as some of the women now live there. Good stories will follow!

In the meantime, write on and read on! Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians.

The Bridge Club

Thanks for visiting my blog! It’s exciting to have a chance to let you know about my first novel, The Bridge Club. The printer’s proofs should arrive next week and for the first time I will actually get to hold the finished product in my hands. Crazy as it sounds, it’s kind of like having a baby and I’ve been pregnant for four years! Writing a novel does tend to get all-consuming. The Bridge Club should be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters/Indigo within the next few weeks. I’ve been fortunate to receive some great advance praise and hope you will find it a good read. My experience of self-publishing through iUniverse is a story in itself. What an education – but it’s all been good and an exciting ride! If you are on that bumpy road yourself, I would love to hear your experiences. There are some excellent websites on writing and self-publishing and I’ll add links when I get my act together on this blog and my website. I’ll be happy to add others you have discovered. The story is fiction but based on many of the experiences my real-life bridge club has lived through from our crazy days in the 1960’s through to the ‘zoomer’ years we share now. The shocking situation faced in the final chapter might happen to any one of us. Zoomer is a term I first heard used by a well-known Toronto media personality, Moses Znaimer, and I love it! Somehow it captures the energy that most of the people I know in my age group still exude. 65 years old – yikes! How did that happen so quickly? Never mind! Appreciate each day, savor what is good, deal with what isn’t as best you can, and move on, I say! The Bridge Club is first and foremost about the power of friendship. To me that’s one of the most important aspects of life and I feel so fortunate to have wonderful friends who help make my life rich and full. We laugh a lot and support each other as we share the ups and downs of this unpredictable world. I hope your life contains at least one true friend. I’m always happy to hear stories about strong, honest, friendships so if you want to share yours, please do. Young or old, crazy or serious, individually or within a group, club, or organization, there are good tales to relate. This I know. Right now I’m in the process of getting my website up and running and will get the word out when it is ready. I’ll include helpful links that offer information, advice, food for thought, and good ideas that in some way add positive vibes to our lives. Your input is always welcome! Of course there will be some bridge hands to play as well. Love the game! I’ve got tons to blog about so hope to see you back soon. Carpe diem! Time for me to see what today has to offer. May you make your day the best it can be!