Michael Haskins

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vero Beach Book Signing - Friendships are priceless

(Lynn Greene Waldenbooks mgr.)

My signing at Waldenbooks in Vero Beach, Florida, the first of October went very well. Bob Soos interviewed me on his Morning Magazine radio show Friday, Oct. 3, and we talked about my book, "Chasin’ the Wind," and the signing. Bob gave three copies of the book away to people who could answer Key West trivia questions he came up with.

(Michae, Gina & Bob Soos)

I first met Bob, and his wife Gina, when he was the general manager of US1 Radio in Key West, and Gina was in its sales department. With his Keys background, Bob had no problem coming up with trivia questions.

Two things you should know about Bob. During Hurricane Georges, Sept. 1998, Bob and his station staff stayed on the air 24/7 and were the only contact many of us had with the outside world for days after Georges kissed us and skedaddled. Second thing you should know is you can spell Bob’s name forward or backward and it’s still right!

(Book winner Marie Mack, Bob & Michael)

I stayed with Bob Friday night.

Bob has been gone from the Keys for a few years, but we kept in touch. He was a member of our Monday Luncheonaires and even today remains on our mailing list and we were on the Crime Stoppers board together. I didn’t stay in touch with Bob because I was expecting to stay with him after he interviewed me and I was in Vero for a book signing. No. I kept in touch because he was a good friend. And sometimes friendships can pay off in unforeseen ways!

Soon after I posted on my website – http://www.michaelhaskins.net/ – that I was going to be in Vero, I received an email form Miss Vero Beach. Seems she’s a fan. She’s also somewhat of an enigma in Vero and her blog – http://www.missverobeachhouse.blogspot.com/ – is scathingly popular. Add to that, that no one really knows who she is! And she likes it that way. Her comments about me are also posted on my website.
(Darlene Schade)

Okay, so I talked about how important friendship can be, let me now make a comment on belonging to networking groups, like the Mystery Writes of America. I am a member and have been since the ‘80s. Now I belong to the Florida chapter and we have a Yahoo group that discusses most anything to do with writing and sometimes if Don Bruns - http://www.donbrunsbooks.com/ - gets on we find out a little something we didn’t know about music, or an award he deservedly won in Nashville, or Bob Morris - http://www.bobmorris.net/, or his blog: http://www.surroundedonthreesides.blogspot.com/ - will pass along a new recipe – sometimes for food and sometimes for rum! Bob also blurbed my book, thank you!

But this time, Nancy Cohen - www.nancycohen.com - passed along a little info about Lynn Greene from the Waldenbooks in Vero Beach being a mystery fan and she welcomed mystery writers to sign in her store. I had an email out to Lynn before Nancy shut her computer off. And Lynn got back to me just as quickly and in a matter of hours of my first email, we had a signing date for me at Waldenbooks in Vero!

I had met Nancy at SleuthFest a few years back and she even was nice enough to give me a great blurb for my novel. So, as you can imagine, I support joining MWA even if you are not a published writer. I joined in Los Angeles, attended luncheons, workshops, funerals, beach parties, all before I was published, and continued my membership when I moved to Key West. Today, I still keep in touch with some of the SoCal members and read its monthly newsletter.
Friendships, professional or otherwise, and networking pays off, as my Vero Beach signing proves.

Now, Miss Vero did show up and I would gladly tell you her name and what she looked like, but she wouldn’t tell Bob or me her name and she wore a disguise. Knowing what a gossip I am, she expects me to tell you she’s a buxom blonde bombshell, but my trained writer’s eye picked up small telltale signs that the Dolly Parton hairdo was wig and the buxom part, well across the food court of the mall is a Victoria Secrets, so I question the buxom part, too. I can report that she is an attractive woman, her blog is fun to read, and someday Bob and I would like to take the real Miss Vero to lunch. Maybe when I call Lynn about my next book and arrange a signing, she’ll join Lynn, Bob and me. So until then, all you Miss Vero fans can ignore the buxom blondes, that ain’t her. The little sprinkling of freckles across her nose would make me think red head, but it’s only a guess.

Okay, what have we learned form this, other than I am two weeks late posting?

One, I hope, is that friendships are priceless.

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