Daddy's Christmas Angel

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Presenting a Book to Virginia First Lady

Promotion is the key word, and I've been reading Marilyn's advice as well as Sunni's.

Last week was a heavy one for me with promotion a key element. The biggest event came Thursday, March 12, when four members (including me) of the Richmond Branch National League of American Pen Women went to the Library of Virginia for the presentation of a copy of Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln to Virginia First Lady Anne Holton. National president N. Taylor Collins came down from Washington to make a brief talk and present the book. She also presented a copy to Dr. Sandra Gioia Treadway, Librarian of Virginia.

Being in this small group of women gave us a wonderful opportunity to chat informally. Anne Holton is down-to-earth and easy to talk with. Her father was Governor when she was growing up, so this is her second stint in the Virginia Governor's Mansion. Last fall, when she was the speaker for the Virginia Press Women, she told us about how she and her husband, Governor Tim Kaine talked her father, Governor Lynwood Holton, a Republican, into voting for then presidential candidate Barack Obama. They knew Obama from Harvard Law School. Kaine was on the short list for vice president candidates.

Taylor Collins is another down-to-earth lady. The Pen Women got to know her better when we gathered for lunch at the Patrick Henry Inn. We ate in the Pub located across from old St. John's Church where Patrick Henry made his "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech.

Although all of our events last week, including those at the Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen, were to promote the Pen Women collaborative book, Sylvia Wright and I have gotten a lot of press that should give us both better name recognition for our other books. Promotion is key. It's been fun and sometimes tiring, but that's all part of the job! Tomorrow we head back to Richmond for a signing at Book People on Granite Avenue. That, too, centers around Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln.

My contributions to the book include a poem, "Mr. Lincoln, Did You Hear?," an article giving the background of the poem, and three of my paintings. Please check out photos on my Web site,