I can explain. For those of you who wonder what's happened to the somewhat timely postings of The Garden Buzz. No, I didn't get swallowed up in a garden sinkhole. Rather, remember how I wrote that book, the one on Pollinator Friendly Gardening? Well, being my first book, I really had no idea what occurs after the intense period of writing the actual book. I had thoughts of putting my feet up, perhaps letting out a long and well-deserved sigh. But no! Turns out there's more work once it's published, only different, and equally time consuming.
You see, then you have to sell the book. Wait, isn't that what the bookstores do? Not really. Those books don't fly off the shelves by themselves.
This is the point when I can say things like, "My publicist...". I know, how cool is that, I have a publicist. Who ever thought that would be the case? Ha!
The publicist's job is to put. you. out. there. She pitches and woos all the media to get your name and your book on everyone's mind. Boy did she! She made sure that people from Detroit to Seattle, Mississippi to New Jersey heard about my book. The book has been featured in big time magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, and Eating Well.
And she makes sure no moss grows under your feet or laptop. In response to all of the publicity needs I've been writing stories, presenting programs, giving interviews, guesting on radio shows and podcasts, hosting garden tours and more, all with the express purpose of publicizing "the book".
It's the part where the introvert author is forced to put on her brave face for the public, after all that word is right there in the term publicity. Don't get me wrong I like people, but usually in small doses and on my own terms. It's not meant in any way to be misconstrued, but I do have a small bit of Sheldon Cooper about me. I wrestle with the opposing advice of "fake it until you make it" vs "be authentic". But once I do get in front of people I find I love sharing my message of gardening for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. It's mostly the thought of it that frightens me.
Since then I've found it fascinating to be on the other end of the interview. It's been an education about how other forms of media work, who knew you had to be on the phone, preferably a landline, at 6:18 am or 7:33am at that very moment ready to talk sense on live radio? It's been humbling hearing words of support and encouragement while signing books.
Lots of people ask how long it took to write the book. I don't know why, do they think the longer it took the better? Or maybe more likely they are just curious. However I tell them it was the culmination of long years of gardening experience and observation, loads of photography and then a very condensed and disciplined phase of "head down" work. I wrote the book in four and a half months from early fall through late winter with time off for holidays with my family. For two months I was down south for the winter alone, and towards the end I got a little wobbly. But I made my deadline three days early. At which point I rewarded myself with a walk on the beach and a shrimp basket from Gerald's at Tybee Island.
Every book is different and every writer's process is unique. Part of my job was to take somewhat foreboding scientific material and translate it into accessible information that would educate and inspire folks to make meaningful changes in the way they garden in order to welcome and sustain these vital creatures that perform pollination so crucial to our food systems. No small task.
So here I am saying I hope to be more present in my blog. After all it was the leaping off point that provided me so many writing opportunities. In that regards I want to thank all the readers who've stuck with me through these years and welcome all those who are just joining in. Do checkout my Facebook page under the same name for the latest advice and adventures of The Garden Buzz.