Events/News

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SIXTEEN EVENTS SINCE SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 AND NO END IN SIGHT!

When September, 2013 came around things went into high gear.  That is why what I teach about having a marketing plan in effect is so important because when it gets going, it is like a freight train–a wonderful, exciting freight train.  Here is a re-cap of what has happened so far.  I love and appreciate my friends so much because without them I could not have achieved my goals.  It has all been about my family and friends and their support in getting Crosstown Park out to the public. In addition to two informal gatherings that produced book sales with my dear friend, Dot Mitchell, one at her home with her amazing group of neighbors who I now call my friends and one at Liberty Kitchen where she was meeting with the “Guinea Girls,” I have had many official events over the past two months.

9/17/13First book club meeting in Dallas, TX.  Lawyer Christy Albano, an ABA Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division friend of mine, got her book club to read the book.  The results were extremely favorable and I was excited!

9/19/13-Pre-launch get together at Patrenella’s hosted by Maria Valdez.  My first “meet and greet” and it was a thrill to get to sign books for good friends.  My friends were my guinea pigs helping me figure out what to say in an event,

9/26/13-Pre-launch party hosted by Debra Brewer Hayes at her home.  She literally rolled out the red carpet for me, invited her book club and lots of girlfriends.  We had a DJ and ate scrumptious food that Debra prepared herself!  The ceviche was to die for! I presented her with the first annual Alex Stockton award for her Benevolence, Brains, and her Beauty-three Be Attributes I think any woman needs to develop and cultivate to be successful.  The beautiful Karla Enriquez was there from Dolce and Gabbana cosmetics at Sak’s Fifth Avenue and she gave our guests a lip gloss and nail polish.  Very cool  We even video’d the presentation and I can’t wait to post it on UTube because there is a funny part about Charlie Rose.  More on that!

10/4/13 ABA GP Division cocktail party event, Lexington, Kentucky-Wow this event blew me away.  I got to sell books to all of my national lawyer friends at our Friday night cocktail party.  My girlfriends Lynn Allingham, Cynthia Sharp, and Jennifer Wilner helped man the booth and ring up sales.  It was a huge success and friends have been reporting they loved the book and many have sent reviews to their national bar association newsletters and magazines.  So the national support of my many friends is greatly appreciated.  Staff and my Book Publications Board has also been wonderful  Now I am not going to mention the way I got teased in the hospitality suite later that night about some of the notations I put in the books.  Ha Ha.  I am not too experienced with that part yet and it is going to be an ongoing learning process.

10/6/13 My first Barnes & Noble event-a “meet and greet” at the Lexington, Kentucky Man-O-War location.  I was completely green about how to do it but I recalled my days so long ago where I sold my handmade jewelry at the Northpark Inn Flea Market every weekend during my first two years of junior college…  I love talking to people and it was a joy.  I met an author, Peggy Park, who has turned out to be a real friend and ambassador for the book.  The CRM at the store, JoEllen, is amazing and I will continue to return to Lexington in the future  It is a wonderful place and will always be my first B&N event!

10/10/13 My second Barnes & Noble event at the Dallas Lincoln Park (Northpark) store, as well as my first “event.”  An event is where there is a big space and chairs set up and you give a talk and do questions and answers.  Family members and high school friends were there and their support was invaluable.  The store was pretty empty but it was the night before the UT Oklahoma game so that is not a big surprise.  The CRM at the store, Cody, is my hero.  He has given me so much insight into the process for authors and has given me valuable feedback too.  He helped me understand that all authors have to start somewhere and he helped me realize that just loving the readers and relating to them (ie enjoying myself) is the way to handle this process.  Some people will buy the book and some people won’t, but at least I will have positive and informative interactions with readers. Everything else will come out of enjoying myself and letting it sink in that my dream of being a novelist is coming true and being well-received.

10/17/13 Barnes & Noble River Oaks event was my second event and the first official event after the official launch in Houston.  Many friends came to support me and Rea, the CRM, was wonderful and I know a great relationship was born.

10/19/13 Murder by the Book event was my second event in Houston and very important because Murder by the Book is one of the premier independent bookstores in Texas and known by many.  I had a good crowd of friends and some new faces there.  One woman came because she read about me.  I began to feel more comfortable and have started formulating what I want to share about the book and I am more prepared to answer questions that come up for readers.

10/26/13 Barnes & Noble Beaumont Parkdale Mall meet and greet. I had such a great time that sunny Saturday afternoon driving to Beaumont and sitting at the front of the store talking to people.  I learned about the fact that I have control over how my table is positioned and the fact that I need to have candy at my table.  I had decided against candy because I did not want to eat it in my spare time, but I realized I needed candy so candy it is.

10/27/13 Texas Book Festival- Mystery Writers of America table- driving to and from Austin that beautiful day was surreal.  I love doing book signings so much that it does not seem like work and the time flies by. I loved sitting there at the table with other authors and talking to avid readers.  The place was packed. I saw my old friend, Kinky Friedman, and my good friend from high school, Susan Poag, came out to hang out with me, so it was a big success.  I sold lots of books and got lots of names on my list for future events.

11/2-3/13 Houston BookRave book festival was an event hosted by two bloggers that invited authors from the Houston Writers Guild.  Pamela Hutchins is a best-selling author and President of the Guild and we went over on Friday night and set up our tables and interacted with other Houston authors like Rose Garcia Moriarty and then spent the day Saturday with 1,000 other readers and the Pasadena Barnes & Noble.  I met lots of bloggers, many of whom have posted my first chapter and connected with me in great ways.  I continue to develop those relationships.

11/7/13 Crosstown Park book launch party Patrenella’s was my official launch party sponsored by my good friends Scott Rozzell, Ben Tobor, Denise and Dr. Robert Leisten, Melissa and Charles Carson and Sammy Patrenella, Jr. and Sammy Patrenella, Sr., all longtime friends and just amazing people all the way around.  I was so excited for the party because Murder by the Book provided the books and did the sales and we had a big crowd and sold lots of books.  Sharon Jenkins, the Master Communicator, came over and gave me an award for being on of Houston’s Favorite Authors.  I was in the top five favorite authors this year and that award means so much to me. I presented the Alex Stockton award to Debra and I will post the presentation on Utube soon.  I had to remind myself to enjoy the whole thing as it occurred because it will be the only one I ever have.  Honestly though, each event is exciting and informative in an of itself.  I have learned so much in the past few weeks.  I plan to blog on those insights and share my experiences more deeply.

11/10/13 Barnes & Noble Bee Caves Hormone event. Last weekend I went to celebrate my good friend Lana Nelson’s 60th birthday in Austin.  Every year she does a movie and this year it was a mash-up of Downton Abbey and Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Her amazing group of friends is nicknamed the Hormones.  You can imagine how fun that was.  All weekend a big group of longtime friends dressed up and acted for the cameras while we ate great food and laughed and giggled the whole time.  The weekend was topped off by my Barnes & Noble “meet an greet”at the Barnes & Noble Hill Country Bee Caves store.  Again, another amazing CRM, Diana, hosted me and another long-term friendship was born.  When I first called her, she told me the store did not really do author events.  I told her about the party and she agreed to let me come in on a Sunday and the event turned out to be so much fun.  I was so touched by the Hormones coming out to see me that I lost it and tears began to flow.  I think the events of the past few weeks just got to me and I felt the love and appreciation for all the hard work I did in solitude to get the book done.

11/16/13 Barnes & Noble Preston & Park Plano meet and greet was another event that just could not get any better.  A big group of family and friends came to the store and it was like a big party. I drove up from Houston and met my former step-mother, Gayle Latham, and her husband, Jay, and famiiy members Angela and Geoff, Ashlee and Madison, and Barbara for a great lunch at Macaroni Grill.  They had an orchid and balloons for me and the sweetest card!  Three high school friends came over, one of which brought our sixth grade class photo, which I had not seen in forever.  Two sets of parents came, Stan and Mary Poag and Liz Mahfouz.  My cousin, Dana, and her son, Drew, and his girlfriend, Alex, stopped by.  Again, another amazing and kind CRM, Warren, helped me and encouraged me.  I was blown away by the window display of my book.  I met many store customers and just had the time of my life.  I have committed to come from a place of service when doing these events and strive to help the store by being a positive influence on their customers.  I love to talk about what people like to read and let them know what Crosstown Park is about.

I have two more events this week and one more in December.  If others come up, I will be there. I am committing to buckling down and working on getting my Defining Moment: Insights into the Lawyer’s Soul manuscript turned in soon so I can start out the new year and get my other projects going.  I am so excited about really getting started on the sequel to Crosstown Park.  I have other loose ends to tie up though so we will just have to see how soon I can get it done.  With the support and encouragement of readers who are spreading the word and helping me get the book out, I should be in good shape.

I love my family and friends and all of the readers!

GOT THE ARC’S YESTERDAY–(ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES) IT HAS NOT SUNK IN ON ME YE

September I will have at least 3 pre-launch parties where I will sell books to a select group of friends who will help me get the word out on this book when it releases in October.  Starting in October I will be having book signings and I can’t wait.  I want to have lots of fun.  I will be featuring Alex’s Banana Bread and her Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies.  My readers have to have a bedtime snack when they stay up so late reading my book after all.  I am so excited about the book clubs and all my friends who are having me to their clubs and I really cannot wait to talk to and interact with book clubs!  Anyone who loves books is a friend of mine.  And I am exited about getting my non-fiction book, Defining Moments: Insights into the Lawyer’s Soul out too-it is almost done and is going to be a lot of fun.  Will have lots to talk about this Fall so book me for your book club-either in person or via Skype.

BRAGG IS RICK FRISHMAN’S AUTHOR 101 UNIVERSITY “SUCCESS STORY!” OCTOBER, 2012 LAS VEGAS

Author 101 University is held twice a year and each time an up-and-coming author who was a prior attendee is chosen to open the event.  In October of 2012 Bragg was chosen and she gave an endearing pep talk to the attendees about how to achieve their dreams of becoming a published author.  She used the format of her first published chapter in the ABA book, How to Capture and Keep Clients, Effortless Marketing: Putting Your Unique Qualities to Work as the outline for her talk.

As a result of that talk she met Terry Whalin, the new fictions acquisition editor for Koehler Books, an imprint of Morgan James Publishing and by Thanksgiving, 2012 had landed a book contract for Crosstown Park, her debut novel.

BRAGG TEACHES BUSINESS NETWORKERS HOW TO JUMPSTART 2013

Bragg kicked off the new year January 8, 2013 by giving a talk to the prestigious Jon King’s After Hours Networking Group with her program: Jump Start Your Year with Effortless Marketing. Despite rain and threatening weather, there was a good crowd and fun was had by all.

BRAGG TO GIVE MOTIVATIONAL TALK TO ATTENDEES AT HOUSTON WRITERS GUILD SPRING CONFERENCE, April 4-5, 2013.

The Houston Writers Guild, led by author Roger Paulding, will have its Spring Conference at the Marriott Sugar Land on April 4-5, 2013.  Bragg is scheduled to give a motivational talk to the attendees about how to market themselves as authors by using their unique gifts and talents. The conference is held twice a year and draws national literary agents from all over the country.