Hi Everyone! I’m Andria Large and I’m super excited for my first ever traditionally published book to be released! From War To Forever actually started out as a trilogy that I self-published. By some lucky twist of fate, Dreamspinner picked it up, we reworked it into one book, and are now republishing it with a new title.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Author Signings
(for authors and readers)
In no way do I claim to know everything there is to know about signing events. These are just a few things I’ve learned along the way that may, or may not be, helpful to other authors and readers. Let’s start with the readers:
Do: If you plan on buying a lot of books, invest in a rolling cart of some sort to carry them in. Books get heavy, and unless you have a super strong guy with you who is willing to carry them all, then you don’t want to put them in a bag and have them weighing down your shoulder. Ouch.
Don’t: Don’t be shy! Authors are there for you. We want to talk to you. Don’t be afraid to come up to us and say hello! We don’t bite…hard…hehehe…
Do: Run to that one author that you’ve been dying to meet as soon as the doors open. Especially if they are a well known name. Lines grow fast and if you don’t want to wait, then RUN! (Be careful not to trample other readers in the process!)
Don’t: After you see all the authors that you had planned on seeing, don’t pass by the rest. Stop at each table if you have the time. You may find a new author to read that you might not have found otherwise.
Do: Ask us to sign anything and everything! That’s why we’re there! I’ve seen authors sign everything from kindle covers, to readers’ arms. We’ll pretty much sign anything you put in front of us.
Don’t: Don’t be afraid to ask for a picture. I don’t know any authors who are opposed to taking pictures with their readers. And make sure to tag us on Facebook when you post it!
Okay, now for my fellow authors, my colleagues, here are your do’s and don’ts:
Do: Bring your A game. I know it’s hard to be chipper and upbeat all the time, but for the 4-5 hours that you are behind that table, you need to look welcoming and pleasant. Readers are just as nervous as we are, but they are there to see us and you want them to remember you as being a nice person, right?
Don’t: This is a HUGE no-no in my book. I’ve seen authors do this then wonder why no one stopped at their table. PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN! Do not – I repeat – do not sit behind your table playing on your phone, or iPad, or any other electronic device and expect readers to come to your table. You are basically giving off the vibe that you don’t want to be there and don’t care about the readers. I’ve watched it happen. I’ve seen authors, their heads down, staring at their phone, and everyone walks right by them without a second glance. Do not be that author!
Do: Stand behind, next to, or in front of your table. This is something else I’ve noticed while at signings. All the authors who are standing and engaging readers as they walk by have the most traffic at their tables.
Don’t: Don’t expect to make money. Signings are not for making money, they are for networking and marketing. If you think you’re going to leave with more than what you spent to be there, then you are in the wrong business. The lucky ones break even on what they spent on table fees. Signings are more for the readers than for authors. They are to give readers a face and personality to go with the name of who wrote the books they read. Signings are not for making money. Books sales from the new readers you acquired at the signing is where you will make your money.
Do: HAVE FUN! This is a big one too. You have to have fun. Go around to the tables, meet new authors, make new friends. We’re all in the same boat and we’re all here to do the same thing, to bring entertainment and an escape to our readers. Smile and laugh. Give hugs. Or in my case, wear a penis hat. And take lots of pictures!
Don’t: This one might rub some people the wrong way and I’m sorry in advance for that, but it needs to be said. This also goes for readers. Romance author signing events are no place for young children. I get it, shit happens, babysitters cancel, and sometimes you just have no other choice but to bring them with you. But it makes other authors uncomfortable. Most of us have half naked men and women on our covers, penis stress toys on our tables, penis pencil toppers, condoms, and tons of other things that are inappropriate for kids. The last signing I was at, I felt like I had to censor myself because there were two young kids wandering around the room. Every time I saw one coming, I quickly swiped my hat, which had a penis and balls on it, off my head. Did I have to? No. But being a mother of two girls who are six and eight, I know that I wouldn’t want them to see that. So please, if it can be avoided, keep the kids home.
Thank you so much for having me here today! I hope you all enjoyed my post! Please check out From War To Forever! Be sure to leave a review when you’re finished, whether it’s good or bad. Don’t forget to like and follow my Facebook page for updates on what is going on in the world of Andria Large!
The love of my life is dead. Is there a reason to live anymore?
I’m a veteran Marine. Terrorists took not only my foot, but also my wife. Recurrent nightmares, a dead-end job, and a painful limp are all I have left. My best friend, Tucker, and my sister, Lizette, keep me afloat. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Tucker… literally. And then, out of nowhere, there are these feelings. The kind I haven’t felt in years. The kind I’m not sure I can handle, or even want to. But they’ve started wrapping around my broken heart, trying to mend it. Only they are not for a woman, but for the man suddenly sharing my bed. I’m not so sure I’m ready to give love another go.
The war took my hearing, but I’m alive. Many of my friends are not. I am building a life with my best friend, Dennis. We have become practically inseparable. And now, we are more than friends. I’ve never had feelings like these for a man. My parents, my brother, my buddy, Duke—will they understand how I feel about Dennis? Can I risk losing my family?
I haven’t been out on my motorcycle in forever. It’s a Friday night, and Dennis is working, so I decide to take my baby out for a ride, maybe stop by the pub and say hey to him. She’s what would be considered a crotch rocket. She’s sexy for sure. And yes, to me, she’s a girl. I forgo wearing my sweats in exchange for my leather pants. They are all black and are specially designed for riding. My leather jacket is mostly black but has a royal-blue stripe and a white stripe across the chest, back, and arms. The blue matches the color of my bike. My helmet is also royal blue. I’ve learned my lesson about riding without leathers; road rash is not something I want to repeat.
After a nice ride around the city, I make my way over to O’Reilly’s Pub. With any luck, I’ll be able to find a parking spot right out front, but I’m not counting on it. As I turn the corner onto the street O’Reilly’s is on, I see a large crowd on the sidewalk in front of the pub. I do get lucky and find a space just big enough for my bike. I quickly use the heel of my boot to put the kickstand down, then turn off the bike. I pull off my helmet as I move toward the rowdy crowd. I can’t hear them, but I can see they’re yelling and screaming in their semicircle in front of the door.
A ton of people have their phones out and are recording the action going on inside the half circle. I can only assume it’s a fight. And with Dennis being the bouncer, he’s got to be involved. My heart kicks up a notch as I shove my way through the crowd.
Once I get to the center, I see I was correct. Dennis is fighting not one, but two assholes. I look around at the crowd in disbelief. Why has no one jumped in to help him? They’re just going to let him fight two guys by himself? Where the hell is the owner? Didn’t anyone call the cops? And it’s not like these two guys are small. They’re both at least six feet tall, and one guy is thin but muscular while the other one is like a friggin’ linebacker. Dennis has a bloody nose and mouth, but he’s still somewhat holding his own. That is, until the heavier guy lands an uppercut to Dennis’s chin. Dennis’s head snaps back, and he lands on his back on the pavement.
I can’t let this go on any longer. Dennis slowly rolls onto his side, and the two guys gear up to start kicking him. I rush forward and slam my helmet into the side of the heavier guy’s head. He collapses to the ground in an unconscious heap. The thinner guy gapes down at him in confusion before snapping his head up to look at me.
“Touch him again and you’re gonna end up like your friend,” I growl at him.
The guy hesitantly backs away from Dennis. I move toward Dennis, who has gotten to his hands and knees. I intentionally turn my back on the asshole because I know he’s going to try to jump me; I just need an excuse to take him out too.
I crouch next to Denny and lay my hand on his back. He turns his head to look at me. He nods, knowing my intention. Neither of us is stupid; we’re trained for shit like this. A second later, his gaze flicks over my shoulder, giving me the signal I need. I twist, catching the guy—who is trying to sneak up behind me—around the waist and take him to the ground. Letting my helmet go, I ball my fist and smash him in the face. He brings his arms up to try to cover his face, but he does a shitty job of it, and I’m able to land a few more good punches, the last one knocking him out when his head smacks against the ground.
I shove to my feet and glare at the crowd still screaming and recording with their phones. “What the fuck is wrong with you people? Were you all just going to stand by and let this guy get the shit kicked out of him and possibly put in the hospital?” I shout, motioning toward Dennis. “You’d rather all just stand around and record it on your phones than step up and help? You’re fucking pathetic! Every one of you!”
The crowd seems to quiet down as they look around at each other. Some people at least have the decency to turn away, ashamed. Other people are too drunk to care. I turn to find Dennis on his knees, his ass sitting back on his heels, his hands resting on the tops of his thighs. He’s panting so heavily that the blood running down over his mouth is getting sprayed onto the sidewalk in front of him.
The owner of the pub, Dennis’s boss, Jim, throws open the door and storms out. “What the hell is going on out here? I was in the back office for five minutes….” His anger quickly dissipates when he sees Dennis’s condition. “Jesus Christ! What the fuck happened?” he squawks in concern, whipping the towel from over his shoulder and pressing it against Dennis’s bleeding nose. Dennis winces but holds it in place.
Dennis removes the towel and gazes down at the blood soaking into it before looking up at his boss. “These two assholes were getting overly handsy with a girl inside. I stepped in and asked them to leave. I walked them out with no problem. Once I turned to go back inside, one of them sucker punched me. If Tucker hadn’t shown up when he did, I’d probably be fighting for my life in the hospital, because no one else stepped in to help me.”
Fury over that last statement tightens my chest. I can’t believe people just stood around doing nothing. They caught it all on video, though. I’m sure it’s already on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Fucking asswipes. Dennis presses the towel back to his nose, wincing again when he does. Damn, I wonder if it’s broken.
Jim pulls out his cell phone, hits a few things, then puts it to his ear. The crowd starts to dissipate, either walking away or going back inside the pub. I move to help Dennis to his feet. After squatting down, I throw his arm over my shoulder, then hang on to his wrist with one hand and put my other arm around his waist.
“Ready?” I ask.
Dennis gives me a small nod.
“One, two… three.”
On three, I lift while Dennis struggles to get his feet under him. Once he’s standing, he leans heavily on me as we head for one of the benches under the front windows of the building. Dennis drops to sit, and I may not be able to hear him, but the grimace on his face tells me he’s in pain. He leans forward, resting his elbow on his knee while he holds the towel to his face. I walk over and scoop up my helmet before going to sit next to him.
Review by Cat Clontz
A Beautiful Rework of an Already Great Series
I read the initial books as they released individually to form a three book serial, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. From War to Forever is a beautifully reworked single title inclusive of all of those previous three, and as much as I liked them individually, I love them as a single!
The main characters both have PTSD and nightmares are common. They are written realistically with the challenges that war veterans face daily, and this book offers a look into the depths of what these characters live with as well as a peek around the edges of what actual war veterans experience.
The plot remains the same, but the elements are slightly tweaked and the result is that the overall flow is smoother. It is also more engaging, pulling you deeper and deeper until you just can’t put the book down. Also, rather than stopping the book once the men start their relationship and just providing a happily ever after, this book drops into the minutiae that make up how to stay together and how to be stronger through communication. It’s a much more in-depth look into the lives of Dennis and Tucker. There is drama, sadness, hurt, and loss, but there is also friendship, brotherhood, happiness, healing, and love. There is also quite a bit of angst, but since I love angst, this only made me a happier reader.
There are peripheral characters who will grab your heart, infuriate you, and run you through the full gamut in between. Unlike most books, this one also delves into the depths of two dysfunctional families which creates a much more realistic premise of life. The author has carefully and skillfully crafted a work that will hold your attention from page one and leave you cheering Dennis and Tucker on through the very end. This is a four and a half star book, and I highly recommend it!
About Andria Large
Andria Large is a traditionally published and self-published contemporary romance author. She doesn’t always follow the rules, so you will find both M/F and M/M books mixed into some of her series.
Henry from the Beck Brothers Series was the first book she self-published. Not expecting anything to really come of it, she was shocked to find the book caught wind and readers were asking for more. Writing books was not something she had set out to do. She wrote stories for herself, as a hobby. Now that it has become her career, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Andria grew up in Philadelphia, but now lives in New Jersey with her two daughters and wonderfully supportive husband, who frequently accompanies her at signings. The events that she attends every year are one of her favorite things about being an author. She loves meeting and conversing with her readers, but also enjoys finding new ones.
Andria considers herself open and friendly, so feel free to send her a message if you have a question or just want to chat.