Touring with Stewball

Jan. 19-22 Stewball doesn’t travel without a new flower in his bud vase. Fortunately my pansies are still blooming so we started on this book tour to promote (make that sell) The Long Road to Paris with fresh flowers in Stewball’s vase.

First stop. Bluffon, S. Carolina. Actually Magnolia Hall Performing Arts Center in Sun City just west of Bluffton. We had been invited to describe our novel to an audience of book clubs, gear-heads and interested others. Not to be a reading. We were told this audience can read and does,  so just tell our story, how the book came to be, you know, things that are unique to us and our writing.  Our focus was which parts of the novel are real and which parts are not? This included characters, places, history, the real car rally, suspense and intrigue,.  A great group, lots of questions but somehow we didn’t get the idea of actually buying the book across very well!

Day 1-South Carolina

Still a very warm welcome and lots of interest-in us and Stewball. He had fun, parked in front of the hall with the marque advertising our event. We felt like at least minor celebrities.

Day 2. A day to drive to Daytona Beach and check on Silver Girl, our Catalina 31. All well there and a day to feel the sun, listen to the lapping of the water on the hull and just chill. Stewball seemed refreshed too. Ed even had to change the setting on the preheat for the carborator for warm weather!



Day 3- Fernandina Beach

Now, Day 3. Back up I95 to Fernandina Beach for a book signing at The Book Loft. The weather was with us and Sue invited us to sit outside in front of the store. Talked to a lot of people interested primarily in our trip in Stewball since he was parked directly in front of the store and stopped a lot of people. He does get a lot of attention, but how to translate this into book sales? Do we need to be more agressive? No, maybe the word is assertive.

Onto day 4. Savannah, Georgia to speak to the AACA club there. An additional benefit was meeting Jack and Mary Crabtree who brought their 1929 Model A from Charleston. This displayed the only 2 cars from the World Race 2011 that covered all 14,000 miles on the ground.  

Day 4-Savannah, GA

This presenataion was mostly about our rally with book sales after the presentation. More books sold but none of the events produced sales at the level we had hoped. Maybe our expectations are too high. Maybe we really don’t know what to expect and maybe there will still be more trickle down from these events. Time will tell.

Two unexpected benefits. First, we had an email from our website from someone who saw the car at a rest-stop in Florida looked up the website and contacted us. So, you never know when and where a contact will be made.


The second benefit was meeting Felix in Fernandina Beach. Felix has been named “town ambassador” and covers the city on his tricycle, playing his harmonica and selling cookies and chips. He’s at the ball park for all the games as well, we were told. He really enjoys his role and is known by all the locals-and now by us. We should all get as much out of life as Felix obviously does.

So, our first tour with Stewball is over and we must decide how much of this we want to do. It takes a lot of time, is tiring, expensive and the overall benefits are still unknown.


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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3 Responses to Touring with Stewball

  1. TBC says:

    And may we sign a book for you??? Very easy, especially done with a charming and engaging smile! It helps, too, if those who host the events announce that the book is available for a personalized signature from the authors before and after the presentation.

    Hang in there! We’re behind you all the way!



  2. Carla Overduin says:

    Sounds like the book brought you guys a lot of fun. Enjoy the promo tour!!
    Hug from Bill & Carla

  3. rdsieber says:

    Your comments remind me of my luck with writing: having lots of fun, but not making any money. Is this how it’s supposed to be? Oh, well.

    Keep smiling – at least there’s fun involved!

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