As I type, Beth Groundwater might be cascading down a Class IV rapid in Utah. Actually, it’s two hours earlier in Utah, so she is probably asleep. But the point remains–Beth writes a most unusual series that blends mystery, whitewater, and river ranger sleuth Mandy Tanner–while being a most unusual person herself. Please read on to learn Beth’s unique experience with making it.
I’ve had many significant moments in my writing career that defined me as a multi-published mystery author. Some that come to mind are signing with my first literary agent, signing my first book contract, holding a copy of that first published book (A Real Basket Case) in my hands, being short-listed for a Best First Novel Agatha Award, and obtaining good reviews from all four of the Big Four review publications for one of my mysteries ( Deadly Currents).
However, my true “Made It Moment” occurred fairly recently, on June 18th of this year. On that day, I was honored to be the Parade VIP in the parade for the FIBArk (First in Boating on the Arkansas river) whitewater festival, the nation’s oldest and boldest whitewater festival that takes place annually in Salida, Colorado. You see, my March release, Deadly Currents, is the first book in my new Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventure series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner.
Mandy lives in Salida, and the story features FIBArk events. The festival planning committee knew about my book and some members had read it, so they made the logical decision to invite me to be that year’s parade VIP.
You know you’ve “made it” when you get to sit on the back of a PT Cruiser convertible and wave to crowds lining the streets! I could hear the townspeople saying to each other, “Oh, that’s that author,” as I went by. They knew about me because the local bookstore, The Book Haven, had been displaying copies of Deadly Currents, the Salida Citizen had published an interview with me, and I’d been interviewed the day before on the local radio station, KSBV, The River Rat.
I was famous (at least in Salida)!
I can barely describe the thrill of those few minutes, the shivering elation I felt at being honored for my writing. As I smiled and waved at people and they returned my waves, my heart was truly almost ready to burst from pride and happiness. It was an absolutely amazing experience, especially when we pulled into the heart of downtown, where the crowd was 4-8 people deep, and the parade announcer introduced me. And it’s an experience I will remember and savor for years to come.
Needless to say, my book signing that afternoon was a huge success.
The icing on the cake was when the Shelf Awareness email newsletter, which is delivered to librarians, booksellers, publishers, agents, and thousands of other members of the book trade, accepted my husband’s photo of me in the parade for their Image of the Day, with the title “ Groundwater Is Whitewater Star.” Man, oh man!
You know, I’m not even sure hitting the New York Times bestseller list would top that moment. (But I’m game to try!
Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series (A Real Basket Case, a 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, and To Hell in a Handbasket, 2009). A Real Basket Case will be re-released in November in trade paperback and ebook. Beth also writes the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. The first, Deadly Currents, was released in March, 2011, and the second, Wicked Eddies, will be released in May, 2012. Beth enjoys Colorado’s many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs. Please visit her website at http://www.bethgroundwater.com and her blog at http://bethgroundwater.blogspot.com.