Monday, October 26, 2020

Need a speaker for your book club, garden club, or civic organization?


COVID-19 has put a damper on typical live author events like signings, readings, and workshops, but in a sense, it has also opened up opportunities for “garage band” authors like myself to expand their reach beyond a “reasonable driving distance.” Where doing a virtual event would have seemed weird six months ago, today even A-list writers are participating in Zoom readings, mail-in signings, and Facebook workshops. Some authors are even resorting to guerrilla marketing tactics to bring readers to theIr virtual events. Outdoor mystery writer Keith McCafferty, for instance, offered one of his exclusive hand-tied trout flies to the first 10 people to join the virtual launch party for his new book, The Bangtail Ghost.

While I’m not nearly as good a fly tier (or writer) as Keith, I would be pleased to speak virtually at your bookseller, garden club, book club, or civic organization event, and, yes, I will have promotional items as giveaways. Drop me a line at johnbmarek@gmail.com and let me know what date and time you have in mind. The usual caveat is “within 3 hours of Charlotte,” but in a virtual world, I can speak to groups from Bangor to Hilo, Anchorage to Key West. As a member of Rotary International and the current president of the Wadesboro Rotary Club, I am especially excited about speaking at Rotary events. 

I can tailor a presentation to your specific interests and time constraints, but I typically offer three different topics:

Book Reading and Discussion - I read 2-3 of my short stories and/or essays, discuss the writing process, relate an anecdote or two, and take audience questions. 

Introduction to Square Foot Gardening - I discuss the basics of the Square Foot Gardening technique, and how I came to embrace it after several failed attempts at "traditional" gardening. 

Faith-based Community Gardening - I discuss the challenges and rewards of community gardens as a ministry based on my own experience and referencing the book Soil and Sacrament by Fred Bahnsen. 


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