Dynamic Woman — Changing Times
The Streets of Home
I walked through the streets of home last weekend, looking for venues where I might hold a book signing. It was not a déjà vu experience.
The Mountain View I cruised on a Friday night after a football game now bustles like the streets of Budapest. In Los Altos, school kids still spill into town after the last bell rings, but town feels more like a print of the original that has been embellished for commercial purposes.
Fifty years ago I floated between these two worlds; one hearkened to the future, the other clung to the past. Now that I’m enclaved in the mountains with a tribe of elders who have opted out of the next round of reinvention, finding my place in my home town is not so easy.
Who in my home town is interested in a social history set in the Valley of the Heart’s Delight where the seeds of Silicon Valley were nurtured? More specifically, who would come to my book signing? Not the current residents whose global interests are deep, but whose roots in the Santa Clara Valley are shallow.
The book stores I visited were amenable, with caveats: The community relations manager at Barnes and Noble said that no one turns for an event featuring fiction — business, maybe, but still attendance is weak; at Books, Inc. the bookseller went on an impassioned diatribe against Amazon.com (my book is currently printed by CreateSpace) but offered that they would work with me if I could arrange to have my books shipped in a box that has never been touched by Amazon (I can).
Other options are in the works to get The Sheep Walker’s Daughter on Local Author shelves in the Bay Area towns where my story is set, but if I want to do a book signing in the venues available to me, it’s a party I will have to throw myself. What worked in Bakersfield will not work as well in the Bay Area.
I just got word that the Mountain View Public Library is adding my book to their catalog and putting it into circulation. It will take a few weeks to hit the shelves, but I am grateful. Fifty something years ago I was a Library Page in this very library. Now my book will be on their shelves. Maybe you can go home again.
© Sydney Avey