Today I hit the road for Colorado. I am going to the International Hunter Education Association’s annual convention held in Estes Park. In addition to the wonderful learning and networking experience, I will be receiving an award for being the National Hunter Education Instructor of the Year, presented by Federal Ammuntion/ATK.
Meanwhile, the important part of my post today is to introduce you to a wonderful new friend of mine, Author CJ West. On June 10th, his newest book, The End of Marking Time, will be released with a great launch event, contests and more to which links I have listed below his report from the road. It’s a great book – I’ve read it and will be posting a review here and on Amazon.com. Graciously, West has agreed to drop by and visit with us today and give us an update on his Virtual Tour and recent road trips. Please welcome CJ West!
Report from the Road
This year I toured New England—actually I’m still touring—to bring the skills of Randy Black to my readers in real life. I called the tour Who wants to be a hero? The idea was to make tour events so exciting that people would flock to them and have a great time when they arrived. An interesting byproduct is that the events are a lot more fun for me, too.
The kickoff event was a high performance driving class. We spent an hour in the classroom with Anthony Ricci from Advanced Driving & Security in North Kingstown, RI. He showed us some video and taught us several things about situation awareness as it relates to cars and driving. The audience was riveted. Next we went to the track and readers rode along while the professionals drove the slalom, the break-and-turn, and the obstacle course. Then the pros moved over and let my readers drive the retired police cars. Everyone had a fantastic time.
Here is the highlight of the event. [Click on the YouTube link when this directs you to the site] In this video, Anthony drives me through the obstacle course backwards at 40 mph. When we are through the course, he executes a J-turn and spins us around (at 50 mph) so we are driving forward again.
In bookstores I have been teaching Texas Hold ‘em. Everyone I’ve spoken to has loved the concept, but in practice it has been hit or miss. When people are excited about the lesson at a venue, I have a packed table and we have a lot of fun. Sometimes I think people wonder what poker has to do with books. Maybe they have flashbacks from being taken at Three Card Monte. Like all signings, some are busier than others.
Recently I hosted a private tour of Westport Rivers Winery, the setting for Sin & Vengeance and Sin & Vengeance the movie. This is always a great time. It’s the fourth venue on my tour that serves alcohol (something new this year and highly recommended). The tour is also very informative, which really captures what the tour is about: a fun learning experience. We had a great group and many were surprised at the great wines produced right here in New England.
The final big event will be held on July 24th. I’ll be partnering with The Wankinquaoh Rod & Gun Club and the GOAL Foundation to host Women on Target, a program to teach women to shoot a handgun, rifle, shotgun and bow. The course is an entire day and features safety instruction, lunch, and half a day on the range. The women will leave the club more comfortable around firearms and the daylong format really gives me a chance to get to know them.
The best things about the tour so far are the comments I get after the big events. Several people have been really surprised by how much fun they had at a book signing. I’ve made some new friends and had a great time along the way. A tour like this takes time to organize, but the experience has been well worth the effort. Pictures and videos are available on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/cjwestfans.
On June 10th I’m hosting an event everyone can attend. Since The End of Marking Time is about a virtual jury, what could be more fitting than a virtual launch party? Drinking is allowed. The dress code is ultra flexible and it is going to be great fun. I hope you’ll join me on Facebook on June 10th.
To find the book, The End of Marking Time on Amazon, just click the title in this sentence and follow the link – it’s too easy not to try and a rewarding experience to read the book.