for the Bookworms

Stories of an author encountering readers

As an introvert, I was surprised to find one of my favorite things about being an author is in-person events. Because y’all are seriously so fun to meet and connect with. Here are just a few encounters I’ve had in my year of being published:


I don’t know what it is, but kids are always interested in my table. I need kids books.

A girl around 6 years old wanted my psychopathic murderer book. Her mom told her when she got older she’d be able to read a book that big. Skipped right over the whole scary murderous part, just said she needed to work her way up to bigger books. #parentinggoals, am I right?

I told the girl she could take a collectors card instead, and she picked up Cami’s BFF, a real safe choice.

She looked disappointed and said “I want something scary.” Sooooo, I grabbed Villains 1&2 instead for her, and her face lit up.

Like I said, I need kids book lol. Maybe with a little scary.


Another kid, this time a young teen, marched straight up to my booth and quickly spilled out: “I like writing stories and I wanna know what my options are, and my teachers say a journalist, but what are my options?”

It was so cool to tell him that yes, he can be an author if he wants. He can be a journalist if he wants. And besides that, every company in the world pretty much needs writers, for every website and social media post and brochure and email you see. If there’s a company you love, they’re probably in need of a writer.

Related: If you’re wondering what your options are for being a grownup professional writer – Lots!


This summer at an event, a lady was looking for someone to room with to save money. Probably not looking for a murder author, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. So, we coordinated plans and met there, and everything went well. Until…. she volunteered to work at the event’s bookstore…

Later that day, she confronted me: “You wrote a book from the perspective of a MURDERER?! I’m sharing a room with you, and you didn’t tell me?!” Haha, she was totally joking – or she played it off that way so she wouldn’t anger a suspected murderous author I suppose – and we had a grand time.

But now I know, I should probably disclose that info in every interaction. “Hi, my name is Amy, and I wrote a book from the perspective of a psychopathic murderer.” Feel safer now, don’t you? 😉


And finally, best quotes from encounters with readers:


I love murder… mystery! I should finish that sentence!

a person at my booth

We’re a family of murder.

a whole family checking out my book together
(I’m not sure what that means, but mostly, I’m not sure I wanna find out, for plausible deniability and all)

Hmm, this one’s Cami’s BFF. I don’t know, Cami sounds sketchy. I’m gonna keep my eye out for her.

A person picking up a collector’s card of Cami’s BFF from my book

Now I know who not to make mad. You know how to kill and get rid of the body.

A person walking past my booth, upon seeing my book title

How about you? Have you had any intriguing or humorous encounters with authors or with readers? Share below 🙂

And next year, it’s time for us to meet at an event, mmk?

Central IL, Showcasing other Creatives

A bookworm’s invite to tea with the Queen

Her Majesty’s English Tearoom in Central IL is an enchanting place to visit, for tea or for books or for browsing. Here is a sneak-peek from local authors of a few of the fun finds along the way (ahem, you just might find a certain Amy L. Sauder in here somewhere)

Her Majesty’s English Tearoom: Come have tea with the Queen!
I Know You Like a Murder at the Tearoom
Make Me Over at the Tearoom
Zombie Turkeys at the Tearoom
Hidden Secrets at the Tearoom

Plus, a couple events in a far far away (or not so far away) kingdom…

Murder Mystery at the Grand Hotel
Books & Breakfast at Little Traveler

Thanks to Kim Kouski for her her videography, Paul Maitland for directing (you’ll be seeing his books on shelves soon, so remember that name!), and Jacqueline Gillam Fairchild for hosting in her lovely tearoom.

P.S. My friends and I had so much fun making these videos. Check out the blooper reel for more writerly mayhem:

Bloopers at Tea

for the Writers, Musings

I murdered for you & I’m not okay

in my book. I should probably clarify that.

But isn’t that a beautiful blogpost title? 😉

I finished the first draft of my quirky meta murder mystery!

Honestly, it happened so fast. I thought I’d be agonizing over the last couple scenes for days. And I just whipped them out and suddenly that was the last sentence and I felt like there should be so much more time in it, but nope, that was definitely my last sentence of the story.

Murder doesn’t take as long as you’d expect.

So I was on a celebratory high. For about 2 hours.

Then came the pits. It wasn’t the murder part. I can kill off characters okay, with maybe a teardrop if I’m super attached. It was the writing part though. Suddenly I wasn’t sure I could ever make my writing what I wanted it to be.

I was worried I would be the writer that wrote but never got good enough to publish.

Or worse, I published and everyone would hate it and I’d regret having that in my publication history.

Or worse, I published and think it’s awesome and people are too nice to tell me that I just added to the public slushpile.

I’m discouraged. Kinda terrified really.

I’m thinking of edits and beta readers and ways to put my story out there in the world for all you lovelies, and it’s like THE REAL DEAL.

So if you could send some encouragement my way, I would be so appreciative.

Now back to editing so you all can enjoy the fruits of murder 😉

Musings

When a murderer won’t shut up at 3am

Have you heard of “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler”? by Italo Calvino. Very interesting book, written in the second person. Saying “You do this, you do that.” Not “I” or “he”, it’s about “you.” And “you” pick up a book at the bookstore, start reading and get enthralled in the tale, then suddenly realize the second chapter is a different story than the 1st chapter, so you return it to the store for a correct copy that doesn’t have the publisher’s error. Only the bookstore accidentally gives you a different book entirely. And so on the story continues with all these story snippets and “you” just trying to get your hands on an actual copy of the original book you wanted in the first place. Innovative story, not your usual thing.

Okay, so I’m not gonna go so far as to compare my own meager writing to world-renowned Calvino. But my short story I’m working on is similar-esque. Very meta like Cal’s… but unlike Cal’s, my story has a narrator that’s a murderer telling the reader how the whole murder went down and “you” have to figure out what happened and who the murderer is. It’s like a quirky meta mystery thing.

Why am I writing this short story instead of my work-in-progress urban fantasy novel? Because I had a murderer stuck in my head, and goshdarnit, a chatty one at that. I couldn’t get quiet all night, furiously scribbling the notes and begging the murderer to shut up. Welcome to writer life! Talk about a sneak peak. So I promised this murderer a short story if I could just get back to my actual work-in-progress soon.

But I will say, it’s exciting to stretch my writing out of my comfort zone, figuring out clues and red herrings and second person and meta story. It’s so fun! 🙂 You’ll hear more about this project I’m sure in the coming months – hopefully to be available for you all to read!

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