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December 2006

December 2 * Book Vendor - 20th Annual Middle Tennessee Civil War Show & Sale, Nashville, TN
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Before the gates open at the 20th Annual Middle Tennesee Civil War Show & Sale

       I was in a pickle in regards to my trip to Nashville. I had waited too long to get an affordable hotel room in the region and I was uncertain as to whether it was going to be financially feasible to appear in Nashville. I came up with a scheme to enlist the help of Greg Biggs from Clarksville. When I was in Clarksville Greg mentioned to me that Clarksville was rapidly becoming a commuter community for Nashville. I decided to do something that I never would have done a year ago. As I've said many times, this book has changed me and the way I do business. I decided to ask the Biggs family if I could stay with them on Friday evening and go over to the show with Greg and his wife Karel on Saturday. Greg was going to attend the show, but had not obtained a confirmed table. I had a confirmed table, but by partner for the event couldn't attend. A match made in heaven. Greg shared my table and I stayed with Greg and Karel Biggs on Friday. I had a blast.
       To anyone who is curious about the Show & Sale, I would say to you that there aren't many events like it. Just about every item present and used in the Civil War was on display and probably for sale somewhere on the floor. To those interested in the Civil War, it is a worthwhile pilgrimage. Greg and I shared a table and I found out that Greg is hooked up with Ironclad Publishing and offers their books for sale at these events. However, Greg talks to everyone at the show. There aren't many people who can match Greg's command of military history, so it isn't unusual to think it would take a gathering like this for Greg to find some interesting people to talk to. Greg also looked out for me and brought several authors over to our table for me to meet them. I met Dr. Benjamin Franklin Cooling, author of
Fort Donelson's Legacy: War and Society in Kentucky and Tennessee, 1862-1863. Greg has high praise for this book and he bought me a copy to prove it.
       After Greg took off to talk to some of the Show attendees, I spent most of the day talking with Greg's wife, Karel. Karel is an intellectual powerhouse and I enjoyed the experience. For my part, I turned on the juice and sold a good pile of books, all for the benefit of the Fort Defiance restoration project. I had a great day in every way. Good company, good people, good business. I have decided to make another appearance at the show next year. Hopefully, Greg and Karel will take me in and we'll share a table again next year. I did get a souvenir from the show- I got a cold a few days later.

December 16 * Book Vendor - Barnes & Noble, Evansville, IN
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Hard at work at Barnes & Noble on December 16

       My last appearance of 2006. Selling books at bookstores is a funny business. This was my third appearance at Barnes & Noble within 18 months. I had done very well in both of my previous appearances, selling over 100 books between the two appearances. It was with this knowledge that I set some low expectations for December 16. Boy, was I surprised. I think I put another 60+ books through the cash registers by the time my appearance was up at 4PM. I had sold out all the books on the shelves at Barnes & Noble and sold another 27 books that I had brought along just in case. It was an amazing day. Don Johnson and Susanne Siria came to visit me, but I was barely able to talk to them as the action was so busy. I am overwhelmed by how amazingly the people of Evansville have responded to the book. I am grateful to Mariana Mudd at Barnes & Noble for giving me the opportunity to offer my book to the public. I am grateful to everyone who has made 2006 such a wonderful year for me. For now, rest.

Susanne Siria
With good friend Susanne Siria, descendant of Eliott Mefford