I had my first book signing for Battlefield Angels: The Daughters of Charity Work as Civil War Nurses on Saturday . I wasn’t sure how good it would go because customers at the bookstore are used to me typically writing about things that happened in their neck of the woods in Maryland. Though I checked, the Daughters of Charity weren’t out there during the Civil War. (Other Catholic sisters were and I wrote about them for two Allegany Magazine articles.)

This book attracted a new group of buyers, which I what I had hoped for but only half-expected to happen. The people I met yesterday were Catholics and Civil War buffs who seemed very excited about the book, though I guess anyone who gives up their time to come to book signing is usually excited about the book.

While some authors are moving away from book signings because of the lack of venues, cost or inconvenience of them, I still enjoy them. I like meeting readers face to face and taking a few minutes to talk with them. I don’t think I’ve ever had a book signing where I haven’t learned something new and many times useful in my writing.

This may be because of the history aspect of my writing. People like to buy the books because they have a connection with the history in it. I don’t know if I would have the same kind of reaction if I was writing fantasy or mysteries. People will stop by and start talking about a relative or a related history story they’ve heard. We wind up having a fun conversation and I get nuggets that might make their way into future stories.

Here I am at The Book Center in Cumberland, MD, on Nov. 19. I'm the one on the left, in case you couldn't tell.