Press Release – Pots n’ plots with a dash of the author thrown in

Lisa Panno, David O'Briant, Kay Adams, Rosemary Kayem, and Mark Fadden cook food featured in Fadden's latest thriller, The Brink, at Colleyville Market Street's Dish culinary school.

Authors are like most entrepreneurs, they are always on the lookout for new ways to promote their books. That’s why Colleyville author Mark Fadden jumped at the chance to appear at the latest Market Street cooking school event. 

“I’ve had many book signings and given several lectures about writing, but I’d never done anything like this,” said Fadden about the recent Pots n’ Plots class where attendees cooked several dishes from his latest suspense thriller, The Brink. “But I figured if it combined reading and eating, two of my favorite things, then that’s the definition of win-win.” 

Judy Waitkus, Culinary Manager at Market Street grocery store in Colleyville, led attendees as they first made fruit salad with honey, crab cake sandwiches and even a dish called, “Eggs Carver” that one of the characters in the book had named after himself. Attendees clustered in small groups as they cooked the various dishes, and then got to eat them while they discussed Fadden’s book with him. “I had an absolute blast,” Fadden remarked of the laid-back evening that included sipping on Shiner Bock beer, which was also featured in the book, as he answered questions from attendees. “It was totally different from sitting behind a table signing books or standing at a podium speaking. To be able to cook a meal with everyone and then sit around and eat while talking books with what I consider a group of new friends, well life doesn’t get too much better than that.” 

The Brink is Fadden’s third suspense thriller. Not only does it feature a lost Constitution article, it uses real-world economic numbers to weave an intricate conspiracy tale that takes up where the recent financial meltdown left off. Published in May 2010, it has already won two awards and has been nominated for a third. Readers can find out more about Fadden, his books and future appearances at www.markfadden.com.

 The Dish culinary schools are located at two of the Dallas-Fort Worth Market Street locations, in Colleyville and McKinney. The Dish culinary school offers classes, like “Making Seafood Easy” and “Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!”, for all level of cooks taught by their own chefs as well as leading experts from around the country. For more information on the Colleyville Market Street Dish Event Center call Judy Waitkus at (817) 577-5047 or visit www.marketstreetunited.com.

10,000 hours to writing success?

I’m reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling author of Blink and The Tipping Point, and I just finished the chapter about how it takes 10,000 hours to become an “expert” at something. He gives the reader many examples of this phenomenon, including the cases of Bill Joy, the founder of Sun Microsystems, and Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and how they were able to log 10,000 hours (many more actually) of time writing computer code during the birth of the personal computer revolution and how they used that experience to capitalize on those moments when their skills were needed.

Gladwell points out that not only is it about the 10,000 hours, but it’s also just as much about using that experience when the opportunity strikes. I happen to agree with him. Now, there’s no question that these people have talent, but it was their commitment to practicing their craft, making it better and better and better with time, that made them become the success stories that they are. Agree? Disagree?  

Now, 10,000 hours for a young person like Gates and Joy were at the time, would only take them a few years to log due to the fact they hod alot of discretionary time and would stay at the computer labs for countless hours. Most of us are adults with jobs, children and other responsibilities. So, the question must be asked, how long does it take to get to 10,000 hours in “adult time?” Well, let’s reverse engineer it.

Let’s say you budget 10 hours a week writing. That means 500 a year (52 weeks in a year minus 2 weeks off for vacation 🙂 ) So, at 500 hours a year, it would take you 20 years to become, in Gladwell’s eyes, an expert on writing. Just some food for thought.

And here’s another morsel for the old noggin: what about the opportunity part of it? The publishing industry is at a crossroads. We have a completely new world in the form of epublishing. As writers, we can also now be publishers. We have never had the opportunity to wield so much power over our own destinies. If you have 10,000 hours of writing  experience under your belt, how can you use that to take advantage of this amazing opportunity?

BTW, as long as we’re talking about food (sort of,) I am doing something really exciting tonight. It is called Pots&Plots. Our local grocery store, Market Street, has a cooking school and the director, Judy Waitkus, invited me to attend their class as they are cooking one of the dishes from my latest thriller, The Brink. We’ll be doing crab cake sandwiches and chasing them down with Shiner Bock beer. Doing a cooking school appearance is certainly new for me, and I bet its something that most of us are not used to doing on our book tours. I can’t wait to share how the class went so that maybe you too can get involved with your local schools. At the very least, you’re guaranteed to get a free meal out of it. You only have to make it first.

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and award-winning author of Five Days in Dallas and The Brink. Signed copies of The Brink are available 20% off the cover price at www.shop.markfadden.com.

New Ereader? Download the eBook version of The Brink in seconds, for less than $8.

Press Release – Local author sells out at Plano Barnes & Noble

January 16, 2011 (Plano, Texas) – Being a sellout is usually a bad thing. Unless you’re talking about an author’s book signing. Local Colleyville author Mark Fadden had a book signing at the Barnes & Noble at Park and Preston in Plano on Saturday where he sold every single copy of his latest thriller, The Brink, the store had on hand. The book uses the 2008 financial meltdown as the foundation of a taut suspense thriller in which a fugitive Texas Ranger helps a woman running for her life, only to get sucked into a global financial conspiracy. The book, which has already won two awards from its publisher, has also been nominated for a third award based on its sales success.

“He was great with our customers and he was very interactive. Those are two big reasons why he sold out,” said Cody McMan, Community Relations Manager at the Barnes & Noble at Park and Preston. The Brink was also a part of the Barnes & Nobles Special Collection during the month of December, which recognizes up and coming authors. Fadden continues to appear at local signings in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. His next event will be “Pots & Plots” at the Dish cooking school inside the Market Street grocery store in Colleyville, Texas. The event, which allows participants to cook a dish from the book while discussing it, has been sold out for weeks and a second event is being planned. The Brink is also available in eBook format, and Fadden even signed bookplate stickers for those customers that showed up at the signing and downloaded the book on their nook eReader devices.

Writing and marketing your novel: A glimpse from the trenches

August 16, 2010

Day 64 of 365

Books sold so far (as of the end of May 2010, which is my first official month – sales reports in this industry lag big time!): 157

In this issue:

  • Writing Topic –  Should we heed the undead?
  • Marketing Topic –  Cooks n’ Books – new venues to market books

Writing Topic – Should we heed the undead?

Trends. They permeate everything from pets (70s Pet Rock phenomenon, which I’ll never understand) to pants (I’ve still got my parachute pants from the 80s. I’m hoping for a comeback by the time my sons can wear them) to books. Case in point, vampires and zombies. From Twilight to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, there’s the books that started the trends, then there’s the books that try to imitate them, and then there are those who say the ones that started the trend are just imitators to begin with (the whole Stephenie Meyer vs Anne Rice debacle)

So, should you write for trends? I’ve already commented on writing with current events in mind. Of course, I have my political thrillers in mind, so I have to pick current topics. But writing novels that are trying to predict the next literary trends, which, since it will be many months to years before your novel is written and then published, is pretty much impossible. Or is it? Let’s pass the mic, or keyboard, as it were and have some discussion on this one.

Marketing Topic – Cooks n’ Books – new venues to market books

These days, we tend to look for marketing magic bullets in the social media/online world. However, don’t overlook actual, physical places that take up space in the real world. Signings are still the workhorse of any book marketing campaign. And while most signings will occur in bookstores, it’s smart to always think outside the box about signings.

For example, my local grocery store, Market Street, offers a cooking class that’s also a book club. The events manager picks a book that has some kind of food dish in it, and the class reads the book. When it comes time for class/book club night, they cook the dish in the first half and review the book and eat said dish in the second half. For example, for my event, we will be making crab cake sandwiches and drinking them down with Shiner Bock beer. Glorious!

This is a heck of an idea and a wonderful way to pair nourishment for the body with nourishment for the mind/soul. Okay, that was a bit of a stretch. But seriously, think outside the box when planning your next signing. You might come up with a whole new format to get books signed (and sold!). And if you do, make sure to share your idea here.  

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…