And now this …

My first full week of marketing ~ discoveries and successes

I just spent most of a week in central Illinois meeting, greeting, and marketing. It was great! Exhausting, but great.

It started with My Dear Editor and Agent’s usual arm-length to-do list. I used to think she was going to be a helpful, easygoing hire. It appears I wasn’t completely correct. She always has the next four things lined up for ME to do! This week was no exception.

We began with a trip to Elkhart to pitch a speaking engagement for the active, engaged historical society. In order to meet with the director, we wound up following a delightful young woman driving a red pick-up truck nearly a mile through gorgeous blue ash woods to a goat farm where the duty of the day was nail trimming. It was a peaceful and happy experience for all ~ and a very fun way to start the week. Who knew?! That program will be in the first quarter of 2023. Thank you to the director for making this meeting work on her day off from the store and society!

No, this isn’t one of their goats. Thanks to Annette Meyer from Pixabay for this photo.

Next stop, Prairie Archives bookstore in downtown Springfield where John Paul offered to sell my book and a possibly host a book signing event. For nearly 50 years, I walked past and shopped in this wonderful antiquarian bookstore going to and from my stained glass studio and architecture practice on the historic downtown square. It is a busy and picturesque location to work, directly across from the Old State Capitol and just steps from the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. I’m hoping to schedule a presentation in the ALPLM on my next trip.

Next stop, the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield where I was videotaped for a film on the museum-quality restoration of this world-class Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece.

Our studio restored all of the art glass in the building for nine years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. When we realized that the only way to authentically reproduce the Colonial zinc came shapes necessary to repair much of the installation, we commissioned Jarmac Inc. to design and make a machine that would precisely cut the angles we needed to join the corners. Dozens of articles mention this comprehensive project, but not many have access to this important piece of old-school technology created exclusively for us by Jarmac. Here it is in in action, still functional 40 years later! (Give video time to load!)

That evening, my host for the week offered to invite friends, neighbors, business associates, and church members to a series of backyard parties and fellowship hall book talks/signings the next few times I’m in town. Welcome to my Launch Team, Sandy. Would you like to be the president?!!

On to the NPR/WUIS recording studio to tape an interview for “Community Voices which features local people and their stories. Presumably because I actually was a local person here for 50-some years, I qualify. We talked about stained glass, architecture, environmental hazards remediation, and my new book. Time ran out before we got to my work as a plumbing specialist in Green Bay. That’s right, plumbing specialist. Maybe next time.

Based on the response to my visits this week, it appears I may want to initially go to my strengths PRIOR to becoming a world famous author of historical fiction to get people’s attention ~ people who are still very interested in the beauty, message, and craftsmanship of stained class through the ages.

I’ve probably given a few hundred presentations on art glass fabrication and restoration since opening the stained glass studio with my first wife Martha and my business partner Richard Morse, so several of my book talks this fall, winter, and coming spring will also feature a stained glass presentation on the Dana-Thomas House Frank Lloyd Wright glass, Illinois State Capitol, Willard Ice Building (mobile), Bemis Corporate Headquarters (mobile), many area churches, the history of art glass, and more. Here is a look at a few of our pieces I pulled quickly out of the files for today’s post, and the beautiful gothic windows of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield.

If you haven’t had a chance yet, please take a look at the Cat’s Cafe preview at and share your thoughts. My publisher insists that the more engagement I have on my website the more bookstores are likely to carry my book. Your help will be much appreciated! Log on and see what we’ve been up to lately.

And if you would like to schedule me for a book talk and/or stained glass presentation to your group, get in touch with My Dear Editor and Agent. Let’s give HER something to do. Leave a comment on my web site and we’ll be in touch.

This just in: the Review Copy of my Hardcover Edition just arrived in the mail!!! It’s real now.

~ Thanks for reading, Ralls

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