|The new Christmas novel (left) with its elder siblings|
"We've gotten the proof copy of the new novel back from the printer and it looks great," Walma said. "Now it's just a matter of convincing the public to be as excited about this book as we are."
Walma admits that the part he enjoys most about the whole creative project is the writing itself but, he adds, "there is certainly a thrill to meeting people who have purchased and enjoyed the books as well."
The process of promoting and selling a book is an intense one for the author. "A good friend of mine, Ross Pennie, is the author of a successful series of medical mysteries and he gave me some of the best advice I've ever received as a writer," Walma said. "He told me that I can send out all the press releases, hang up all the posters I want, but people want to buy a book from someone they feel they know. So it's up to me to get out there and meet people and sell myself as much as I'm selling the books and the McAdam Railway Station."
To that end, Walma has planned a series of public appearances for the next three months, leading up to Christmas.
The first such event is scheduled for Saturday, November 1 and will take place at the Station in downtown Fredericton from 11 to 4. "It's a joint event with our artist and craftspeople friends from Artful Persuasion and with the Saturday Sips wine-tasting event put on by NB Liquor," Walma explained. "It's a sort of pre-launch celebration to thank all of the people here in Fredericton who have supported the Abigail project and Artful Persuasion itself."
Then, on Sunday, November 2 at 2 p.m., the McAdam Railway Station and Hotel will host the Launch event for the Christmas novel itself. "That's always a fun event," Walma said. "We usually get more than 100 people to come to celebrate with us, honouring not just the Abigail books but also all of the wonderful work that has gone on throughout the year to support the Station."
Following that, Walma will be at the Boyce Farmers Market in Fredericton for several Saturdays in late November and December and also the special Sunday Christmas Markets as well.
"It will be a busy time for me but a fun time too," Walma said. "If we can spark some media interest, maybe it will be even busier!"