Thursday, October 18, 2012

Guest Post with Author David LeRoy - The Siren of Paris

Today we welcome author David LeRoy to BK Walker Books Etc. David is currently on virtual book tour with his debut novel, The Siren of Paris. You can view his tour schedule at Promo 101 Promotional Services.

Welcome David! The floor is yours :).

From David LeRoy
The Full Monty Author

You may recall that recently Sue Grafton got into a huge kettle of hot water when she had some less than flattering things to say about Self-Published authors in an interview for a blog in Kentucky.
 It spread like fire through the tight community of Indie authors once it was picked up and reposted on The Passive Voice blog.  Soon she was redacting and explaining herself like crazy.  Within the interview, she also stated that people who write in coffee shops are exhibitionists, but I never got an apology.   :)

She is right, because I write in coffee shops and that is exactly what I am doing.  I am seeing others, and being seen by them on a consistent basis.  I am in full view -- not really full Monty, but you get the idea.

Back in early August, I sold a copy of my book to one of my coffee shop friends.  Unknownst to me, her husband is the host of an all male book club.  A week later, she bought six copies of my book from the trunk of my car outside Starbucks.  But then, there was a problem.  The all male book club only wanted to read non-fiction, and my book is historical fiction.  No problem as I explained to her that the vast majority of the book is historically accurate and follows history closely.  All of this conversation, of course, took place in line at Starbucks in front of other customers who were probably listening.  She put her foot down and insisted they read the book. They did, and they enjoyed it. 

On October 11th, I am sitting down to dinner with this club to discuss The Siren of Paris. They have even offered to buy me dinner, and I intend to bring out some of the original documents I used to create the story when I was in the research phase.   

Now, had I not been at Starbucks, and not had the time to talk with this person, whom, this entire opportunity would not have materialized.  A blog tour organizer is well worth the investment;  however, there is no way I could say to them, “get me a gig at this book club.” This is not something I can buy, but only be invited to, if chosen. 

Word of mouth marketing is the golden goose dream of every author; however, manifesting this sort of phenomena takes a concerted effort and requires lots of on the ground, direct public interaction. It is also nearly impossible to control; therefore, you must always be prepared. 
“Oh, you wrote a book, what is it about?” somebody asks.

Develop a quick elevator pitch for your book.  Be ready to tell a summary right off the bat without missing a beat between the pitch and your food order.  Here is my pitch.  
“It is about a young man who returns to Paris before the war and falls in love with the wrong kind of woman, because she becomes a collaborator, and he is too blind to see it….Tall, No whip Mocha please, and I will take the cheese Danish … and so you see, he gets a hard lesson in both life and love.”

Of course Sue is sitting on my right shoulder calling me an immodest exhibitionist.  Seth Godin is on the left shoulder jumping up and down for joy. 

Now, so far I have sold two full boxes of my book out of the trunk of my car.  Some I sell, and others I have had to mail off for reviews.  However, this is 60 physical books, usually signed and dedicated, going out to people who have requested them.  I was referred to a group that does public readings, and I was the featured reader for 45 minutes.  I sold four copies, and one resulted in a positive review.  I sold a few books, while on a camping trip, to people with whom I was chatting.  One of the people was very familiar with some of the historical details of the book. 

This “immodest behavior” adds up with time and will not result in an arrest.  Last night my chiropractor asked me if I had done much recently, in town, with the book, and I thought for a second and said, “Not really.”  But in reality, that is not true.  I have been doing a lot to be seen, as an author, yet I just have not given it much thought because I am not speaking to a crowd at the local book store, and I am not on T.V.  The reason he asked is because someone recognized me in his office and connected me to the book. 

This is not a sure fire bet to sell thousands upon thousands of books.  I have no idea how you will climb your way to the top of the Amazon ranking for your selected category.  It certainly is not an overnight solution from which you can see results next weekend.  But, it is the one of the most powerful marketing tools I know.  Word of mouth takes its time, but once it takes off, it is impossible to stop. 

Don’t believe me? So, how did all those cat videos go viral on YouTube?

Thanks for the great post David! 

About David LeRoy:

A Native of California, David received a BA in Philosophy and Religion at Point Loma Nazarene College in San Diego. The degree served him well while selling women’s shoes, waiting tables, or working odd jobs after college until settling in the field of telecommunications, where he has worked for the past 18 years. Early on, he demonstrated artistic abilities. For many years, David marketed a line of fine art photographic prints through various galleries and retail outlets.
In the past few years, his focus has shifted to painting and drawing, which included the development of a children’s e-book in the Apple Itunes store under “David Tribble” title “Lord of the Scribes.”
After returning from a European arts study program, he became interested in the history behind the French Resistance during World War Two. Writing fiction has become his latest way to explore philosophical, moral and emotional issues of life.The Siren of Paris is his first novel.

For more information about this novel visit

In German occupied Paris, a group of unlikely people join in collaboration to smuggle Allied airman south to Spain. One of those intrepid heroes happens to be American. The Siren of Paris, the debut work of historical fiction by David LeRoy, tells a searing story of love, betrayal, forgiveness, and war that brings to vivid life the shimmering City of Lights during its darkest hours during World War II.

The story starts in 1939, when Marc Tolbert, the French-born son of a prominent American family, takes off for Paris to follow his dream of becoming an artist. Marc’s life soon sparkles in the ex-pat scene in Paris. His new friend Dora introduces him to a circle that includes the famous Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare & Company; and he accepts a job with William Bullitt, US ambassador to France. At art school, he finds himself further enchanted by the alluring model Marie.

Marc’s Parisian reverie, however, is soon clouded over by the increasing threat from Germany. As Americans scramble to escape Paris, he finds himself trapped by the war, and nearly meets his fate on the disastrous day of June 17, 1940, aboard the RMS Lancastria. Upon returning to Paris, his fate grows more troubled still, as he smuggles Allied airman through the American Hospital to the Paris Resistance underground, until a profound betrayal leads him into the hands of the Gestapo and onto Buchenwald.

Rigorously researched and vibrant in historical detail, The Siren of Paris reimagines one of history’s most turbulent times through the prism of an American abroad in Europe’s most harrowing days. Poignant, gripping, and thought-provoking, The Siren of Paris mines the human dilemma of revenge versus forgiveness, and vividly captures the conflicted state of survival.

Author: In writing his first novel, The Siren of Paris, David LeRoy drew upon his longtime interest in philosophy, the visual arts, myth, storytelling, psychology, and Ocean Liner travel. During a visit to France to study art in the fall of 2012, LeRoy was increasingly intrigued by the French Resistance, particularly when his research revealed the role of Americans in the Resistance, as well as the limited means of escape from Europe as the war escalated. LeRoy holds a bachelor of arts in philosophy and religion.