It’s hard to quantify why I want to tell his story differently and why I care so much. Certain people get into your heart and soul. Why else would this place inspire me?

I took that inspiration and poured it into a book to share with the world, and I work hard to share it. This sharing – and inspiring – is my job.

What people think my job is like: “Wow, you’re traveling again? It looks so glamorous! You must enjoy these vacations!”

What my job is REALLY like:

  1. Drive almost 4 hours to northern WI for an event;
  2. Change clothes in a tiny bathroom at the venue;
  3. Inhale a milkshake for dinner;
  4. Set up my presentation;
  5. Give my program TO A FULL HOUSE WHO BOUGHT EVERYTHINGEVERYTHINGEVERYTHING;
  6. Listen to stories until the last person leaves;
  7. Tear down and load;
  8. Drive through a tornado watch for two hours;
  9. Fall into bed near midnight;
  10. Get up at 5am to be at a 7am appearance;
  11. REPEAT ALL DAY.

Before anyone says I sound like I’m complaining, I LOVE MY JOB. Yes, it’s hard. But every time I open my inbox and find another memory someone made because of Dad and me, or I listen to another person tell me the memory they’re making because of us, I KNOW I’M DOING WHAT MATTERS. I don’t make much money. I’m wearing myself out and flinging myself into walls and hearing “no” more than anyone can possibly imagine, but I’m giving all that two middle fingers and charging forward.

If you’ve read one or all of my books, thank you.
If you’ve encouraged others to read them, THANK YOU.
If you’ve requested them at your local library, a sloppy kiss for you.
If you’ve told someone to invite me to speak, thank you even more.

Now I’m off to Oshkosh. Hope I don’t have to drive through a tornado to tell our story!!

You can read more about what Merry gave me. I’m honored to be the person that wrote a story for him. I’d be even more honored if you would read To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis.

A desperate explorer. A little girl in danger. Can they beat their mutual enemy before it’s too late? If you like thrilling action, compelling characters and rollicking adventure, then you’ll love the 2nd book in New York Times bestselling author Andra Watkins’ Nowhere series. To Live Forever is available everywhere now!

Make sure you connect with me on social media so you can see the rest of the videos in this series! All the links are on the top right of this page.

Life is a verb. - Brian Doyle

Life is a verb. ~ Brian Doyle

If anybody’s living life as a verb these days, it’s ME.

I left Charleston before Labor Day. Destination? Portland, Oregon. Last week, I appeared at libraries around greater Portland and Seaside. I gave motivational talks at multiple civic clubs. And I spent time with one of my writing idols, the very person who authored today’s quote.

This week, I’m visiting two book clubs, another library, and several business groups. I’ll probably collapse when I board my plane of Friday!

Why do I do this to myself?

People remember VERBS.

Verbs are all about action. They make an impression. Sure, people can interact with me online, but when I stand in front of them, gaze into their eyeballs, and share my story?

I’m weaving verbs audiences don’t forget.

On my last jaunt through North Carolina and Tennessee, I made lots of new connections. One group wants me to return to their library next February. Another set of library patrons requested another program for Hard to Die. Groups at North Carolina State University want me to visit, and student civic clubs in Tennessee are interested in my program. Someone even approached me about a 2017 conference keynote on Grand Cayman. Another group wants me to address their Chamber of Commerce.

Verbs create more verbs.

I’m already anticipating a busy 2017, but I’d still like to visit YOUR community. Here are several ways we can partner to make it happen:

  1. If your local library doesn’t carry my titles, REQUEST THEM FOR PURCHASE. Libraries buy books patrons want.
  2. Once the library has my books, ASK WHO COORDINATES LIBRARY PROGRAMMING. Librarians are more receptive to programs suggested by patrons. I’d love to pitch my program to the right person in your area. Send me a name and contact information, and I’ll take it from there.
  3. Are you part of a book club or reading group, either through a library or privately? SUGGEST ONE OF MY BOOKS. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve created Discussion Guides for every title. Book clubs can download them HERE. Plus, I love to visit reading groups, either in person or via Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangout.
  4. Are you affiliated with a school, university, civic club, historical society, or business group? RECOMMEND ME TO SPEAK. I often leverage one invitation to book multiple appearances in one area. I’d relish delivering a dynamic program to your group.

I want to make more verbs in 2017.
Will you help me?

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This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

We all got miracles on our side, 'cause I done seen a few. -Roy Watkins

We all got miracles on our side, ‘cause I done seen a few. – Roy Watkins

I consider my website a series of miracles.

Seriously. MTM broke his collarbone a few days after I started assembling data. The week before launch, I had a setback with my eye and proofed everything half-blind. Pictures didn’t convert from my old site. Comments didn’t work. Posts went to social media with the wrong information. The header was wonky on mobile.

I struggled for months,
hoping for a miracle.

Friendship was my miracle. Someone swooped in and helped me get everything on track. Users probably didn’t notice a difference, but I finally spent time on my site without tearing my hair or screaming obscenities. I eased into writing a post per week, responded to comments, and otherwise spent very little time here.

New books require change.

With the impending release of Hard to Die, I knew my site needed a refresh. But did I really want to dig into the details and upend things? Especially when maintaining my miracle website was seamless for so long?

I sucked it up.
Check out the facelift all over my website!

Here’s a short list of enhancements to AndraWatkins.com:

  1. Check out my new homepage slider HERE.
  2. The service blocks under the slider contain LOTS of new information. Can you spot it HERE?
  3. Scroll over Books on the homepage top menu. A drop-down box contains new tools for readers, plus a complete page for Hard to Die.
  4. Scroll over Speaking on the homepage top menu. A drop-down box reveals new Speaking pages tailored to specific groups.
  5. Visit my Bio page HERE to see my new author photo.
  6. Come back for even more changes between now and November 1, the launch date of Hard to Die.

Now it’s your turn.

What can I do to make my site easier to use? Would you like to see something specific on the site? Is anything missing?

PLEASE COMMENT WITH YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT.

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This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!