Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Two Eileens Strike Again! by Eileen O'Finlan

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It was my great pleasure to once again team up with fellow BWL author, Eileen Charbonneau for a couple of library talks and book signings. As some of you may already know, Eileen Charbonneau and I have the same name. (O'Finlan is a pen name. My real last name is Charbonneau). We didn't know it until about a year ago, but we are distant cousins. Maybe our shared DNA is what makes us such a great team. Whatever, the reason, I'm grateful for it as it is sheer joy to work with Eileen. We've created a presentation in two parts with Eileen doing the first part and me picking up where she leaves off. It flows seamlessly and seems to be greatly appreciated by every audience for whom we've presented.

This time around we spoke at two libraries in Massachusetts – the Shrewsbury Public Library and the Worcester Public Library. After each talk, we opened it up for Q&A. Eileen and I were quite gratified by the interest and knowledge of the audiences at both libraries. Attendees asked thoughtful questions, made insightful comments, and (bless them!) gave us kind compliments. I've had wonderfully responsive audiences when I've spoken solo, but there's something about the two of us together that really stimulates those who attend. Perhaps it's because Eileen and I manage to play off each other so well. Often we're able to add to each other's comments, which offers a deeper, more meaningful answer to a question. Whatever it is, folks who came to our two talks were certainly animated. Questions kept coming from every direction. If the librarian at the Worcester Public Library hadn't stepped in, we might still be there. These audiences were knowledgeable, as well. We learned as much from them as they did from us. The give and take is invaluable!

Eileen Charbonneau at Worcester Public Library

Eileen O'Finlan at Worcester Public Library
On the days between our scheduled appearances we had the opportunity to have a little fun. We shopped in some unique places, visited the Worcester Art Museum, and even got in a little research for the sequel to Kelegeen which will be set in Worcester in the 1850s. Eileen was game for playing the part of research assistant, so we visited the Salisbury Mansion and the Worcester Historical Museum. What a treasure trove of information we found at both places!

Eileen Charbonneau makes some great finds at Ed Hyder's Mediterranean Marketplace


The Two Eileens having some fun at the Worcester Art Museum
(That helmuet was HEAVY!)

The Salisbury Mansion built in 1772

Sewing Machine one of my characters would have used
Worcester Historical Museum
Map of Worcester in 1851
Worcester Historical Museum
If you're an author planning to give talks my advice is if you can find a partner to present with, do it. It's fun for the authors and their audiences. You don't have to have the same name, but somehow it seems to help.









3 comments:

  1. Your post reflects the fun we had, my friend! Thank you for including me in your adventures!

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  2. Sounds like you had a great time. I'm sure the people who attended recieved a great deal of information.

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  3. Sounds like a great idea to partner up. I wish I could attend your presentation. Have fun.

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