I am not an extrovert. I prefer running alone rather than with a run club, and sitting in my backyard with a book over joining a group of friends (whom I love dearly) for dinner. And I never mastered small-talk, although the many jobs I’ve had did finally force me to develop a basic level of competence in that area.
So the solitary work of writing and editing and designing suits me fine. But now I have to focus my attention on marketing The Last Resort, which involves stepping outside my comfort zone and introducing myself to lots of strangers. Ouch.
I’m learning, however, that it helps when the “product” sells itself. First of all, I am not even marketing my own words; I am marketing an amazing time capsule that my father authored 75 years ago. I’m more like an agent. It’s personal, but I’m not embarrassed by my own perceived lack of skill or talent. I know I can genuinely relate to the story in the book, and I’m certain others can, too.
So on Monday my husband and I headed to Lawrenceburg, Ky., the site of The Last Resort, for our first marketing foray. The warm and generous folks there couldn’t have made it any easier for me. We made several stops along Main Street and at the gift shops of the nearby distilleries. We chatted with shopkeepers and others who just happened to be walking the sidewalks. Most were interested in the book because it’s an authentic local story. Many gasped with emotion when I pulled out the original journal, the 75-year-old family relic. That seemed to make what could have been a distant story feel very real.
We had a fabulous lunch at one of the outstanding restaurants along Main Street. Then, as we headed back to our car, Eric Silverman at Tastefully Kentucky stuck his head out the door of the shop and let us know that they were placing an order for copies of The Last Resort for his customers. Citizens of Lawrenceburg: take note!
If you are intrigued by the world you discover in The Last Resort, I encourage you to make a pilgrimage to Lawrenceburg and Anderson County. You can still see the fine old homes along South Main that Pud passed on his way home from the bus station, and the former Ripy Brothers (Wild Turkey) and Old Joe (Four Roses) distilleries now have first-class facilities where visitors can learn more about the bourbon industry. Drive through the tiny communities of Bonds Mill or Fox Creek to get a glimpse of Salt River—or drive across the river’s shale bed at Rice Crossing, the route Pud and his friends frequently took to get to The Last Resort.
In many ways, Anderson County may be a very different place today than it was in 1942, but I promise you its easy-going charm has not disappeared.