Meg and Kingfisher Bookstore Interview

fe95992103b1deb6bf2974ddfc39f165GOODNESS — Tom and I have been BUSY hombres!  Late January we interviewed PJ Beaven about her about EarthFit books — early February we met with David Gregor of Gregor Rare Books — and Tuesday this week we met with Meg Olsen, owner of Kingfisher Bookstore in Coupeville, Washington.  Looking back at the calendar, we’ve recorded three sessions in 30 days!

Tom and I have had a few dates lined up before with Meg for this interview.  Unfortunately those went through a series of reschedules because She’s A BUSY Lady!  So we were pleased to finally get a date nailed down with Meg earlier this week.  Since Kingfisher is closed until 28Feb2020 for renovations* the three of us were able to sit down and talk.  Meg shared with us how she engages Whidbey Island authors, being a bookseller in the modern market, the books she enjoys, her experiences taking ownership of the Kingfisher Bookstore, and the new layout for her shop.
(*You can hear some of the work going on in the background of the podcast … along with the creaking rocking chair Meg sat in for the session.)

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What you see here is someone’s attempt at illustrating where all of Meg’s energy comes from…

I’ve known Meg for the past year — since getting my debut book Make Your Own Darn Good Cookies placed in Kingfisher.  During our interview I got to comment on my first impression of her, and I’ve been absolutely pleased not only that she carries Whidbey Island authors’ books but how she relates to our books and us individuals.  My impression from day-one is that Meg is enthusiastic about books and high-energy — through our interview I’m updating that to being passionate about books and a DYNAMO!

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Kingfisher that was … and will be AGAIN!

Meg spoke about the history of Kingfisher along with her plans for the future — and if you’re a Whidbey Island author, I’m telling you now … you need to get ready!  Ready to meet your readers, ready to do readings, ready for EVERYTHING!  Kingfisher will be getting stairs into the basement and when it reopens around February 28th the floor space will be expanded — used books in the basement, new books on the ground floor …. and with that much more space for new books, We Are Going To Need To Write MORE BOOKS!

This is another one of those interviews where I think Tom and I could have sat with our guest and talked all day — so this session ran around 50 minutes (Good Stuff!).  Reality is that we’re all busy folks, so Tom and I got out of Meg’s hair / way / renovations.  I’m excited not only to see the new shop space in another week, I’m also EXCITED to see everything that’s to come in Meg’s future with Kingfisher Bookshop!

Enjoy! ~ Don

UPDATE 27Feb2020 — I stopped in at Kingfisher yesterday, a lot of nice work has gone on there.  I was told that there is a good bit of work yet to go, and they are predicting being back in service in time for Musselsfest March 7th/8th.  It’s going to be exciting to see the grand re-opening!

Look for Meg and Kingfisher online at …

And in real-life at 16 Front St. in Coupeville, Washington.

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Kingfisher Bookshop ….. before the renovations.

Writing on Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 11 – Meg Olsen, Kingfisher Bookstore

Seeing Into The Past …

This could have the title or subtitle of …

The Rifle, The Fishing Rod, and The Mic Stand

… but I digress.

I called this post “Seeing Into The Past” because it’s an addendum to my previous post, “Seeing Into The Future …“.  Something I meant to include in that last post is what happened on the way to the session.

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Coupeville library

Often enough, parking can be a pest in Coupeville.  The historic area — where Tom and I were — is not all that large, so the trick for many of us is to use the library parking lot.  I hopped out of my truck and started walking across the parking lot.  Under my arm I had some DVDs to drop off at the library, one of my mic stands, and a lunch-box sized utility case I use for my portable recording gear.

giphyNot but a moment later a fellow called across the parking lot to me.  “Did-ya catch anything?”  I quickly cycled through the list of things I might have caught but couldn’t come up with anything.  I gave back a confused “… What?”, hoping to find out his intention.  “Did-ya catch any FISH?”  Then my mind went to “… When and where would I have caught any fish?!?” — quickly followed by “When was the last time I went fishing???”  And then it occurred to me what was going on.  I held up my tripod boom-mic horizontally and clarified to the man, “Microphone stand.”

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Various rifles taken off the streets by the Seattle Police Department

Now that all was right in the world, I moved on to the library doors where I ran into Tom.  Later that day he was scheduled to present one of his various engaging topics, speaking on how Whidbey Island is changing from a financial perspective — he had just loaded in.

We said our hellos and started walking toward Meg’s Kingerfisher Bookstore to record the podcast.  Along the way I began telling him about the fishing-pole / mic-stand confusion that had just taken place in the parking long.  We shared a chuckle around this and then I told Tom some of my mic-stand-confusion history.

home_security_targetsI commonly say that I half-grew-up on Whidbey Island.  This is the truncated way of expressing that I grew up in what used to be part of north Seattle; my family frequently visited my grandparents, and I was here so often I understood this as my other home*.  My last four abodes before moving full-time to Whidbey were apartments in Shoreline.  I play Highland bagpipes, and practicing my instrument in apartments in America tends to be IMPOSSIBLE!  My strategy was to check with local churches to see if I might use their space when it was otherwise unoccupied — in exchange I offered to perform for certain church services.  Two churches took me up on this and the relationship proved to be mutually beneficial.  In other words, I got practice space and they got a guy who called the cops on a few thieves.  Lovely, huh?  It’s one of myriad things do not miss about living in Seattle.
(*Beyond that I’m not getting into the proprietary thing that exists here on the island about whos-who and whats-what with how long you have/n’t lived on the island and blah-blah-blah — I could be from far worse places, and let’s leave it at that.)

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Full semi-automatic tripod mic stand

The recording equipment I use for making WOWI is gear I gathered for my existence as a musician.  One day, as I was walking to a church I used right on the Seattle / Shoreline city lines, I was stopped by a cop.  I was en route to the church with my pipe case and recording gear when he parked in their driveway and came toward me.  The long & short of it is that apparently some concerned citizen called the police about someone fitting my description walking around with a rifle.  Suffice to say, I think my mic stand is pretty decent quality but I am yet to learn what caliber it is.

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“And this … this is my BOOM STAND!!!

In the Seattle-area apparently mic-stand = rifle.

On Whidbey Island … mic-stand = fishing pole.

Eh… I can live with that!


Tom’s author page on Amazon

Don’s author page on Amazon

Seeing Into The Future …

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The main floor of Kingfisher — the steps to the basement are behind the red velvet rope …

This past Monday afternoon Tom and I previewed the future expanded floor space at Kingerfisher Bookstore.  Proprietor and all-around-awesome-lady, Meg, gave us permission to record our first indoor-off-season at-a-business podcast in the basement of her historic building in Coupeville, WA.

The upcoming additional space is going to double the display space for Meg and Kingfisher — and as a fellow book-lover I couldn’t be more EXCITED!  Meg also has vision of using this space for author readings.  There is a giant door that opens to the cove on the back wall of the basement, and Meg has even imagined these readings to include audience members listening in on the bows of their boats.

So why were Tom and I spending time in the basement?  To record the latest podcast, of course!

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Available on Amazon and Smashwords

This past Monday Tom and I returned to our roots — just as with our first two WOWI episodes it was a discussion between Tom and myself.  Our focus was around my experiences now being one year into being a self-published author.  I’ve learned much — largely based on Tom’s knowledgeable coaching — and this is a topic that could easily supply a number of episodes …. which might explain why this turned out to be our longest recording to date (oops).  Maybe it wouldn’t have been as long had I been operating on a full night’s sleep and didn’t keep repeating myself …

Looking further into the future … it appears that Tom and I will be interviewing author and blogger Dan Pedersen.  With a new book soon to be released, talking with Dan promises to be interesting indeed!  Location TBA, recording on November 20th.

~ Don

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 7 – Don Scoby Bake Your Own Darn Good Cookies – first anniversary

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 2 – Self-Publishing and E-books

Now that the introductions are done (see episode 1), time to get into some details. Co-host Don Scoby recently self-published his inaugural cookbook, “Make Your Own Darn Good Cookies”. That’s a story and worth a celebration as authors know; but his experience was particularly educational because it happened as CreateSpace and Kindle became one. Yet again, the self-publishing industry changes.

Thanks to Don’s experience as a musician and an entrepreneurial baker he understands the practical aspects of production, presentation, sales, and basically running a business based on a creative product. The transition from writer to author is also the transition from introvert to extrovert, which he describes and balances well. Within the publishing world, he also describes why and how not to rely solely on Amazon, and the value of making personal contacts. “You’re an artist” also becomes “You’re a small business.” (And remember to keep that day job.)

Amidst the rest, we also talked about coffee rings, jets again, writers groups gathering around intersections, and if you closely you’ll hear sea gulls making dinner by dropping clams onto rocks. It’s Whidbey!

Writing On Whidbey Island (WOWI) episode 2 – Self-Publishing and E-books

WOWI episode 1 – Hello and Welcome!

Clack two rocks together. We didn’t have one of those boards they use for movies, but so it begins, and began. Welcome and hello to the first podcast episode of WritingOnWhidbeyIsland (WOWI), a show put together by Don Scoby and Tom Trimbath (me). Origin stories are in style, and this first episode recorded Don and I as we talked about who, how, why, where, and what inspired us to begin this series.

The who is easy: the rest of the writing community of Whidbey Island, and group that includes hundreds of writers, editors, producers, publishers, librarians, and bookstore owners. The how is keeping it simple. Thanks to Don’s equipment and skills we intend to record from a variety of locations up and down the island including the background ambiance (which in this case includes seagulls and F-18s.) Each episode will focus on one writer or aspect of writing, and don’t be surprised if the creative process leads somewhere else. The first two episodes are the two of us, so you know who’s doing the talking. Why is easy; we like the community and the island and think it all deserves yet another avenue and venue for continuing and advancing the conversation. Where is wherever we can, which for this episode was sitting on the low-tide rocky beach of Penn Cove and Coupeville. What inspired us was much of the above, but also some talks, classes, and presentations we’re conducted about modern self-publishing: print-on-demand and ebooks. (Click on the link to the captured livestream of one of the events – Self-Publishing from Inspiration to Publication.)

If you want to learn more about us, check out this blog’s About page.

Listen in if you want to hear more about writing, the process, the failures that aren’t failures, the balancing of extrovert and introvert, and some of our background stories. Besides, listening in leads to hearing about robot unicorns, I-beams on kayaks, and an ambiance punctuated by a low-flying F-18.

(WOWI) episode 1 – Hello and Welcome!

 

Don on pipes. Tom listening and waiting to begin the presentation.