let's get together real soon! View in browser 

Mixed Metaphors

October 2023

news & musings from Autumn Konopka

In this newsletter.

SPOILER ALERT: There's some exciting stuff here, but absolutely nothing about running.

    This Month's Big News

    • Save the Date: December 10th Launch Party!!!
    • Ratings, reviews & requests, Oh my!

    Updates, Announcements & Invitations

    • A few other events that might interest you.
    • A funny little blog post I wrote about open mics.

    Distractions & Delights

    • Pheidippides in the wild
    • NaNoWriMo is coming!

    Final Thoughts

      • Gratitude, featuring the Philadelphia Eagles

      author's note


      It's October, so this is the time when I'm supposed to open the newsletter with a seasonal pun about my name. Right? 

      How 'bout I don't, though. 

      Sure, I love a good pun -- but all those Hello Autumn, Autumn blessings, and Autumn is my favorite color signs just remind me that I spent my entire childhood searching desperately for things with my name on them, to no avail. 

      You know those souvenir keychains, license plates, Christmas tree ornaments, and street signs? Well, I didn't find one of those with my name till I was 40.

      And, yes, you bet your ass I bought it. 

      But, I digress... 

      Or maybe not. Because lately, at least sometimes, I see my name in random places and it actually is about me. 

      Now that Pheidippides Didn't Die is out in paperback (have you gotten yours?), I get the delight of seeing that very book on social media, in Little Libraries, and even in stores (okay, just one store so far, but still it's something). 

      The other delight I get, now that the book is released and all the preorders have shipped, is celebrating with a proper launch party. So, mark your calendars. On Sunday, December 10th, we're gonna celebrate -- all of us. So, keep reading -- you'll find the details below -- because this party (just like this season) isn't about me: it's about you and all the support, encouragement, and enthusiasm you've shown to me and this book over the past year. 

      I couldn't have done it without you!

      required reading

      This Month's Big News

      Did someone say party?


      Pheidippides Didn't Die Launch Party

      Sunday, December 10, 2023
      2-4 pm

      Indy Hall, Philadelphia

      I'll be sending an official invitation in the next week or so, and I really hope you can come out because we'll be celebrating the launch of Pheidippides Didn't Die Mac & Libby style -- with karaoke and a lovely rooftop view of the Philly skyline.  

      The event is free. I'll do a little reading, maybe a little talking about the book (but not too much). We'll have some low-pressure karaoke, and there'll be light food, adult beverages, non-adult beverages, raffles, giveaways, and general merriment. 

      If you've read the book, you know it's a solid R-rating, but the party will be strictly PG-13 because this is an all-ages, family-friendly affair.  (Otherwise, Rosie, my 11 year old, would never forgive me). I can't wait -- and I really hope you can be there!

      I won't wear the paper crown, but you can 100% expect to find me drinking out of a giant fake horn. 

      From party favors to personal favors...

      Hey  do you have 5 minutes to review Pheidippides on Amazon and/or Goodreads?

      If you already did, THANK YOU! 

      As of this writing, Pheidippides Didn't Die has a perfect 5-star rating on Amazon, and 10 wonderful reviews! 

      For an independent author, that's a solid start! And I owe it to all of you who have taken the time to share your kind remarks.

      But  if you haven't had the chance to review the book yet, I'd really appreciate if you did!!! 

      This process -- trying to promote my book & reach new readers -- can be daunting and exhausting, especially without the machinery of a big publishing marketing department or team of publicists. And reviews make a big difference. Not only do they give potential readers a glimpse of what the book's about and maybe convince them to give it a try, they might even help readers find the book in the first place. See, reviews help tip the algorithm in my favor, bringing Pheidippides Didn't Die higher in search results, thus showing it to more people.

      Plus, every new rating or review inspires me to keep going.

      A review doesn't have to be long or academic -- just a sentence or two about what you liked, what stood out, or what stuck with you. And if that feels like too much, just a quick star rating helps too. 

      advanced training

      More Updates, Announcements & Invitations

      Events, Events, Events...

      Instead of prepping for the Philadelphia marathon (which happens Nov. 19th), I've packed next month with a bunch of bookish events! If you're around, I'd love to see you for a reading, a signing, a chat, or even a quick hello.

      Featured Reading

      Thursday, November 9, 7:30pm
      Char & Stave

      8441 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia) 

      Elizabeth Lukács Chesla and I will both read from our debut novels at this rad new coffee & whiskey bar. Sort of a reprise of the successful event we held at Big Blue Marble on Indie Bookstore Day back in August. This time, we'll follow the reading with an all-genre open mic.

      Featured Reading

      Wednesday, November 15, 7pm
      Elkins Park Free Library
      563 Church Road, Elkins Park, PA

      I'll be reading as part of a bi-monthly poetry series hosted by my dear friend Steve Delia, but I'll be shaking things up by reading prose instead of poetry (shhh!! don't tell). The event is free, open to the public, and includes an open mic, so bring your own poetry to share (or prose, let's really have some fun!!).

      Book Signing

      Saturday, November 18, 2-5pm
      Capricorn Books

      605 West Ave., Jenkintown, PA

      Since I'm not running & I won't need to carb load or do a shakeout run, I'll be spending the day before the Philly marathon hanging out in this adorable local bookshop, signing books and chatting. If you're in the area, come on out and say hi, grab a copy of Pheidippides Didn't Die if you don't have one or maybe pick one up for a reader on your Christmas list.  

      And while we're on the subject of readings...

      Check out my latest blog post for the Mad Poets Society

      in which I offer some reflections on what it's like to read fiction in a domain that is basically owned by poets. 

      ...Have you ever felt an entire audience cringe, as they inwardly wish for your immediate spontaneous combustion? Step to a mic and say, 'I’m going to read an excerpt from my story…' The disdain is palpable.

      recovery run

      Distractions & Delights

      In case I forgot to say thank you:

      THANK YOU!

      Lots of you are sharing Pheidippides Didn't Die with friends, family, and followers on social media, and seriously, that's HUGE! I can't thank you enough. I am so inspired by the posts and pictures of Pheidippides "in the wild" -- on your coffee tables, in your hands, in your Little Free Libraries, and beyond.


      If you post a pic of Pheidippides in the wild, be sure to tag me -- @amkonopka on Instagram or @autumnkonopka.author & @pheidippidesdidntdie on Facebook -- and use the hashtag #pheidippidesdidntdie or #libbyandmac (if, like me, your fingers just refuse to type "pheidippides" correctly sometimes). 

      Oh, and just in case, here are my socials...

      If we're not friends yet, we totally should be!

      Speaking of social media & inspiration...

      Keep your eyes my Insta & FB feeds for November writing prompts! 

      November is National Novel Writing Month, so at least once a week I'll be posting a writing prompt to get those creative wheels turning. Don't worry: these aren't (necessarily) novel-writing prompts; they won't even always be novel writing prompts. (See, I told you I love a good pun.) These prompts will be good for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or whatever happens to be rattling around in your brain. 

      The first one comes this Wednesday, Nov. 1st! 

      I can't wait to see what youse come up with & share. 


      Final Thoughts

      She really hasn't mentioned
      a single thing about running?

      You're right, I haven't... and I have things to say about running, but just this once I'm going to talk about football instead.

      Just about a week ago, I watched the Eagles whoop ass on Sunday Night Football. I'm always partially amused and partially irritated by national broadcasters. First of all, they rarely give the Eagles their due respect, though I was pleasantly surprised by how complementary they were that night. (Then again, how could they not be? The Eagles have the best record in their conference.) 

      The other annoying thing the announcers do is focus on the same handful of Philly emblems -- namely cheesesteaks and Rocky. Broadcasters especially like to talk about Rocky's famous run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

      You know the one...

      If you're not from around here, you probably think those two things are all this place has to offer. (Well, that and grouchy/aggressive sports fans.) Hopefully, if you've read Pheidippides Didn't Die, you got a glimpse of Philadelphia that's at least little bit broader -- yes, gritty and in-your-face, but also absolutely breathtaking at times. 

      But when the announcers mentioned Rocky the other week, rather than thinking about all they didn't say, I smiled to myself and thought of a good friend who recently told me that training montage, ending with the run up the steps, is something he turns to for inspiration. I found myself feeling inspired -- and really, truly grateful that I can get in my car, or hop on a train, and run those steps almost any time I want, then take in that beautiful view of this city that I adore.  

      Then the Eagles really started dominating the Dolphins -- and I was even more grateful to be from Philly. 

      And now we've come full circle -- because that view I mentioned (well, not that one exactly b/c Indy Hall is on the other side of the city) is one of the major highlights of the December 10th launch party for Pheidippides Didn't Die

      So, don't forget to save that date.

      It's gonna be a great time & I'd love to celebrate with you.

      Till then, thanks for being here --

      Autumn Konopka

      [email protected]

      You received this email because you subscribed to my newsletter 
      or pre-ordered my book.