GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) — A week ago, few people had heard of the book “Of Crowns and Legends” by Chelsea Banning. But now, after what she thought was an innocent Tweet, the book has become quite popular.
Chelsea Vandergrift Podgorny is a librarian in Girard and is originally from Howland. “Of Crowns and Legends” is her first book she wrote under the pen name Chelsea Banning.
“Of Crowns and Legends” is a fantasy novel set in 5th-century England. It was published in August.
At her first book signing event last Saturday in Ashtabula, hardly anyone showed up.
“I had told the bookshop owner to expect a pretty decent crowd and felt a little embarrassed,” Podgorny said.
But because of a Tweet she posted, a lot of important people now know about her book.
“I felt like I just needed to vent into the void because I don’t use my Twitter much, and I didn’t think anyone would see it,” Podgorny said. “It wasn’t until Sunday night that I looked at my Twitter notifications and saw these big names!”
Big names that included bestselling authors like Stephen King and Jodi Picoult.
Others, such as Margaret Atwood, chimed in with, “Join the Club. I had a book signing to which nobody came except a guy who wanted to buy Scotch tape.”
And Henry Winkler said, “That is the beginning…then word gets out and they come!
NPR was the first to call Podgorny for an interview, followed by USA Today and the BBC.
“And ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’ reached out to me. This is insane. I can’t believe it,” Podgorny said. “It was just pure luck. I guess I just tweeted at the right time and the right place.”
Her original comment was retweeted 3,200 hundred times — there were 3,900 comments and 78,000 likes.
“I feel very, very lucky and very fortunate. It’s very heartwarming,” Podgorny said.
Podgorny was hoping to sell 300 copies. Her dream goal was to sell 1,000.
“As of this morning, I had 3,727 sales altogether,” she said.
Podgorny has another book signing scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, at the Girard Library.