The Double WOW Plus Factor

Last week on Arts Sunday, I wrote about the upcoming Missy Barrett Adventures book launch for “Barnstormin’” at the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport in Sevierville.  Mentioned in last week’s article were the WOW and the WOW Plus Factors.  What I didn’t mention was that I had a Double WOW Plus Factor planned for this book launch.

What Was The WOW Plus Factor?

The WOW Plus Factor was the Official Certificate from the National Air Transportation Association (N.A.T.A.) naming Missy Barrett an honorary member for 2016.   That alone impressed children and adults, and got kids talking about how they could earn a certificate as well.

What Was The Double WOW Plus Factor?

It might be difficult to imagine a second WOW Plus Factor for a children’s book launch, but this book launch had that thanks to Marc Hightower (a real person) of Sky High Air Tours (a real business) who takes Missy and her grandpa for a ride in his 1927 Waco Straight wing biplane.

With the help of Marc and my book launch assistant, fellow author Thomas D. Taylor, I had a surprise in place that (if all went according to plan) would blow away the kids as well as the adults.

What Was The Surprise?

In the story, when Missy first meets Marc, he makes an unforgettable impression on her.  I wanted everyone at the book launch to have a similar moment to take away with them.

The Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport is a general aviation airport so pulling this off required precise split-second timing on everyone’s part.  While Marc awaited the cellphone call as he sat in his biplane, Thomas waited for the exact point in the book reading where he would give Marc the signal to begin his approach to the doors into the terminal.

Six pages into the book, one of the children noticed the biplane moving towards the terminal.  It wasn’t long before children were excitedly whispering about the biplane that was approaching.  All of them shared a special secret, and they were certain that I had no idea what was going on because my back was to the window looking out on the tarmac.

The Double WOW Plus Factor!

Then I read this paragraph in the story:

That’s when she saw him — the pilot from straight out of the movies, and he was walking towards Missy and her grandfather.  He had on a leather jacket and a silk scarf, just as she hoped he would, and in one hand, he had a leather cap and goggles. 

As I read those words, Marc strolled into through the double doors and into the lounge area where the book launch was taking place … wearing a leather jacket and a silk scarf, and in one hand, he had a leather cap and goggles.

The Impact

I’m sure you can imagine the punch that Double WOW Plus Factor packed!  Undoubtedly, this was instantly the most favorite part of the book launch as far as the kids were concerned, and it’s a given that they were going to talk about this exact moment at school the next day.

In that careful planning, each kid had experienced a moment that was identical to the moment Missy Barrett experienced in the book when she first saw Marc Hightower.

Final Note

Not every book launch or book signing can have a Double WOW Plus Factor but when the opportunity presents itself, take advantage of it.   Those opportunities are few and far between without a doubt.  That being said, choreographing it down to the last detail will leave a lasting impression with your audience.  It could even prove to be a pivotal moment in time for some.

In the end, what you want is for your event to be memorable in the best way possible.  It will definitely require a great deal of time and effort, but in the end, it will be worth everything you invested.

Elyse Bruce


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