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Monday, October 19, 2009

Georgia Literary Festival


Saturday I trucked on up to Rome, Georgia for this year's Georgia Literary Festival put on by the Georgia Center for the Book (of which I am now a board member).
     If you've been down south you know how wacky the weather has been lately and Saturday was no exception. It was windy, overcast and cold! It definitely did a number on attendance, but it was still wonderful to go.
     Local volunteers had made a smorgasbord of goodies for the authors to enjoy in the hospitality area and the escorts (thanks Tony!) and stage managers (thanks Virginia!) were wonderful all day long. I spoke in the children's theatre room at the new library (what a GREAT facility!) and while the crowd was small, everybody seemed to really want to be there. (Heck, I'll take quality over quantity any day.) So we had a good time. I read Paco and Soap and drew a rubber duckie and a cow (yes, this is my job - stop giggling).
     Afterwards I went to sign and was thrilled to see the scads of my books Barnes & Noble had ordered - even a book I thought had gone out of print: Haley and the Big Blast! It made me wonder if the book buyer was the same I'd met during the Cedar Valley Arts Festival two years ago. I had to go say 'hi'... Sure enough it was Kris.
     Like I've said so many times, whether it's an indie or a chain, a dedicated bookseller can make such a difference in their community and Kris is obviously one of those people. She is connected and involved and is therefore an absolute pleasure to work with.
     I also got to meet some fellow authors: the infamous Terry Kay (what a nice man - I hope to get the opportunity to talk to him more another day); Lynn Coulter (a long-time SCBWI comrade); Lauretta Hannon (author of The Cracker Queeen and a total hoot!); Akbar Imhotep (storyteller); Natalie Jones (storyteller); Virginia Willis (author of Bon apetit Y'all); and Anthony Grooms (author).
     Thanks to Ray Atkins, this year's committee chair, for putting together such a charming event, to Bill Starr of the Georgia Center for the Book for his continued and much-appreciated support, and to Rome for the warm welcome. I hope to return soon!

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