25 July 2008
So in this strange new cyber world of ours, I have so many friends, good friends, who I've never met in person. My friends are scattered all over the country, even around the world. (It's heck for throwing parties!) So, it's such a treat when I finally get to hang out with them in person.
The last two days I had just such an opportunity when Kerry Madden wrapped up her book tour for the third book in her Maggie Valley Trilogy, "Jessie's Mountain."
Kerry and her daughter Norah joined me at the family cabin where we picked blackberries, talked about Appalachian Folklore, talked about how our worlds merge in so many places, how the mountains pull at us both like a magnet we can't resist. Basically, we talked our fool heads off. It was so great.
Thursday we took a quick tour of Copperhill, Tennessee - the site of my first novel. My favorite little old lady (doesn't act it) and well-spring of knowledge for my books, Doris, met us for B-B-Q. Norah got to straddle the famous line with a foot in each state. (I discussed the politics surrounding that line during the recent Georgia draught here.)
Then we headed to FoxTale Bookshoppe down in Woodstock, Georgia (what a cute town!) where Kerry had the last visit of her tour. And what a send-off it was! She had an enormous crowd of talented and focused kids show up for her workshop. Jackie, Karen, and Ellen (store owners) obviously have a very close relationship with the children and families who gather in their store. It just had that tangible vibe - y'know how some bookstores do?
Kerry played the CD of her main character's songs (Livy Two), put to music by her unbelievably talented sister-in-law, Tomi Lunsford. I dare you to go listen and not be swept away to a simpler time...
Anyhow, we headed to a small coffee-house to unwind afterwards. There, I checked my cell phone for messages...
212 area code? That's New York. That can only be one person - my agent!! "CALL ME!!" she says. Oh GADS!! Yup - she had some GREAT news which I will share in detail soon! Just leave it to say I couldn't have been with better friends when I made that call. Kerry, Norah and I squealed together and split a brownie!
And then my lap-top started fritzing out.
It's been proven many times in my life - when I experience extreme emotion - the electronics around me tend to . . . explode. Sometimes literally. When Kerry's laptop started acting up too, we decided it was real and we'd better keep me away from her laptop ... and the espresso machine!! Gads.
Anyhow - Kerry is the most amazingly warm, wonderful, talented person, and her daughter is a fairy in disguise. What a wonderful, and all too short visit.
Learn more about Kerry and her books at KerryMadden.com.