It's Sunday morning and I have another big day ahead which I really need to wake up for...
Saturday was HUGE. The crowds were unbelievable and constant.
My talk at Mingei World Arts went great. They set me up under a tent on the sidewalk outside the store with chairs and stools which filled up quickly. And people wandering by stopped to enjoy Paco as well. It started out like this:
I actually ended up with quite the crowd. Of course, these are the looks I shoot for, rapt attention:
There was also a bit of sombrero envy in the end:
I want to tell you a cool thing about Mengei and the reason I was so excited to speak there ... They have partnered with Libros Para Pueblos to create children's libraries in Oaxaca, Mexico. In fact, they just returned from helping set up the latest one. While there, they commissioned local wood carvers to create creatures from local folklore reading books. They are wonderful and available for sale at the store. Money raised goes to help these libraries. How cool is that?
Our CBAIS (Children's Book Authors and Illustrators of the South) is so perfectly located right in front of the children's stage and we remained packed with people throughout the day. We're giving away a free bag of books to a local school, so people were filling out raffle tickets like crazy. Teachers, Media Specialists and a Principal or two visited with LOTS of questions. Many asked how they could join. Others just bought books like crazy and had them signed if that author/illustrator was in the booth at the time. Comments of "Wow, he/she is local?" were heard throughout the day - our main purpose for organizing.
The five of us who created CBAIS have been blown away by the attention our group is getting. We've obviously hit a nerve. I'll share more news about our future soon...
And yes, that was our bubble machine that made it into the AJC along with fellow CBAIS member, Jamie Dodson's book cover in the background. (Click the image to see more DBF photos at the AJC website.)
The best part of the day came later though. I had the great pleasure of having dinner with Adam Rex (The True Meaning of Smekday, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, etc.) and Tony DiTerlizzi (Spiderwick, etc.)! How often to you get to dine with your heroes? They were both so friendly and easy - a complete joy.
Afterwards, Susan Spain and I headed over to the main Author shindig at the Court House where I once again hung out with Cheryl Klein, Kerry Madden, Adam Rex, Joe Davich (Georgia Center for the Book), and got to meet Rob Scotton (Splat the Cat and Russel the Sheep fame).
It's so inspiring to hang out with fellow creatives and discover that while they are real/normal people, they are also true artists with completely fresh and different ways of looking at the world.
Anyhow, I got home late, and I'm hurting now - I need more caffeine! So, until later...the DBF whirlwind continues!
Read Decatur Book Festival Kick-Off details here
Read about Friday here.
Read about Saturday here.
Read about Sunday here.