The Decatur Book Festival was HUGE, as always! It's probably my busiest weekend of the year, and one of my favorites. Friends in the biz fly in from all over the country to talk about their books, and it's a nonstop party. Our SCBWI region (Southern Breeze - Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi) hosts a tent near the children's stage where we promote our local author's wares and it becomes home base for the weekend.
For me, the festivities began Thursday evening when I had the pleasure of hanging out with authors Kathleen Duey (Skin Hunger) and (my bud) Vicky Alvear Shecter (Cleopatra Rules).
Friday was our SCBWI Southern Breeze third annual ILLUSTRATOR'S DAY, which was awesome and will soon have a post all it's own.
It ran late, until about four, and afterwards several of us (the visiting speakers and organizers went to The Brick Store Pub to unwind, and then the organizers went on to the Iberian Pig (our fave restaurant) to unwind some more. Dang.
Saturday I awoke early to man our SCBWI booth first thing. Here are just some of the amazing creators we represented: (from the back, left to right) Peter Huggins (Trosclaire and the Alligator), Jan Godwin (She Sang Promise), Susan R. Spain (author of The 12 Days of Christmas in Georgia - I'm the illustrator), Jennifer Jabaley (Lipstick Apology), Donna Bowman (Big Cats and Did Dinosaurs Eat People?), and Moi with a copy of Soap, soap, soap.
We arranged all our members' books (wow, there are a lot) as we watched the parade arrive at the children's stage (right next door).
Since I was also on for the last shift, I hung out at the festival all day. For much of the time I enjoyed the company of David (D.J.) Steinberg, author of my dear friend, Liz Conrad's 'Ball' books, and the Daniel Boom and Loud Boy series. What a treat to feel reconnected to Liz through such a nice guy - if just for a few hours. (She passed away last year.)
Throughout the day, I enjoyed speakers like Shelia Moses (Joseph), Deborah Wiles (Countdown), Cinda Williams Chima (The Warrior Heir series), Kathleen Duey again, Vicky again, Nancy Werlin (Extraordinary) - all amazing writers to have in one place, and I'm proud to call them all friends.
I sold and signed several copies of my books while back in the booth then Donna Bowman (our Regional Advisor) and Robyn Hood Black, and I went to dinner at Parker's on Ponce. Can you say 'tired'?
But we weren't done yet. Oh no!
Sunday, hubbie and I were moving slowly but got to the festival just in time to see David Steinberg on stage with several other mid-grade graphic novelists. They were awesome together as they created a new super hero (Waffle Boy!) and villain (Evil Toaster Man!). Hilarious!
We listened to Laurel Snyder (Any Which Wall) and Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwick's).
Afterwards we helped pack up our Southern Breeze booth then went to chill out with illustrators Mark Braught and his wife Laura Knorr. But only for an hour as we had to meet more friends, Jessica Handler (Invisible Sisters) and her hubbie Mickey, at Eddie's Attic for one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen...
Can you imagine Marshall Cahpman and Rodney Crowell TOGETHER!!?? These two master bards read from their books, reminisced on their long friendship, and played amazing music. They made me laugh, they made me cry - honestly, I've seldom been so moved by a performance.
Finally, hubbie and I are home. Thank goodness today is a holiday as I doubt we'll have the energy to do more than roll bonelessly from one soft surface to another. What a weekend!
Update: More pictures coming in!
And it turns out PW (Publishers Weekly) was blogging our affair. (Thanks to Jessica Handler for letting me know!)