Southern Festival of Books Wrap-up
This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking to an audience at the Southern Festival of Books in downtown Nashville.
I've been to this festival twice before (although it had been a few years) and I always love it. Not only are you surrounded by all the cool things that are Nashville (music everywhere), but I have a lot of writer friends in that area - home to the Midsouth Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Hubbie and I drive up so that we can stop and see my old house in Chattaboogie, Tennessee and eat lunch at the River Street Deli. It's a mini-homecoming on the way through. Then we get to hang out and catch up with my Tennessee friends, many who were working the SCBWI tent. (Also had dinner with Susan Eaddy and her hubbie on Friday at Tin Angel—so fun.) I love Tennessee!
Saturday at 11:00 (great time!) I shared my picture book, LULA'S BREW (Xist Publishing), with an enthusiastic group. We read, drew pictures, and talked a bit about some of my other books. (My publisher, Little Pickle Press, sent me some great bookmarks to share for my upcoming debut mid-grade historical fiction, A BIRD ON WATER STREET—Stan handed them out like candy!) Although for this trip, it was mostly about witchies...
I noticed a wonderful thing among the people who came to hear me read LULA'S BREW (and have me sign a book)—most of them were already familiar with me. In fact, some of them emailed me before I even got there.
Connie had some questions about writing and illustrating picture books herself.
And one of my attendees was a budding artist. (I let her wear my witchie hat in the photo her dad took.)
I even had some distant relatives drop by - what a nice surprise!
One little attendee was even named Lula! She was all of 3-years-old, but I made sure she helped create a drawing on stage. SO SWEET!
Folks already knew about my coloring pages, they knew my website, they knew about the journey for LULA'S BREW (began as an app and was downloaded over 10,000 times). What a thrill that was! It would seem I'm developing some loyal followers, and I can't tell you how happy that makes me!
I also love Nashville. Music is everywhere. I mean, this is something you just don't see in Atlanta...
After my stage gig, we went to B.B. King's Blues Club. We heard some FANTASTIC live music and it was the perfect place to unwind. (Trust me, you get a little wound up being a witch on stage for an hour.)
Then we headed back to the festival to enjoy friends doing their engagements. Morgan Keyes and Kristin O'Donnell Tubb talked about writing quests. Then Jessica Young shared her new picture book, MY BLUE IS HAPPY. There were some great folks I wanted to see on Sunday too (such as Barney Saltzberg, Terra Elan McVoy, Rick Riordan, etc.), but we had to head back to the ATL.
All I can do is hope the kind folks at Humanities Tennessee invite me back. Because they sure know how to throw a good party!