Wednesday, Laurel Snyder and I headed to Huntsville, Alabama for the Alabama Library Association's annual convention. Librarian Marnie Utz invited ten local authors to do "speed dating rounds" with school and public librarians. We got four minutes with each group. I've never talked about A BIRD ON WATER STREET so fast! What an adrenalin-inducing whirlwind! (It was actually a ton of fun.)
But we all needed some calm down time after it was over! So the gang of authors headed to Commerce Kitchen for a lovely lunch and to catch up with our buds. In the top photo we have Heather Montgomery, Sharon Cameron, Kristin Tubb, Courtney Stevens, Rae Ann Parker, and Beck McDowell.
In the bottom photo (and looking the other way down the table) we have Beck McDowell again, me, Donna Driver, Laurel Snyder, and Irene Latham. What a crew!
And I'll see several of them again when I speak at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee next fall. (I just found out - yay!)
Y'know, it was great to be in adorable Huntsville again. Last time I was there was for a school field trip to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center... I think I was twelve-years-old. You know you're in Huntsville when you come up over the hill and there's a rocket in front of you! We ate space ice-cream and they showed us video kiosks with phones and said, "Someday this will be so small you'll be able to carry it around with you." That got a good laugh.
I want to go back and visit the Space Center again!
Not to mention, the Huntsville Embassy Suites Hotel was one of the nicest hotels I've ever been in! (And I've been in a lot with this crazy career.) Laurel and I took full advantage of the salt water pool and hot-tub, great bar and actor/omelet-maker the next morning. If I ever need a writer's retreat, it's where I'm going!
Truly, it was awesome to connect with writing friends, some great librarians, and to share our latest books. When the timer dinged, one librarian looked at me pleadingly and said, "Please keep going!" Gotta luv that! I hope I get to see them again soon - maybe at their school or library!