So Fest of Books - Wrap-up!

Hubbie and I scooted on up to Nashville for the Southern Festival of Books on Saturday. I've spoken at this festival several times now, and it's one of my faves. Happily, we got there early enough to say 'hi' to Betsy Bird and Julie Danielson who were there to talk about their new book, WILD THINGS (I featured them recently on my blog). And we were there on time to see Susan Eaddy and Julie Hedlund talk about their latest creation, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN. (I featured them when they started their journey on Kickstarter HERE.)

I also saw John Rocco and Kristy Valiant speak! I'm a huge fan of John's work - interviewed him HERE and HERE. And I've been rooting for Kristi since before she was published - so nice to finally meet her in person! I interviewed her HERE and HERE.

     The weather was horrible and I didn't pack well for it - pah! So, it was nice to see there were still large crowds and my peeps at the SCBWI Midsouth tent were all smiles. I LOVE my Nashville peeps!!!
     That evening there was a lovely party for all the invited authors and illustrators to mingle and chat. Here was my gang: Susan Eaddy, Julie Hedlund, Eugene Yelchin, John Rocco, and moi:

Afterwards, several of us met up at Susan's house for a casual barbecue among children's book peeps. Her hubbie, David (also an artist) even broke out the champagne to help celebrate all our latest successes (book sales, awards, new releases)! Here we are having one of those magical, wish it could go on forever, sort of evenings: (in front) Casey and Kristi Valiant, (in back from left) Susan, David, Julie Hedlund, Me, Mary Uhles, and Jessica Young (Stan is behind the camera).

     Truly, that was a special night!
     The next day Stan was able to catch Vicky Alvear Shecter talk about her latest books, POMPEII and HADES SPEAKS right after Kimberly Cross Teter talked about her fascinating book ISABELLA'S LIBRETTO. (I had to meet with Sharon Cameron, author and moderator for my panel, which was right after.)

     I had the distinct honor of being paired with National Book Award Winner (and friend) Deborah Wiles (author of REVOLUTION, which is getting lots of Newbery buzz). She's supported me since the early days of my career, so it was so humbling and flattering to sit beside her and talk about A BIRD ON WATER STREET:

     Even the signing wasn't too painful this year - I had some very nice, interested readers ask me to sign books. One was a young boy, right about Jack's age. Gads, do I wish I could be a fly on his wall to see how he reacts to the book!

     It was late when we finally left, late when we stopped for dinner in Chattanooga (my old stomping grounds), and even later when we got home waaaay after dark. But it was all worth it.
     I love Nashville, I love my creative friends and my Midsouth family (I haven't even named half of them), and I ADORE finally meeting people in person who I've emailed with for years (there were a lot of them at this event). SUCH a treat!
     Thank you to Lacey Cook, Serenity Gerbman and all the volunteers for making this such a fantastic event, rain or shine! I'm always thrilled to come visit your neck o' the woods!


Kristi Valiant said...

Yay! What a fabulous weekend it was. I loved getting to hang out with you, e. Wish this could happen more often.

Mary Uhles said...

I agree that Saturday evening was magical. So great to see you again! Here's to next year;)

SusanEaddy said...

It was such a treat for me to be able to chatter to our hearts content about children's book STUFF! I loved meeting Kristi's kids and playing with them in the studio. And Elizabeth, of course YOU are always the life of the party!

John Rocco said...

Sorry we couldn't come to the BBQ afterwards, but Eugene Yelchin and I actually
scored front row/ center balcony seats to Loretta Lynn at the Grand Ole Opry! It was a hoot.

Julie Hedlund said...

What a nice roundup of a phenomenal weekend - no small part because I finally got to meet you in person Elizabeth! So. Much. Fun. And John - WOW! A hoot indeed scoring Loretta Lynn tickets. I enjoyed seeing you all and thanks again to Susan for hosting me!

SusanEaddy said...

Loretta Lynn! Front row seats!! Man, you two definitely scored the ultimate Nashville experience!

Elizabeth O Dulemba said...

No WAY John!! That is a once in a lifetime opportunity!!! Wowsa! :)

Jess said...

What a great weekend! I loved visiting old friends and seeing some wonderful presentations with my sweet 10-year-old date, who was inspired! Thanks for including me in the festivities! Happy fall, all!

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

It was wonderful--but too short as always! :-)