Fun at Durham’s Inaugural READ LOCAL Book Festival

Book festivals are a fascinating part of the writing life and each one I’ve participated in so far has had its own flavor and personality.  This past weekend I took part in Durham, NC’s inaugural READ LOCAL festival, and here following are a few pictures, observations and reflections:


Good friends and fellow authors Gretchen Griffith and Sandra Warren shared a table just down the row from me.  This is the second time our paths have crossed on the festival circuit, and it’s great to have familiar faces in a crowd of 60 exhibitors and 50 local authors.


Sandra delighted children with her Arlie the Alligator hats craft table.

Book industry professionals like my own publicist, Priscilla Goudreau-Santos, came out to strut their stuff.  She and Carin Siegfried, Nicole Ayers, Betsy Thorpe and Karen Alley are excited about a new collaborative called All About the Authors.  They have a new website in the making at or you can email questions to


The place was buzzing with area SCBWI friends, including John Claude Bemis, Clay Carmichael, and Louise Hawes on this “Writing for Young Readers” panel.


Festivals provide great ways to make new friends by sharing a table.  My table mates, Donovan Parker II and Monique Smith, were two of the four college students who have collaborated on a book of devotions called Being Perfected:  A Compilation of Daily Devotionals to Help You Stay Kingdom Minded.  It was inspiring to meet such industrious young writers.


A unique twist for festivals and a new experience for me was hearing an excerpt of my work read by a “celebrity” author, Mary Lambeth Moore, whose own debut book is Sleeping With Patty Hearst. We ended up swapping books and I can’t wait to dip into hers which she said bears some similarities to Crazy!


Fellow authors, I have to tell you that sales aren’t always the best take-away at festivals, but the time is SO well spent in networking, seeing old friends, and making lots of new connections.  I commend the organizers of this inaugural event, and I predict it will only get bigger and better as it rolls along.


Fun at Durham’s Inaugural READ LOCAL Book Festival — 3 Comments

  1. Yes, fun and informative. Next time I see you we can take up our conversation about sales tax. I can see I still have a lot to learn!

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