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 www.allabouttheauthors.com or you can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.