This past weekend I participated in the High Country Festival of the Book in my own little corner of the world - Boone, North Carolina.
And this is the woman who has been the force behind the first two festivals. Suzanne Thompson. She is a Wonder Woman!
She managed to get Rita Mae Brown to come as the headliner for the first festival last year, and Sharyn McCrumb for this year. Pretty cool, huh?
It's the first event I've participated in since I published "Whimsey."
And, let me just answer this question right off the bat - No, it was not a profitable day for me personally monetarily. But, I had just as much fun as I knew I would. Book events are just fun. At least they are if you're a lover of books. It doesn't matter if you read them, write them, publish them or all of the above - books and book people are just fun. And that's every bit as important to me as selling Whimsey was this particular day.
I got to chat with book people, I got to have lots of books signed, I got to buy some new books and I got to lust after a few rare books that I couldn't afford.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I had finally met an author I have read and admired for years, Phillip DePoy, at Malice. Well, he was a participating author at the High Country Festival of the Book and I was able to spend some time with him. I now have this enormous crush on him (although I'm sure he never noticed the stars in my eyes - surely not). The man is funny, smarter than your average bear, has done a lot of cool and extraordinary things, lived all over the world, is kind, a gentleman in the truest sense of the word, and just plain, in my honest opinion, sexy as all hell. And did everyone here know he's an Edgar winner? All this, and he is as down to earth and as unassuming as anyone I've ever met. If you haven't discovered his work yet, I urge you to get on with it!
here's a few photos of the festival - Enjoy!
Jamie Mason and Susan Tekulve
me and Ann Hite
Phillip DePoy, me, and Larissa Reinhart
Me and Erika Marks
Phillip DePoy, Gayle Trent, Larissa Reinhart and Maggie Bishop doing one of the best panels I ever attended
me and Gayle Trent
There was a super children's program
Two local heroes - Mr. Jack Pyle and Mr. Taylor Reese
and finally - my own personal hero.
She's going to kill me for putting her in the spotlight, but no one has done more for women writers in North Carolina than Dr. Miles.
Her own writing (which is divine!) oftentimes takes a back seat to her mentoring of others.
My first published piece was in an anthology Celia and Nan Dillingham (a brilliant North Carolina poet) edited. Clothes Lines. I am prouder of that piece and that anthology of almost anything in my life. To be included with the talent that is in that book isn't anything I'll ever forget. And then, by golly, she let me do it again in Women's Spaces Woman's Places.
Whimsey would never have happened without a few people who encouraged me - Celia Miles is one of those.
I'll never forget and I'll always be indebted.
She helps me every "writing day" of my life (not that she knows that) and she helps me every day of my "promoting life" (I never told her about the blog who refused to let me promote my Whimsey with them because it's self-published. Sadly, a lot of the people with this particular blog had been guests right here at Meanderings and Muses.). She would never ever understand that sort of thing.
Here's to Celia Miles - the most gracious, generous person I have ever had the honor of knowing.