On Sunday, January 24th, I took part in the A Movable Feast event, hosted by Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I had been invited to participate back in July or so, and had been very eagerly anticipating the event since then.
Described as “speed-dating with authors”, attendees were seated at one of several round tables, and each author would sit at a table for ten minutes, talk a bit about their book(s) and themselves, and then take any questions the attendees had. Then, after ten minutes, the authors got up and moved to another table, and started over. Many of the tables were book clubs looking for future picks, and many others were just avid readers from the community. Books by all the authors in attendance were for sale, and we were available to sign them after the event had concluded.
In short, I had an absolute blast at the event. I love talking to readers, and talking about books and writing – it’s one of my favorite parts of this job. The readers I spoke to all asked such wonderful and interesting questions, and were so engaged with what I had to say. Several of them had been very much looking forward to speaking with me, which was extremely flattering!
Too, everyone at the Bookmarks organization was just wonderful, so happy that I could make it and so helpful and welcoming. Not to mention that the hotel they booked for me and the other authors – The Brookstown Inn – was one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. My room was gorgeous, and huge! It was a little tempting to just stay in and hang out in the room, haha! 🙂 But in all seriousness, everyone at Bookmarks was just lovely, and I will take part in another event with them any time that they ask me.
It was also nice to meet so many other authors, and authors of all different kinds of works: memoir and women’s fiction and historical fiction, etc. I was definitely the newbie of the group, so it was very interesting and helpful to listen to the experiences of other authors when I got a chance to talk to them. They were all wonderful to me as well!
Then, of course, I did lots of book shopping. I only just fit all the books I bought into my suitcase to take home with me, but fit them I did! It was a heavy suitcase to drag around, but I HAVE NO REGRETS.
Of course, getting to and from North Carolina in January couldn’t be without its issues, but for once it wasn’t Buffalo that was the problem! You may recall that that was the weekend that Winter Storm Juno pummeled the East Coast, and for a while it didn’t look like I was getting to the event at all. My original flight there was canceled the Thursday before the event (it connected in Philadelphia, which of course was one of the hardest-hit cities). I was frantically emailing with the kind folks at Bookmarks most of the day Friday, trying to see if the event was still being held and if transportation from the airport could still be arranged even if I could find another flight. In the end the airline put me on a much later flight for Saturday night that went off without a hitch. Then, of course, my flight home Monday – which connected in Newark – was canceled as of Sunday night, and so I had to spend a great deal of time on the phone trying to find another. Yet again I was able to be rebooked, and so even though the weekend was not without its travel stresses, I was able to get safely there and back! Many of the authors who were scheduled to be there couldn’t make it in the end due to airport closures and flight cancellations, but there were enough of us there that it could go on ahead, and I’m so glad it did. It was truly a wonderful experience, and I’m so glad and thankful that I had the opportunity to participate. And hey, selling a few books never hurt either! 🙂