Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Southern Festival of Books

Wooooo hooooo!!!! Back in the spring, my local authors and I applied to the prestigious Southern Festival of Books for a slot in their author presentations. The festival runs from Friday, October 8 through Sunday October 10, during which there will be a wide variety of books for sale at the booths of a multitude of publishers, including Sheaf House this year, plus author presentations and panel discussions. It all takes place at War Memorial Plaza in downtown Nashville.

Well, two of us were chosen, one of them being moi! And best of all, I’ve been chosen to do a solo presentation on Wind of the Spirit, with a book signing to follow! The presentation takes place from at noon to 1 p.m. at the Capitol Library. I’ll be talking about the American Revolution, of course, and about how I’m researching and writing this series. So I e-mailed my contact person to find out whether we could add a subtitle to my talk—Recreating the American Revolution—to make the topic of my talk clear, and it appears that’s doable.

This is a pretty big coup and hopefully will bring more attention to this series. Needless to say, in addition to being terrified, I’m pretty excited. I ordered special postcards shown here, which will have info about the American Patriot Series on the back, to hand out to attendees. I’m thinking about other materials that might engage the audience and how to promote it to attract attendees. I want to make my presentation as interactive as possible. If you’re in the Nashville area the weekend of October 8th, be sure to stop by the Sheaf House booth. And I’d love it if you’d join me for my presentation on Saturday the 9th to talk about the Revolution and the values this country was founded on.

I just got back from 4 days in Indianapolis at the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. I always dread these things, but it turned out to be the best one I’ve attended both as a writer and a publisher that I’ve ever attended. I had reservations about taking the time off and spending the money, but now I’m glad I did. I made contacts I needed to make, some of them serendipitous, and the continuing session I attended was incredibly helpful, exactly what I needed to break the mental block I’ve been struggling with in plotting Crucible of War. Now I can’t wait to get back into the manuscript and move the action forward.

It was also extra special nice to receive an award as the editor of A. K. Arenz’s cozy mystery, The Case of the Mystified M.D., which won the Carol Award. We don’t often get recognized for the work we do—don’t expect it—but that was kind of a grace note for me. I’ll admit it lifted me up and felt really good. And now I have a lovely plaque to hang on my wall too!

All in all, it’s been a great couple of weeks! I’ll share more about the festival and the progress I’m making on Crucible in upcoming posts, along with the tours Lori Benton and I took of Locust Grove in Louisville, Kentucky, and Rock Castle in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Which reminds me that the annual Daniel Smith Days celebration is coming up at Rock Castle this weekend. Hmmm . . . wonder if I can shake loose long enough to run back out there Saturday . . .