Join me in Part 1 of our trip to the Alabama Book Festival this year, including a lovely trip on the Harriott II Riverboat! This was such a fantastic trip and I met so many amazing people. Montgomery is a beautiful city and I already miss it!
It’s already the end of April, can you believe that? And with the end of the month, I once again come bearing some positive news as part of the We Are The World Blogfest. If you want to find out more good things that are happening in the world, check out their Facebook page and look up today’s post. We try to link all our positive blog posts there.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of being a part of the Alabama Book Festival. One of my friends needed an additional YA author to be a panelist on their Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction panel, and I was more than happy to join in! (Look for that video coming soon on my YouTube channel!)
It was a warm day but there was a nice breeze, so when I arrived at my tent a couple of hours early, I was happy to sit down and listen to the panels that were held in the North Tent before ours. One of those panels really stuck with me.
Poets, Irene Latham and Charles Waters, discussed their latest poetry collection, “Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship”. One of the comments Charles made was about the Mississippi Book Festival. They take one day and bus in children from all over the district to come talk to the authors. As part of the event, every student is given a copy of the book – in this case, Irene and Charles’ poetry book was chosen.
Now let me clarify that their book is filled with pictures and is hard-back, complete with a slip cover protector. When the children got onto the bus, they were confused. What was the cover protector on the books? What were they supposed to do with them? That’s when the teachers realized that the children had never owned a hardback book like that before. Charles said when he told that story to the superintendent, the man cried.
The children had never owned or seen a book like that before. You never know, the gift of a book to a child may just open the world up for them.
I think one of the awesome things about being a local author and a co-owner of a small business is that you get the chance to be part of the kick-off for some awesome events. Last year we got invited to the 4th of July Family Fun Fest and that was one of the best events we attended last year. I not only got interviewed live on the local radio but I also sold copies to folks who would go on to be some of my biggest fans.
It’s like you get an preview into a place that you know is going to be filled to the brim in a couple of years. That’s how I felt at the First Annual Sewell Mill Storytelling Festival a few weeks back. They only had ten vendors for the event, and we were lucky enough to be part of it!
It was a small event, but since the center is attached to the library, you get to see all the excited kids who walked through. For the first year of it running, I was thrilled to see the turnout that we had!
Hope you enjoy my video (with a lovely cameo with Q)!
There’s something incredible about seeing your name on a hardback book.
I didn’t think there would be. I thought it would be just as amazing as having my name on a paperback or on an ebook, but it really is completely different. I think it taps into some childish excitement to hold something so strong and sturdy in your hands and to know that the book is filled with your words, your characters, and your story. It’s surprisingly difficult for me to describe it as an author.
It makes me think of being a kid and dragging my fingertips over the hardback covers of my parents’ home library. They are book collectors just like I am, and for as far back as I can remember we had a study in the house which used to be only for bookshelves, books of all shapes and sizes, and encyclopedias (until we got our first computer). Some of the books in there were from when my parents were children, series they just couldn’t bear to part with. When I wasn’t sure what to read next, I liked to browse them and see what I could find. As a kid, I had no worries about how old a story was or how new, how well known the author was or how unknown, all I wanted was a good story. I wanted a book to catch my eye and my interests. I liked the feel of hardback books the most, I liked how the covers had different textures and even smells.
I think that’s why when I first held a hardback copy of my debut novel, Stolen, in my hands, I got a little speechless. I think that’s why I got a little choked up. I never expected it, but moments like that tend to creep up on you, don’t they?
I hope you’ll enjoy watching my unboxing of my hardback copies of Stolen below! They’re now available to purchase at Barnes and Noble.