I have been trying to get caught up with blogs, book chapters, and marketing eBooks. Shortly after the Kentucky Book fair I went to stay at my son’s home for a couple weeks and recuperated after a minor surgery. Before I knew it Thanksgiving had come and gone. So I am just now getting a chance to write about our experience in Frankfort at the Kentucky Book Fair.
First of all, what an honor to be invited and seated in a room full of authors like Wendell Berry, one of my favorite writers. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary McDonough, who played Erin on The Walton’s. She stopped by our table and greeted me on her way to the back. New York Times best-selling author Sharon McCrumb was there, Jacinda Townsend’s, Bobbie Ann Mason, Cheryl Della Pietra, and many other authors who are very well-known for their craft. However, I guess the authors that I came to admire most were the ones that were seated around me.
It was an absolute pleasure to meet P. Anastasia and sit beside her for two days soaking up all her marketing wisdom. She had lovely simple ideas, such as using a fun florescent marker to sign a book with. If you are a Young adult or love Science fiction, you must pick up a copy of her trilogy which starts with book one, Fluorescence: Fire Starter. It was great to see an old friend from a previous book event. Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr. is a lawyer, teacher, biologist, writer, guitarist, and recently an actor living on his family’s old farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He is always inspiring and full of humor. One of his book’s that’s popular is titled Cosmos the Stellar Stalker. You can find him on Amazon.
I was also excited to meet a new and upcoming author named Lauren Brandenburg, who like me, writes faith based books and she was able to share some great tips and advice both days with me. Her trilogy is called Boone. Book one is Boone: The Ordinary (The Book of the Gardener.)
And then there was a very beautiful young lady to the left of me who seemed to light up like a strand of bulbs each time a person stopped by her table. If Elizabeth Fannin Crowe’s book is as captivating as her smile she will sell a million copies! Her book is titled The Proving. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games, you will love this story.
Of course there are always people you meet expectantly, the ones who for whatever reason are placed across your path, and that leaves me with my next two introductions. While eating at the hotel lounge on Thursday night, my husband and I decided to step outside and look at the adjoining shops and store fronts. I was on my scooter and still weak. We were assured that the doors were unlocked and we could come and go. So as our food was being prepared we went for a stroll and then went to enter the hotel again, but found we were locked out. There was no way to get back in without going down a couple flight of steps and enter all the way around through the hotel lobby area. With me in the scooter, there was no way for me to get down the stairs and so about the time my husband decided to leave me there and open the door a very kind soul appeared and offered to do that for him.
I am not going to mention this person’s name because I feel they are quite private, but I must say it was such a pleasure to get to know him. He had a great sense of humor, acting as if he was leaving us in the cold, waving with a smile. He asked what brought us to the hotel and where we were from and the next thing we knew we were in deep conversation about Walter the Homeless Man, family, friends and the journey we all take in this life. I felt led to take this kind man’s hand and pray some encouraging words over him. As I was finishing a woman appeared. She had an enchanting accent and a beautiful smile. Her name was Julia. She said, “Were you guys just praying here in the lounge? I love it!” she boomed and laughed and shared. I asked her if she was an author and sure enough she was. Julia Smethurst had just landed in KY all the way from England. It was so great to run into this native Californian at the book fair. Her table was one the cleverest I’ve seen. It was adorned with colorful knitted chicken hats for the little readers of her picture book called Finclucky from Kentucky. Here is a description.
“Finclucky from Kentucky is the story of a chicken, his banjo, and a barnyard full of animal friends who form a band. Even the farmer, who is always working, joins in to enjoy the rhythm-and-blues played by Finclucky and his friends. Some folks say the blues were first played in the deep South, but those who read Finclucky will know the truth behind the music.”
Friday was a slow sales day for me, but Saturday was good. We sold over thirty books. I was thrilled that several ladies picked up my novels for their book club of the month and several invited me to come and meet with them. I also was invited to a radio show in Lexington and to a small locally owned book store for signings.
I want to thank my friend and mentor Dr. Jo Zausch. Jo was able to help me polish up my baby (Jade) in time for the fair. She also made the road trip to see me. I would also like to thank my friend and mentor Charlie Manning for breathing new life into Ellen cotton and other characters. And of course, I must thank my husband who supports my books and holds me up when I am ready to collapse, both physically and spiritually. All and all, I am blessed to have had this experience and hope I am invited again.