Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bye Bye Bookfest II: Valley Bookfest

Even dogs (both real and stuffed) enjoyed the Valley Bookfest.

The August 26 Valley Bookfest at the Roanoke Public Library was old home week for a few of us from the Franklin County Book Festival. Jim Morrison, who’d led the FC panel about writing memoirs, presented “Bedford Goes to War: The Heroic Story of a Small Virginia Community in WWII.” Fred First and Colleen Redman joined me on the Local Authors panel, which also included my Lake Writer buddy Sally Roseveare, who’d attended the FC fest.

Before the fest began, I chatted with chick lit author Ellen Byerum (Raiders of the Lost Corset) who was doing a “Crimes of Fashion Workshop” that was the same time as Nancy Beasley’s presentation. I really wanted to hear both, but I picked Nancy.

I first met Nancy at the 2004 James River Writers Conference and met her again when she spoke at Ferrum College soon after Izzy’s Fire was published. Because I’d enjoyed her book so much, I wanted to hear her again. Her presentation, “Finding Humanity in the Holocaust,” was enhanced by a slideshow featuring actual pictures of the people she’d written about.

I was torn between the next two presenters, but Jim insisted I was already familiar with his book (Bedford Goes to War) and that I should see someone else. HelenKay Dimon, a divorce lawyer/romance novelist was wonderfully entertaining and informative as she told how she’d gotten her first novel published. Even the service dog attending her presentation seemed interested. While I’m not a romance enthusiast, her work sounds like something I’d enjoy.

Lunch, which the library had generously provided, was wonderful—especially the chocolate fountain! At lunch and afterwards, I chatted with the three Valley Writers who came to support the bookfest.

After lunch, I attended two other presentations—the slides of wildflowers in Leonard Atkin’s “The Beautiful Blue Ridge” were indeed beautiful. Then we “Local Authors” talked about our self-published books. I counted 13 in the audience, more than some presentations had. I didn’t use any of the questions that I’d pre-answered in an earlier blog. Fred went first and packed a lot of info and reading into his 12 minutes. The next guy—who’d arrived during lunch, moved Sally’s and my books aside so he could have half the table to set up his laptop and to fan out his books instead of stacking them as the rest of us had done—went way over his allotted time. Consequently, I shortened what I was going to say and didn’t read any excerpts. Colleen (The Jim and Dan Stories) was next, then Sally (Secrets of Spawning Run). Both kept to the allotted time and read entertaining excerpts.

It’s a shame that local bookfests are so lightly attended. Why don’t more folks involved with the written word—members of writers’ clubs, book clubs, etc.—turn out to support bookfests?


Anonymous colleen said...

I tried to get that dog meets dog shot but it was over before I could pull out my camera.

I shortened my talk considerably too! Joe said I only went 6 minutes! It was a little unbalanced!

12:46 PM  

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