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.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Hanover Bookfest 2009

Well before daylight this morning, I was on the road to Mechanicsville for the annual Hanover Book Festival. By the time I reached Lynchburg, dawn was breaking. Traffic was unusually light. On Route 60, for instance, I drove miles without seeing another car.

I arrived at the Mechanicsville VFW hall in plenty of time to set up my display and was greeted by helpful volunteers and festival organizer Joanne Liggan. My theme was down-home and folksy, since that's what most of my books are. My table cover was the quilt I found at Goodwill.

Beside me was the display for the Virginia Writers Club, which Linda Layne set up. Linda, is also the head honcho of Cedar Creek Publishing, the publisher of Ferradiddledumday, so we were able to discuss plans for the book, which is now scheduled for a mid-January release.

Is the poster she made for my book cool, or what? I love it!

Linda is also in charge of the Young Virginia Writers Club, so she had plenty of goodies for teens who stopped by and signed up.

While the authors manned (womaned?) our tables, entertainment happened behind us—a magician, jugger, unicyclist, etc. The small children—and some of the adults—were fascinated. In another room, kids read to dogs, agents talked about submission, and writers conducted workshops.

Jim Gaines, the president of the Virginia Writers Club, stopped by and chatted with Linda, June Forte, and me.

Besides chatting with folks I already knew, I handed out my business cards to a lot of authors and readers I hadn't met before. One of the other authors I'd met several years ago, Judy Bandy, introduced me to her niece, Wendy Davy, a romance novelist who's written a book set at Smith Mountain Lake (only her publisher made her change the lake's name to something else).

Now, here's what's weird: her cover illustration looks just like how I picture one of the imaginary places (La Maison Grande)—in Sally Roseveare's latest book.

When Wendy visits SML, she stays only a few miles from me.

Small world, isn't it?



Blogger Kathy said...

What an exciting and worthwhile event! Wish we lived a little closer. I hope you made lots of contacts.
PS Our youngest attended college at Lynchburg.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Faris said...

A unicyclist at a book festival? Now that's something I've never seen!

8:56 AM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

The bookfest's theme was "Books are Magic." The unicyclist also did some magic tricks.

10:31 AM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Looks more like an expo! Glad you had a nice time.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Betsy Ashton said...

And now for the big question. How many books did you sell?????

5:43 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

Only a couple (plus I traded a few), but I was paid to do the workshop and received free table space. I noticed some people around me who didn't sell any books and who paid for their space, so I can't complain. I gave away a lot of business cards, talked to a lot of people, and made some new contacts. Plus promoted the next book.

I've never sold many books at bookfests. I sell a lot more books at readings and speaking engagements. But bookfests are still fun.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Sally said...

Sounds like you had a great time. I really like the poster Linda Layne made for your book! And the house on Wendy Davy's book really does look a lot like La Grande Maison would look! Very interesting.

8:41 PM  

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