HAPPY SAMHAIN too!
Yesterday I drove out toward Skyline Drive, enjoying the bursts of color along the way, to get to Waynesboro, VA for the Book ‘Em event. Waynesboro is about an hour and a half from Richmond, depending on how fast I can drive around everyone else. There did seem to be more traffic than usual, perhaps folks out to view the trees, but I arrived with plenty of time to sample the donuts.
I met Catherine Coulter at the check-in table, and found some of my Chesapeake friends already at their tables setting up. I was sitting between Andrea Jackson and Monique Lamont with Marliss Melton and Mary Burton beyond us. Further down the romance row was Denise Jeffries and Crystal Bright aka Bridget Midway.
The day was full of great conversations between the authors as well as some entertainment from local youth. A couple of the singers could have been on American Idol! Jean Keating was there with her dog dressed like Sherlock Holmes plus there was a 3-legged dog that used to be part of the FBI’s K-9 unit. My parents came by, because Mom was dying to meet Catherine Coulter–Dad made sure to photograph the event. Mary Burton told me her first single title with Kensington will be coming out in December–I can’t wait!
After it all, the Chesapeake gang invited me to dinner with them at Applebee’s where we had quite a few laughs before zooming back east. At home I discovered that my son won 1st place in the Harry Potter costume competition! Sounds like he was up against Hermoine and Draco. No pics of that yet–they’re in an instant camera and have to wait to be developed–how old fashioned!
Before I let you go, remember to check out the News Page at www.sharalanel.com for my SPOOKY QUICKIE GIVEAWAY–Deadline–you guessed it–Halloween!
I used to fear wandering around on my own at a conference. I felt like I needed a friend at my side to have any confidence for meeting new people, but I’ve since discovered that exploring on my own has invited many more interesting folks and experiences into my life. This may seem terribly obvious to an extrovert who excels at remembering names, but for me…epiphany!
Like dancing at the After Party–I don’t need to sit at a table tapping my feet all night just because my friends prefer to. As soon as I heard Bon Jovi, I scooted onto the dance floor, found a group, and barely sat down the rest of the night. Eventually someone convinced Sherry Morris to dance too, and Alleyne snapped our picture.
I love the Jersey conference because I get to see my PA chums, like Kathy Kulig who received a basket of flowers for her first sale to Ellora’s Cave (her novella Seducing the Stones just came out, btw). It’s a short and cheap drive in my Prius, and I had the company of Donna Dalton. Our only dilemma came in MD when we were trying to find a bathroom–don’t believe those blue signs with the picture of a form or gas tank on them–they lie!
And I made some new friends, such as Aleka Nakis. I think it was Judi McCoy who introduced us. Aleka sat across from me during the bookfair where we practiced saying “The bathroom is thataway…” Okay, you had to be there to get that joke. Aleka gave me a sugar skull and the author sitting next to me gave me M&Ms. Happiness! She also had the sweetest Sony Vaio laptop…I want one! It’s one of those minis, you know, that weigh under three pounds. You could practically tuck it into your purse. Okay, some women’s purses, at least. I also met the ladies from Crescent Moon, a new epublisher set to open in 2008, I believe. They treated me to a glass of wine in their suite where we tortured Judi who was just trying to sleep.
And, hey, I actually won something! A bookbag with books and a pink rubber duckie just for attending one of the workshops. My son’s now torturing me by squeaking the duck every time I turn around. The signing was successful, and I thought my pitch to an agent went well. Hopefully she did too! And everyone of my Martians found a new home…yeah, my little Martian toys with The Men on Mars book cover attached.
Watch for me this weekend at Book ‘Em in Waynesboro, VA, and don’t forget to visit my News Page for my Halloween giveaway!