For a video of the festival on youtube, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TGNKlX3qYY.
Yesterday was a great day for authors and readers in western North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Book and Author Showcase, after months of planning and preparations, happened! And what a happening it was. After heavy storms the days before, the morning arrived blessedly free of churning clouds, and by the time we arrived in Hendersonville, on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College, the day looked as if it might actually turn out to be a sunny one.
Inside the Technical Education and Development Center, Volunteers were ready to help participants and visitors at every turn. There were tee shirts for sale, lots of books on the display table, and the faces of writers I knew, like Vicki Lane, Gary Carden, Susan Reinhardt. And--- many more faces of those I didn't. Jeff Biggers, for example, whose presentation wowed listeners. I broke in line afterward to ask him how to get in touch with him in the future. Hey, just go to jeffbiggers.com
I sat dutifully at my author's table, which I shared with my friend and sister poet Marita Garin, enjoying conversation with passing readers, teachers and other writers, but I did steal away to take a few photos.
(Photo by Glenda Beall)
The morning visitors were enthusiastic, none more so than Glenda Beall, NETWEST's program coordinator, who rode over with us for the event.
Almost directly across from my book table sat Laura Hope-Gill, whose new book, The Soul Tree, will be published in a few weeks.
Nearby I found my friends George and Elizabeth Ellison, with a new book on display, High Vistas: An Anthology of Nature Writing from Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains (Vol. 1). This book too features Elizabeth's illustrations. The cover is beautiful. George is speaking to me in the photo below.
Booksales were handled by none other than Malaprop's, with owner and manager Emoke B'racz in fine form for the day.
I visited Keith Flynn's poetry presentation briefly before heading to another concurrent session, Sheila Kay Adams' program on Mountain story-telling and ballads.
Shela Kay lays a good story on us!
Afterward, with admirers from the audience.
In the afternoon I gave my reading and answered questions, after which I said hello to old friend and former UNCG MFA classmate, Robert Morgan, who was honorary Chairman of the festival.
(Photo by Glenda Beall)