Hi, Winnie Griggs here. Just a few days ago I attended the Barbara Vey Readers Appreciation event and I’m still jazzed about what a fabulous time I had! This event does a wonderful job of focusing on and celebrating the readers, that marvelous class of people that we authors are so indebted to and enjoy getting to know better. There were 60 authors in attendance and over 420 readers, and getting all of those folks together in one room, well that was definitely a party in the making!
Today I thought I’d share a little of the fun I had with a pictorial post – (and keep reading for info on a giveaway!).
I got in Thursday evening and had a chance to decompress from a long travel day by mingling with the other authors who were also early arrivals. And, as often happens at these events, I had one of those great serendipitous, out-of-the-blue moments. I was chatting with the fabulous Tina DeSalvo and we discovered that we grew up in the same town, only a few miles from each other and graduated from the same high school (though several years apart). So I traveled all the way to Milwaukee to find a neighbor from my small south Louisiana hometown.
Then on Friday, a group of five authors – myself, Holly Jacobs, Sharon Sala, Liz Talley and Lenora Worth – sponsored an early bird event for those attendees who arrived early and were looking for something fun to do. It was a book title bingo game and we were all a little anxious to see how it would go over. It actually surpassed all our expectations! We had nearly 250 in attendance and from all accounts, everyone had a grand time! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of the event itself, but here are a few of the ‘getting ready’ shots.
Here is the giveaway table, holding lots of goodies for our attendees to grab. There was also a second table filled with books and tote bags, provided courtesy of our publisher, Harlequin. Those posters in the background were also provided by the folks at Harlequin and if you look closely you’ll get an early peak at the cover for my upcoming Sept. release, Texas Cinderella.
Here is a closer look at three of the covers along with fellow bingo mavens, Liz and Lenora.
And Here is a shot of the five of us kicking off the event.
Later that evening was the official kick off which was a Meet and Greet. The authors were asked to come up, one by one, introduce themselves, then pull a question from a jar and answer it. It was a bit nerve-wracking waiting to see what question you’d get, but I got lucky. Mine was ‘what author, other than those present, would you like to collaborate on a book with?’ My answer was the indomitable Maggie Osborne whose releases were on my auto-buy list and whose books I devoured as soon as I bought them. I still mourn the fact that she retired from writing.
Below is a picture of half of the author group, nervously waiting for their turn ‘at bat’
The next morning was the main event, the Saturday luncheon. Each author hosts a table that includes seven readers and the decorations and giveaways are marvelous to behold – it’s become informally known as table wars. My theme was Booklovers and here is a view of my table before the doors opened.
Just before the doors opened, we all gathered for an author group photo. (Can you spot me in the crowd?)
Then the doors opened and here is a shot of the fabulous ladies who sat at my table.
The luncheon was followed by a booksigning. Here is a shot of me with Jennifer, one of the lovely ladies I’m friends with online but don’t get to see in person very often.
There were fun and games later that evening, but I was having too much fun to get any pictures of that, I’m sorry to say.
The next morning there was a breakfast where again the readers selected an author to sit with, and while it was more low key than the luncheon, it was still a great opportunity to meet and visit with some wonderful readers.
And of course I couldn’t leave without getting a picture of me and the lady responsible for pulling this fabulous event together, Barbara Vey herself!
So there’s a very quick recap of a fabulous weekend.
And to celebrate, I have an extra one of those little Booklover bags I gave away at the luncheon and I would be happy to give it to one of you, along with the book of your choice from my backlist.
Simply leave a comment telling me if you’ve ever been to a reader luncheon and what you enjoyed most about it.
If you haven’t been to one, what would make it a can’t miss experience for you?