Friday, February 05, 2010

Authors, Authors Everywhere

I spent the day following authors around town. Not a bad way to pass a rainy Friday. I'm planning to write about each of these folks separately later, so just a quick overview right now.
The morning began at Bay High, where Tori Murden McClure kept a crowd of kids glued to her stories of adventure. She was one of the first two women to ski to the South Pole (they touched the marker simultaneously so they shared the honor), and she was the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean solo. Her book, A Pearl in the Storm, is the story of her experience, and of the life that led to it, and the meaning of that life in retrospect.
I caught up with Masha Hamilton at FSU-PC, where she led a session on fiction writing. A former foreign correspondent who is now working with Afghan women to publish their writing, she is also an accomplished novelist. She discussed her approach to building characters and sustaining suspense, and she prompted us to write. Several members of the group read their work. (More on this in a later post, including my effort in the class.)
This evening was the "get acquainted" gathering for Books Alive staff, volunteers and guests. I finally got to meet Daniel Wallace, who I only had spoken to on the phone up to now. I found him to be charming and quick witted and just darn nice, and I look forward to being his chauffer and moderator tomorrow. Below is a shot of him joking with Karen Zacharias (left) and Patti Callahan Henry.
(Sorry about catching you all eating cookies, but unposed shots are always the best. Besides, you were all so happy at that moment.) I told Karen I had blogged about her book, and she had Debra take a picture of her and me, and said she was going to blog about that. Seems fair, I guess. One last shot: Kathie Bennett, publicist, and Janice Lucas, teacher, surprised to see me turn on them with the camera. Kathie represents several of the authors in this group, and has been a big help to me. I'm hoping we can do a project together soon.
It was a great time. I had some delicious turnip soup with pepper sauce, and lots of fun conversation. Saw some of my favorite people (Carole and Lee Lapensohn, for instance), but didn't get to spend enough time with them. I'm looking forward to Saturday. See you back here tomorrow night.
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