Monday, February 04, 2013

Books Alive 2013 Photo Post (1 of 2)

Morris & The Kretzers
Books Alive was Saturday. The 14th annual event hosted by the Bay County Public Library Foundation. As a volunteer, I was invited to the Friday evening gathering at the home of Frank Walker, the director of the Panama City Beach Library. (Debra wasn't able to make it, as she was still very ill with the head cold we both have been suffering from this week.) These photos are from that event, and the next post will include photos of the actual festival.

I was pleased to see my friend Jayson Kretzer and his wife, Heather, in attendance. Jayson is the guy I want to work with on a graphic novel adaptation of my "Book of Gabriel." They discovered they knew some of the same folks in Wewa as author Michael Morris, who asked me about my current project, which I have teased a bit on Facebook. Michael is a lyrical writer, and a gentleman. He hails from Perry and writes about the areas just east of here along the "Forgotten Coast."
Stone, McVoy, West

I met the authors Michel Stone and Jacqueline West at the party, but had already met Terra Elan McVoy earlier in the day; my friend Kathie Bennett (of Magic Time Literary Agency) had put us in touch when I asked Kathie if any of the authors she represents would like to visit my Education Encore class. Terra volunteered, and the class just loved her. She showed them a character-building worksheet she uses, and how to draw a character web. (She brought her mother, Heather, along to the class — and Heather bought two of my books on Saturday. Terra says she gets to read them when her mom is finished. I hope we can still be friends when she does.)

Morrison, Monroe
Michael and Mary Alice Monroe wanted a photo together, and I was glad to oblige. I had written an article about Mary Alice for the daily paper two weeks back, based on a looong phone conversation we had (and which Kathie again set up), and we had another long talk at the party. I was impressed by how she really focuses on the person she's talking to; I noticed her giving her undivided attention a few times that evening and the next day. She's a South Carolina conservationist and avowed "turtle lady," which I thought Marisa would have appreciated.

My Big Bald Head. Also, authors.

Michael also grabbed me to say that Janis Owens wanted to recreate one of her favorite photos from a previous Books Alive party, in which I held the camera out MySpace style and authors gathered behind me. Why not? So I did, and that is the result at left. Janis is the one with the giddy expression and clasped hands. She's so funny. I was glad that Michel and Mary Alice jumped in to participate. Last time, we had a rather unimpressed Jeff Shaara in the photo (or rather, his name tag. That guy is taaaaalll.)

Featured Authors (and Bettina)
Bettina Mead, the PR person for the library, asked me to take the annual "official" photo of the featured authors. That's what you see at the left. This photo kind of marked the end of the evening (although now that I think about it, I believe the picture above actually was taken after this one). Everyone was shuttled off to their overnight places, and I returned home to gather the things I would need for the next day.

It was very cool to meet some new-to-me authors, and to get to spend a few minutes with Michael and Janis and Kathie again, as well as the locals who support the event each year, like Frank Walker, who's always good for a joke or two. Kathie and Michael, in particular, made me glad I attended, as they had nice things to say about my work; that may come off as egotistical, but what I mean is that it's nice to be bragged on by people you admire in front of people you respect.
Better picture, with Janis literally propping me up as I squat.

...To be continued ...
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