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"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Apr 6, 2023

The Second Annual Conversations with Area Authors

Exactly one year ago, at the conclusion of the first on-stage authors' event, my co-producer and collaborator and close author-television host friend Paul Brogan and I knew this would be an annual celebration of local literary talent. And all these months since then, we and our moderator/interview Laura Knoy, formerly of NPR and now podcast host and novelist, have been planning and meeting and preparing. We invited three different authors writing in different genres--Sarah McCraw Crow, Dan Lawton, and Kathleen Bailey--to take part in the interviews. We also arranged for four other authors to sit in the front row to be recognized as well. And like last time, Gibson's, a fantastic and famous independent bookstore, set up shop in the lobby for the autographing session afterwards.

Although Laura, Paul, and I live near one another, we're also very busy in various ways in the community--as well as writing our books. Sometimes it was easier to meet on Zoom.

Laura, Paul & me at a production meeting via Zoom

Because Paul has a television show, on which I've been a frequent guest--and sometime guest interviewer--last month he invited Laura and me to talk up the event. We also did radio show and newspaper interviews and various online promotions.

Me, Laura & Paul during the television interview.

Two days before the big night, the three of us met at the downtown theatre for a walk through with our production manager and to choose stage furniture. And of course, check with the box office to find out the number of reservations!

Sitting on the stage at the walk-through

It's so cool when your event (book cover) is featured on a theatre marquee!

The marquee--my book cover is far right

And then our big night arrived!

Almost showtime!

Because Paul and I have both had books released since the 2022 event--his memoir and my latest, The Myrtle Wand--Laura chatted briefly with us before we brought on our other three participants.

Paul and Me during our interview

The full line-up on the stage. Those chairs were so attractive and comfortable--the stagehands brought them down from the upstairs cocktail lounge.

Paul, Me, Sarah, Kathleen, Dan, Laura

Discussion about our books and writing process and challenges was interspersed with two Question & Answer sessions. 

Using my hands to make a point--a habit!

It was great to talk with other writers and readers in the lobby booksigning. And to sign books!

Chatting with another writer of historical fiction.

Five authors on the stage and four in the front row, some multi-published, equals a lot of books for sale!

The crowded table

Even before the Second Annual event, the production trio was already discussing the Third Annual! After recovering from a hectic publicity campaign and all the aspects of organisation and sponsor solicitation, we'll re-convene and start again!