Sunday, November 8, 2009

kentucky book fair 2009

As one local newspaper said, Kentucky doesn't simply produce writers, it celebrates them. The book fair was solid proof! Authors were given candy for their book tables, corsages, hand sanitizer, speciality boxed lunches, cold drinks and more. Kentucky has a pretty tight writing community and 211 authors were in attendance. Here I am before the action began with two cases of TFD. I was thrilled to learn it's been selected by Kentucky's Talking Books program to have on audio for the visually impaired. Apparently any book having to do with Kentucky history is in big demand with these readers. The program prefers that authors come to the studio and do their own recordings. Sadly, my distance prevents this.

Here is the madness in the morning - one small corner anyway. So many good books, so little time. Here are some that went into my basket: That Dark and Bloody River, The Court-Martial of Daniel Boone, The Believer, Hawk's Hill, Blue Jacket, Nothing Like an Ocean. Lots of good winter reading in this stack, each signed by the authors. I think Allan Eckert may have gotten tired of writing my name in all of his!

This is Silas House whom I sat beside at the book fair. He is without a doubt Kentucky's best-loved author. He used to be a mail carrier in rural eastern Kentucky before wowing the literary world with his Appalachian books. He has an incredible voice, both speaking and writing, and I was in awe of his long lines. He quickly sold out of his latest book and hardly got a minute to himself. I didn't tell him that Silas is the name of my hero in my next novel:) I don't have much beyond the names of characters at this point but it's not all shadows. My favorite Silas House book is A Parchment of Leaves. He's also a musician and playwright among other things. But I think that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Hats off to my dear friend, Gin Petty, for sharing these photographs!

Blessed, blessed day.


  1. Wow, I'm excited, and I'm not even there! Thanks for sharing : )

    I am going to check out Silas House. Have fun!

  2. Virginia,
    Wonder if there's a Virginia book fair? I'd so love to meet you! Hope you like Silas. He's one talented writer:) His prose often reads like poetry, especially in A Parchment of Leaves.

  3. That would be lovely : ) It may be the Lord's plan! I forwarded you some information on the Virginia Festival of the Book.

    Eat lots of good Kentucky food!

  4. You've also convinced me to check out Silas's books. Can you tell us a little more about them? Are they contemporary or historical?

    Looks like a wonderful event, and congratulations on the audio version of TFD. I am a great lover of audio books. Will it be unabridged?

    Have a safe return trip! Thanks for taking time to post while you've been away.

  5. Fun meeting you, Laura. Those were great pictures.

  6. Eileen,
    It was a super event! Already dreaming of next year:) Maybe I'll just move on back home by then and the drive will be a mere hour or so...

  7. Lori,
    Silas has written historicals like A Parchment of Leaves - and then continues this family series in other books like A Coal Tattoo. I also have Clay's Quilt which takes place in the 70's and involves a fiddler among other things.
    Not sure about all the details of Ky's Talking Books program but know you love audio books. How I would love to record my own book!

    Bless you for reading while away. I promise not to post for a couple of days:) Have had some time to ground myself while away and have decided to curtail some on here.

    So appreciate your prayers/thoughts while here!

  8. Virginia, Thanks for the info - can't wait to look! Would be wonderful to meet!

    Oh, too much good Ky food! Grits, greens, hush puppies, fried fish, deviled eggs, pork, sweet potatoes, bread pudding, pecan pie,
    Belgian waffles, sassafras tea, etc. Lots of walking after this:)

  9. BLUE JACKET is the book my aunt bought and gave to me early for my birthday! (It will be a while before I get to read it and THE FRONTIERSMAN that I bought...I have five books to review this month and two more coming soon!!!)

    I am so happy that I got to see you Saturday! (btw, You moving back to KY would be GREAT! The Encampment would only be a few hours away...I don't remember if I told you or not, but about two weekends out of the month they hold small "living history" weekends where some of the reenactors come and stay in the fort and are there to talk to anyone that wants to see for themselves how 18th-c people lived...remind me to tell you more about that sometime!)

    O.K...I will stop does say to leave a 'comment' not write a

    Have a safe trip home!! Hugs, Ashli

  10. Ashli, You and I sure have the same reading tastes, my dear:) It was such a joy seeing you yesterday - wish we could have gone out to lunch and talked books till the cows came home! Thank you for coming all that way. Ann Gabhart mentioned you on her FB page as you really made an effort!

    Yes, Fort Massac is one BIG reason to come back:) So glad your pics turned out. I was pretty upset when my camera decided to retire. Talk soon!

  11. It's great to see pics of your grand event. What a wonderful community of book lovers you described.

  12. OK, I see a Southeastern tour in your future. If you go to Virginia, then you must come to South Carolina, too!

    The Kentucky event sounds like so much fun. I'm glad they gave y'all the star treatment. You deserve it!

  13. How wonderful! Do you ever get tired of signing your books by the end of the day?? I am sure you will say never! Have a wonderful time while you are away! {: Blessings,Kathleen

  14. You are so right, Kathleen! I never get tired of signing or talking books:) It's been a great trip and I'm thankful for every minute! Hope you're having a great Texas week!

  15. Thanks, Carla - Kentucky has some really fine authors like Silas. I'm missing a lot by not being there. But Lord willing, I'll get back there as often as I can!

  16. Oh my, Mary, would love to do a SC fair! The Virginia fair is in spring. If only I could hit every season of the year:) What a happy author I would be. And meeting you would be the icing on the proverbial cake!

  17. Ann, I can sure see why you go to the book fair every year. It was a pleasure sitting near you though I'd have loved to have been on the other side of you and talked your ear off, only you were too busy signing books!
    Meeting you was certainly a highlight for me!

  18. Oh no! I missed the book fair. I just didn't know about it. I'm so sad to miss the opportunity to meet you. I'm nearing the end of your book and it's so good. I would love to get to have you sign my copy.

    And how cool to sit next to Silas House! Parchment of Leaves was a great book.

    I've got to pay more attention to what's going on in the world, so I don't miss all the fun stuff!

  19. Tiffany,
    I'll be back and would be so happy to meet you and sign your copy:) So glad you're enjoying the book. I didn't make a big fuss about my being at the book fair as I didn't want to make folks feel obligated to attend. I'd love to come again next year so will let you know if I do. It's always in November, I think.
    I sure hated to come back yesterday. We may be able to move to Berea at some point in the next couple of years. Lots of ifs at this point but the Lord can do anything! And my mom could really use family nearby, etc.
    Hope you're having a wonderful week there. I am planning for the holidays and am using some of your great recipes!!!

  20. Wow..That sounds like it was a wonderful trip and just the pictures make me want to go there and visit.
    I tried to print the label to send you your pin cushion on shipping assistant and it sad I had it wrong..I deleted it in my blog so can'r go back and see if I had it right...maybe you can email me and give it to me again so I can get it in the mail to you
    Happy that you had a nice time while going home :)

  21. Nancy,
    So good to hear from you! I did have a wonderful time. God is so good to give us books!
    I plan to order some Christmas gifts from you so will pop on over to your blog and also leave my address. Bless you today!

  22. I can't believe the crowd! that is so great, that that many people were there!

    And on your comment about my apple pie cake: I think you are figuring my family out! yep, the cake was gone within a day. nothing ever lasts long around here!!

  23. Yes, Lisa, the crowds were big. One year they had 5,000 come through but am not sure about this year. Would love to go again.

    Please eat some apple cake for me:)

  24. Looks like and sounds as though you had a wonderful Ky. book fair! Love the pics. If I were closer, I would have come! So glad Jaynee and Joy surprised you! If you ever come to NC/SC for a book fair.....I'll be there! Hope the boys and Randy were fine when you got home. I am sure they were glad to have you back! Busy busy around here but that is the norm I guess. Getting busier now that Zach will be playing baseball year round and traveling! Yikes! Talk soon. I will try and call again at some point but know you are way busy! :)

  25. Having you there, Rhonda, would have been the icing on the cake! I wish I'd been back for longer than 4 days. We're actually thinking about going back and spending all of next summer in Berea. Me and the boys for 3 months and then Randy for June. We'll need a camper or something like that and have to work out all the particulars. But it would be wonderful to be near Mom, etc. Then maybe Randy would decide to move!? And we could come see you!!

  26. I read your post the other day. Then, while at Costco today I saw Silas House's new book! I was excited. I never would have known about him, if I had not have read your blog. I bought it and plan to read it soon. I need to finish the book I am reading now. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Stacey,
    How neat you found Silas's book at Costco!! That would sure make him smile:) His work is considered more literary and his writing is just beautiful. His descriptions of the natural world are so vivid you can just see them come alive on the page. I hope you like it. Good to read all sorts of different things! Bless you!