I’m just back from the annual SC Book Festival. Wow, what a ride!
Friday, friend and fellow author, Kim Boykin, and I set up our booth. We couldn’t have asked for a better spot. We were right next to Barnes and Noble, and across from where the book signings were held after panels. Five different Master Classes were on the schedule for Friday, and all of them sounded fantastic, but Kim and I had decorating to do. Friday evening’s opening reception was held at the F. Hollings Special Collections Library at the Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina. Oh my stars! So many of my literary heroes in one room–and a feast, and an open bar. Saturday, May 18, was officially declared Pat Conroy day AND Paula Watkins day. You may have heard of Pat Conroy–he’s published a few books. Paula Watkins is the super hero at the SC Humanities Council who has made SC Book Fest a reality for the past seven years.
Saturday, the exhibit hall opened at 10:00 am. I was bowled over when Barnes and Noble sold out of Lowcountry Boil shortly after noon–only a little over two hours into the festival. Fortunately, another super hero, Jill Hendrix, owner of Greenville’s wonderful independent bookstore, Fiction Addiction, had ordered stock for our exhibit booth. My first panel, Women of Mystery, was at 3:20. Other authors on the panel were C. Hope Clark, Sue Duffy, and Sasscer Hill. We had so much fun, and such a great turnout! And what a wonderful surprise on Sunday morning when a friend told me we had made the front page of the State newspaper Metro section!
But, I’m getting ahead of myself! Saturday was full of meeting new friends and reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in a while. My favorite moment of the entire day was when one of my very favorite authors, Mary Kay Andrews, bought a copy of Lowcountry Boil and asked me to sign it. I know I babbled like an idiot. But it was a moment I’ll remember the rest of my life.
Then, Saturday evening, The Literary Vine was a party that would have been the result if someone had said, Susan, what is your idea of the perfect party?” It was held at the Richland Library, and featured four floors full of wine tastings and food from local restaurants–and a jazz ensemble. And a photo booth with masks and boas. And prizes. The wines were incredible, and I’m still dreaming about the crab cakes and the Vidalia onion dip–so much good food.
Sunday morning, I was scheduled to have breakfast with a friend, and through a series of fortunate events, I ended up also having breakfast with Mary Kay Andrews before she headed out to a local flea market. I thought my day couldn’t get any better until I arrived at the exhibit hall and found out about the newspaper article. My panel Sunday afternoon was with friends and fellow mystery writers Sasscer Hill and James M. Jackson, and our friend Paula Benson moderating–another fun panel!
Before we knew it, it was four o’clock and time to start breaking down the exhibit booth. The weekend flew by–so many wonderful memories. I’m home and still unpacking. But I’d love to start over with Friday and ride that ride all over again!