BookFest 2017 with Schlow Library and Central PA Arts Fest (& Bonus Recipe)

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I recently had the fantastic opportunity to participate in Schlow Library’s annual BookFest, which occurs in partnership with the Central PA Arts Fest. This was my first year participating as an author, and after working my table from 10am – 4pm, the one word that crossed my mind was:

WOW

Those 6 hours (in heels, no less!) flew by. Schlow Library kindly set up a tent for all of us 18 authors to run our tables while being protected from the sun, and the tent was packed with readers and writers the entire time! My table was at the back of the tent, which meant that I had an excellent spot to chat with attendees as they made their rounds. I met with writers and readers of all ages–including a little 7-year-old girl who, when asked if she was a writer, responded with a resounding, “YES!”, a middle-school-aged boy who had already written a novel, and a new mom starting a new university job and hoping to get some writing time in as well.

BookFest

On my table I provided handouts with writing prompts for all ages, some of them written by me and some written by my children (thanks kiddos), offering a free writing critique for a 500-word story based on one of the prompts, or another 500-word piece an author would like to share and receive some feedback on. I’m looking forward to reading the work of other writers in my community–so get your stories in!

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Hanging out with Romance writer, Lindsay Detwiler–we are just too cute, right?!?

The joy of talking with people who love to read, who love to write, and who simply love the power of words for that length of time was invigorating (although I did sleep like a baby that night). I feel so grateful that I had the opportunity to meet other local and regional authors, to share my book with potential readers, and to hopefully inspire other writers to keep working on those manuscripts. So many of the writers I met while they visited the tent immediately dismissed their own work as of little value, and I tried to emphasize in our conversations that every writer feels that way. Take heart, keep writing and growing, and have faith that hard work yields quality. It’s an old adage, but a true one: Every published author was once a writer with a manuscript, revising, revising, and revising away.

Keep Calm, Dear Friends, and Write On!

Special thanks to Jaru Copy Services for making my table posters on the fly–they looked fabulous and I received many compliments on them!

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Can you spot the photo of me in my awkward adolescence, at a–you guessed it–Power of the Pen competition?

And another special thanks to Gesine Bullock-Prado for once again proving herself the doyenne of all things buttery, pastry, and delicious. Her recipe for Brown Butter Brown Sugar cookies were a huge hit at my table, as evidenced by the empty crumb-filled plate by the end of the day. You can get the recipe at her blog. And if you are so inclined as to want to take a baking class with her personally, read more about my experience at her Sugar Glider Kitchen here (Spoiler: It was AMAZ-ING!).

 

 

BookFest is (almost) here!

BookFest

Anyone following my Twitter feed knows I have a real love for my local library, Schlow Centre Region Library. This week is Arts Fest week in my little college town, which means that our hamlet will be flooded with visitors attending the festival to listen to great music, purchase crafts from local and regional artisans, and simply enjoy the camaraderie of the festival.

Schlow Library will be hosting BookFest this Saturday, July 15, from 10am-4:00pm in their booth directly outside their building. The BookFest will feature 18 authors from the area (check out the full list here), with genre specialties ranging from mystery and romance to science fiction/fantasy, comics, graphic novels, and thrillers.

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I’m thrilled (pun totally intended) to be a part of this event, and will be there on Saturday to chat with readers about my psychological thriller, A Flash of Red, about the writing/publishing process, and about the pleasure that comes from writing and reading genre fiction.

Come for the books, the conversation, the crafts, the music, the food–seriously, can I list anything else that would make it even more fantastic?

Well, come to think of it, there is an amazing soft-serve ice cream truck that takes up residence during Arts Fest just down the street from the library . . . what more could you want?

If you’re in the area, please do plan to stop by–hope to see you there!