Want to meet some fantastic people? Visit any of the Pioneer Library System libraries. They hosted the fourth bi-annual Red Dirt Book Festival yesterday and today, and I’m here to tell ya, they are some of the most helpful, enthusiastic, book-lovin’ people you’ll ever meet. This was my third time to attend the festival — second as a guest — and I mean it, they go all out for the authors and the readers. They put us up in the Hilton Hotel in Shawnee, provided tickets to the meals, had a shuttle that ran from the hotel to the conference sites, had a hospitality room, provided the books themselves, and even paid us a stipend to talk about our books and writing. Hell, most of us would do that for free.
It was a good conference, too. I learned a few things, though a lot of the panels provided information I’d heard before. One of my favorites was where three of those librarians did mini-reviews and some reading from various books from the attending authors. It was just refreshing to see somebody other than the authors pushing their work. I don’t know if they mentioned mine or not, as I missed over half the two-hour panel, but it was good, anyway. I met several new people, including the editor for Silhoutte, but spent the most time talking to Michelle Bardsley, who was on the Vampires, Werewolves and Demons: The Sexy Side of the Paranormal with me and Chrystal Inman. Michelle gets a link because she’ll be giving away a couple of my books at some point.
I’d never really been interested in Billie Letts’ books, but she was a good speaker and what she read from the Wal-Mart book was really funny (can’t remember the name of the book! But it’s the one that was an Oprah selection some years back). It was kind of odd to listen to her read and say “dick head” on the stage of a Baptist church.
Probably the best thing about the conference, though, was the quiet time in the hotel. I wrote 14 or 15 pages, which is nothing compared to what I used to do in the same amount of time, but it was enough to really put me back into Nadia’s Children. I can’t wait to get back to it. There’s a really, really big scene coming up. A couple of minor characters we haven’t seen for a while are going to be killed.
Here’s one of those word count things to show my progress. I guess I completed another 3 percent of the book over the weekend.
I also got my hands on about 83 pages of Gayleen’s YA (or is it middle grade?) novel that she’s working on. She’d left me hanging in a house that’d had all the air sucked out of it by a dust storm a long time ago. This is good stuff and I’m glad to finally get to see what happens next.
Last thing. Remember the post about my acting debut back in September? Well, the music video is online now. You can watch it here. It’s good cheesy fun.