SIBA 2009 in Greenville South Carolina

Today I end my blog book tour for Gone From These Woods by stopping by Eddie Suttles’ blog, Georgia Books and Water. Click on the link to visit Eddie’s blog and read an all-new question and answer about writing and publishing my debut children’s middle grade and YA novel. And don’t forget to come back here on Friday, October 2, to read my review of author/illustrator Elizabeth O. Dulemba’s brand new children’s picture book, Soap, Soap, Soap. This will be the last stop on her blog book tour and I’ll be giving away a signed copy of her beautiful new book.
Here’s another date to mark on your calendar. On Sunday, October 4, 2009, Elizabeth and I will be participating in a children’s author and illustrator’s panel at the Athens, Georgia Borders Bookstore. The panel will be held from 1 – 2:30 PM and will include Donna Bowman, Robyn Hood Black, Gene Fehler, and Margo Candelario as well as Elizabeth and myself. This event is part of Borders’ Educator Days but is open to the public.

This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in my first ever Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Trade Show! The location was the huge Carolina First Convention Center in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina. My traveling companion, daughter Jenny, and I had a pleasant car trip up to Greenville, about 100 miles from my home in Winterville, Georgia. When we got there Thursday, we checked into our motel and then headed to the convention center to check everything out. Things were winding down for the day when we arrived, but we got a chance to see the set up and where we’d be the next day.

On Friday morning we headed back to the Carolina First Center and at 11 AM, I participated in an author’s panel called “Writing the South,” along with four other authors. This was the panel line up: Moderator: Karen Zacharias, author of Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide? Cause I need more room for my plasma TV (Zondervan); Batt Humphreys, author of Dead Weight (Joggling Board Press); Karen White, author of The Girl on Legare Street (NAL Trade Paperback); Donny Bailey Seagraves, author of Gone From These Woods (Delacorte Press);  andAmanda Gable, author of The Confederate General Rides North (Scribner). I can’t say enough good things about our moderator, Karen Zacharias. She arrived with our books in her arms and had read them all! Her questions were excellent and tailored to each of our books. Thank you Karen and thanks to Batt, the other Karen on our panel, and Amanda for an enjoyable hour spent talking about the South and our books.

After the panel I enjoyed eating lunch with some of the independent booksellers who were in the audience, including Janet Geddis of Athens, Georgia who is in the planning stages of opening a brand new bookstore. I’m excited about Janet’s plans and enjoyed meeting her and her mother at this author’s lunch. Speaking of authors, our luncheon speakers included bestselling all-star authors: Patricia Reilly Giff, Richard Peck, Silas Read and Rick Yancey. Each in turn told us about their new book and talked about writing and publishing. No children’s author could ask for a better meal! I also enjoyed chatting with Patricia after lunch. Seems we share an editor in common, Michelle Poploff. Later in the afternoon, I enjoyed meeting more booksellers as I autographed and handed out the books my publisher, Random House, so graciously donated for this event.

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