First off, I want to wish all the moms, stepmoms and fostermoms a very happy Mother’s Day. Yes, it was yesterday, but since I didn’t blog yesterday, I’m bringing it up now. I had as lovely day. Was rather pampered for the weekend at my brother and sister-in-law’s trailer which they have at a campground in Rio, Wisconsin. Then came home to a lovely handmade card by my darlin’ daughter and a gorgeous ceramic wind chime. Exactly what I wanted.
However, I wanted to talk about the reader’s luncheon that Barbara Vey hosted two weeks ago. Didn’t make last year’s luncheon due to the fact I had surgery, which really sucked. Anyway, the key note speaker was Deborah Macomber. She gave a fantastic speech. Very positive, upbeat and at times, hilarious. I was assigned to Shannon Butcher’s table and although I’ve never read any of her work, I’ll definitely make it a point of checking out her series.
When Barb was setting up this luncheon, she asked me which authors I personally would love to see attend. Being an Urban Fantasy fan, I immediately threw out names like Jeaniene Frost, Darynda Jones, Ilona Andrews (husband and wife team) and Patricia Briggs. Well, it just so happened that Barb was at a conference and ran into Darynda Jones and asked her to attend. To which she got a solid yes. Barb immediately called me and I think I squealed like a fan girl. No, I definitely squealed like a fan girl. I was so excited. Turns out, before Barb could assign me to Darynda’s table, the entire table got bought out by an uber-fan who goes by the handle of Zombie Joe. I was devastated. But I did get over it. I knew I’d be able to meet with Darynda at some point during the luncheon and I had the added perk of giving Zombie Joe some shit because if it weren’t for me, Darynda wouldn’t have been there. That was the fun part.
The luncheon was stellar, the authors were gracious and totally reader friendly, the meal was pretty good and the raffle baskets were outstanding … even though I didn’t win any of them. As a bonus, Shannon Butcher had made up individual little baskets for her reader guests which included a copy of her latest book, some swag, chocolate, and a gorgeous handmade necklace and earring set as well as a bracelet. The woman is multi-talented. The jewelry is totally the type that I’d wear.
I also have to mention that our own Edie Ramer was one of the authors attending the luncheon. Her first time … and I understand she did a fabulous job.
Barbara told me something after the luncheon, though. She mentioned that putting together this event was getting to be too much for her. Granted, she had over 500 readers in attendance, and something like 60 authors. That is a huge endeavor. However, after the positive feedback she got from both authors and readers, she just might be persuaded to go ahead and set up the fourth event. I certainly hope so. I also hope that she’ll get more help from family and friends. I tried to do what I could. I helped with the registration, which isn’t a hellava lot, but given my present handicap, it was all I really could offer. I’m hoping next year (if Barb goes ahead with it) that I’ll be able to offer more help.
Both authors and readers came in from all over the country on their own dime. It really was impressive. If you ever get the opportunity to attend this luncheon here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I highly recommend it. Or if you hear of someone doing a similar event in your neck of the woods, go for it. The opportunity to meet favorite authors and other rabid readers is invaluable. Barbara’s with this luncheon is to bring romance readers together and give them the opportunity to mingle with like minded readers and their favorite authors.
Are there other similar events going on in other parts of the country? If so, I’d love to hear about it and your opinions. I’d be happy to forward any positive feedback to Barbara Vey. I’m sure she’d love it hear it.