Did your jaw drop open when you read the title? I know just how you feel. Let me tell you the backstory.
Heather from Age 30+… A Lifetime of Books asked me, I don’t know, back in January, to be on a panel she was doing at the Baltimore Book Festival about book clubs. I’m no expert on book clubs, but my journey to starting my own book club was long and arduous, and now that I have my own I’ve been obsessively interviewing other book clubs to figure out how they work, so while I’m no expert, I actually kinda am. I told Heather I would absolutely do it if I had the money to make it out there. Well, things fell into place and before I knew it I was confirming with her that I’d be able to come. And I was totally stoked! I was going to be on a panel! In front of people! With a microphone! At a book festival!
Heather emailed me and was like, Respond within 10 seconds of my sending this or you will hate yourself forever! Luckily, I had my email open so I saw it as soon as it came in (oh, who am I kidding? My email is practically a fifth appendage.), and Heather explained that the folks running the Baltimore Book Festival had asked her to moderate a panel…an author panel, but she couldn’t do it, so she wanted to know if I was interested?
Umm…am I interested in MODERATING AN AUTHOR PANEL AT A BOOK FESTIVAL? Where do I sign, because I’ve already talked to my husband about promising my first born child to you?
So the day of the Baltimore Book Festival rolls around. There’s a ton of bloggers in the DC area, but everyone, I mean EVERYONE, was going to the National Book Festival. So I’m wondering if my panel really happened, since none of my friends were there to see it, but since the shirt I wore still has sweat stains from that day, I’m pretty sure it happened.
But before I can tell you about MY panel, I have to tell you about the panel I was on with Heather, because that happened first.
Heather found great people for this panel. One panelist teaches librarians how to moderate book clubs, and another panelist who is a native English speaker is in a book club that discusses in Spanish books that are written in Spanish. Freaking amazing.
Anyway, Heather’s panel went perfectly! She allowed time for questions, she had books to give away, she had an outline of points she wanted to cover, she kept the panelists on track, and she looked beautiful. There was easilty 25-30 people who attended the panel, which was perfect! Basically, she filled the seats she was allotted.
I can’t say enough nice things about Heather.
Then. THEN. It was time for MY panel. The panel was entitled Fabulous Females of Fiction: Four NY Times Bestselling authors dish about their writing, their characters, and their lives. The authors were:
- Donna Andrews, author of Swan for the Money
- Mary Monroe, author of God Ain’t Blind
- Lyah Beth LeFlore, author of Wildflowers
- Margot Berwin, author of Hothouse Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire
And then I found out that my panel was on the main stage. THE MAIN STAGE. I think I fainted when I found out.
There was bright lights on us, we had snazzy directors’ chairs, and someone introduced ME! As if I was important and didn’t end up being the moderator on a total fluke!
Unfortunately, I don’t have much to report after this. I ultimately asked 3 questions, but with 4 authors, that’s all we had time for. The time flew by and I did my best not to look like a grinning idiot, but I think I failed at that. I hope I can moderate a panel again in the future. It was so fun, so exhilerating, and so…ADULT.
Also, there was 50+ people in the audience. Pretty cool.
That’s all. That’s all the story I’ve got about my panel. Sorry there’s no pictures! Not only had I left my own camera at home (which was 3,000 miles away), but none of my friends were there to take pictures. But I swear it happened!
Speaking of pictures, I’m going to lift some pictures off other blogs to show you what a great time we had. I couldn’t possibly mention everyone, but I did want to mention a few special people I met (or already knew from another event and was excited to see them again).
Garret Freymann-Weyr and me. We geeked out over each other, and she made my day by saying how cute I was. She and I would be so fun together!
These are the only pics I have, and they’re thanks to Heather.
Rebecca is…amazing. She’s hilarious, fun, and smart. Pretty much I want to be her friend, but being across country is frustrating!
I could go on and on about how fun it was to share a hotel room with Nicole, about how Amy is always so fun to hang out with and chat with, about how I couldn’t wait to meet Michelle because she and I spend a lot of time chatting on gmail, about how I got to see Swapna’s house…but I won’t bore you with all of that!
Each blogger meet-up is more fun than the last! The next event I’ll be attending is the LA Times Festival of Books on April 24 & 25, 2010. You should come!