On St. Patrick’s Day I loaded up the fam to attend the annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival. This is an event I look forward to every year. It’s at Centennial Park on the Caloosahatchee River and the beautiful weather/scenery always attracts A-list authors. This year I got to hear Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie,
and Anna Godbersen (sorry, no pic b/c my camera died) under the Teen Tent. I always love, love, love watching the authors up on the stage and imagining myself being invited to speak one of these days. Some of the other YA authors we’ve seen there in the past were Jeff Kinney, Lois Lowry, R.L. Stine, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Ridley Pearson, Chris Claremont, and Lauren Myracle.
Almost every author has the same format . . . read a bit from their latest manuscript and then hold a Q & A session. There’s always about a thirty-second awkward pause before the first question and I cringe in my seat, but I’m never brave enough to ask the first one either, lol. You can definitely tell there are plenty of wanna-be-authors like me in the audience by their Q’s about publishing. Pretty much all the authors said it took them 5 yrs to break into publishing and many say a Creative Writing degree is a frivolous pursuit (but I still want one, if only I had some time and $).
Anyways, even though I may be an unpub’d nobody, I still have gained over 300 blog followers this year and I think that’s something to celebrate so I stood in the loooooooong line for autographs at the festival in preparation for my Easter Basket Full of Books give away:):) See the pictures below for the goodies:
*Note: Peace, Love & Baby Ducks isn’t autographed since Ms. Myracle was there last year and it’s the only ‘used’ book in the bunch, but I thought it was a good read and couldn’t resist throwing something with baby ducks on the cover in the Easter basket!
Short synopsis of each book:
Delirium: Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until 95 days before her 18th bday and her treatment, when she falls in love.
Luxe: In Manhattan in 1899, 5 teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.
The Gateway to Foo: When fate brings 14-yr-old Leven and 13-yr-old Winter together, they discover that for mankind to continue dreaming, the gateway between reality and dreams needs to be found & demolished.
Peace, Love & Baby Ducks: 15-yr-old Carly’s summer volunteer experience makes her feel more real than her life of privilege in Atlanta ever did, but her younger sister starts high school pretending to be what she’s not, and both find their relationship suffering.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Anthology of 3 stories based on the hit TV series.
All you need to do to enter is subscribe to this blog and leave a comment below. If you’re already a follower (thanks)– just leave a comment. I’d really love a follow or shout out on Twitter, too: jamiemayres
That’s it! Pretty simple, right? The winner will be chosen randomly and I’ll announce the lucky duck on my blog next Wednesday when I post for Alex Cavanaugh’s IWSG. Seriously ya’ll, thanks so much for coming back each Wednesday to visit little ole’ me!!
So have you thought of your reading festival plan for when you’re a big New York Times Bestseller? Standard read a page followed by Q & A? More interactive like building a story with your audience improv style? Slideshow anyone? I remember when I heard Ally Carter speak at the 2010 RWA Nationals her advice for these things was to always be yourself, but preferably yourself after 2 drinks, lol. Anyways, would love to hear your ideas:):):)
~Until next week, Happy Reading & Happy Writing!
Oh, gosh no, I haven’t even thought about reading festivals. I’m sure it’ll be awkward if I ever go to one as a real author. I’ll probably have a creepy grin on my face and say, “I write stuff. It’s neat. ‘Bye.”
Aaaaanyway, it sounds like you had a good time! 😀
LOL, Lindsey!!!I’m sure it is neat stuff:):)
I already follow your blog and your Twitter 😀
When I dream of festivals or bookstore readings, I always see myself reading a page or two followed by questions. I’ve been a panelists at many conventions and, as any audience member can tell you, I like to discuss things at length. I like the give and take of participation.
I love the give and take, too . . . just worried I’ll start sweating profusely;)
Great blog Jamie! I’m with you. At the conferences I attend, when the authors finish reading their excerpts or talking about their topic, I’m NEVER brave enough to be the first person to ask a question. When I saw Cassandra Clare at the SCBWI Conference in late January/early February (and she was AWESOME), the room was dead silent when she finished. She was really good at finally getting people to come out of their shell.
I’m following you on Twitter now, too.
OMG . . sooooo jealous! I just started reading Cassandra Clare’s books. Finished #3 last night & then rushed off to Book store for #4 and Clockwork Angel:):)
I haven’t been to a conference yet, but a couple of authors came to speak at my elementary school many years ago, including William Kennedy, who’s written a lot of books about Albany, NY and is pretty famous in my area. I remember they did much the same thing, read from at least one of their books and then took questions from the audience.
For any potential future book signings at conferences and readings, I’ll give people the choice of which hand they want me to sign with, or cut down on my workload by signing two books at once. Why not show off the gift I was given as long as I’ve got an audience?
Carrie-Anne, are you an elementary school teacher and if yes, how did I miss this? LOL . . . I am also!
I already follow your blog and tweet, and I tweeted.
I love the idea of having the audience build a story with me! Although I’d probably be too nervous and scared that no one would interact so I might opt for the standard reading and Q&A.
Hi, Nicole *waves* If you win this one, too . . . people may think you are my favorite;) May the random selector be with you again!
Id love a chance to win a easter basket full of books! Im a subscriber now (:
Great blog. We’re in YARWA together! Don’t know if I’ve met you though. What a great experience that was for you at the conference. Honestly, if I could, I’d spend my life wandering the countryside with my kids, attending reader conferences like a neo-nerdy-Deadhead (Um, Well-read-head?)
Hopefully you’ll be at RWA Anaheim!!!
Oh, I wish I could attend Anaheim:( Maybe if I land a big pub deal before registration closes *fingers and toes crossed*
I wanna book!
Welllllll, it’d certainly save me on shipping;)
Always praying, but I know you will get the news you want. I just don’t know when!
THanks fOR aLL yOUr prAYers! ~xoxo
Oooh, fun contest! I’ve only read one of the books in your basket and would love to read the others. Thanks for the chance 🙂 Subscribing to your blog via Google Reader … NOW.
Wow, know zero about Google Reader but thank youuuuuuuuu!! . . . rushing off to visit Google Reader, lol
It sure is fun to think about what it would be like to sign books and read excerpts! I’d probably go for the standard routine, excerpts and questions, and hope I got questions that I could actually answer! 😉
Sign me up for the that pretty basket of books. I love the pictures!
Thanks–my hubby was vERy prOUd of his handy camera work:)
LOL. At least in not the only one who daydreams about the trappings of famous author-dom. 😉 I’m pretty sure I already follow you everywhere.
No, definitely not the only one . . . . LOVE your posts about it:)
Wow Jamie…I am glad I got to check out your blog tonight and enter this awesome contest. My friend Julie has been telling me to read Delirium so I have to win! You are such an inspiration and I love reading what you write. I can’t wait to read YOUR BOOK!! I thought I was a subscriber, but I guess not! I definitely am now!
Thanks for the follow, Kacia and good luck:)
Great contest…. very exciting…I’m already a follower:) The books looks awesome, and I love Lauren Oliver’s books….
LOVE Lauren Oliver, too . . . I was hoping to post a 10 minute video of her talking at the festival but I couldn’t get the file to work:(
Thanks! well from now I will be following you and thanks for the incentive. All the best!!! 🙂
Thanks for the follow! I have to do a double take every time I see your name b/c one of my good friends is named Melinda Hernandez:)
Your dastardly plan has worked! I have followed your blog in hopes of getting an Easter basket this year! I think I have been to your blog before, too.
Ooooh! You have a way cool blog. I signed up so I can be wowed and inspired.
Aw, thanks! I don’t know about being wowed and inspired but hopefully you’ll have a little fun every time you visit:)
I do. I do. I enjoy reading everyone’s blogs. Great way to start the day :).
I wanna win! I wanna win! I wanna win! (Is that sort of obvious?)
I wanna win, too, lol;) gOOd luCk, Laura:):)
“even though I may be an unpub’d nobody,
I still have gained over 300 blog followers this year and I think that’s something to celebrate”
Wait a minute missy… you may be unpublished but you are certainly SOMEBODY SPECIAL.
…evident in the number of followers :0)
I attend a monthly writer’s meeting with the same stagnant pause between talk and questions. Must be the norm.
I must have touched the wrong key… so am replying to myself o.0
LOL, Ellen . . . I press wrong keys allllll the time. Good thing I’m not in charge of the universe;) Thanks for your encouraging words!
I’m lucky enough to have little warm and fuzzy writers talks within an hour of me all the time. I love listening to them speak. Funny, I’ve never heard one read their own work yet. I guess I need to go to a read “book reading” some time. Sounds like you had fun.
I don’t normally ask the first question, but I do FORCE myself to speak to them one-on-one afterwards. That’s even scarier for me, and helps me break out of my shell.
I also force myself to speak to them afterwards . . . they usually have some inspiring advice for this wannabe:) Only 1 was snobby, but I won’t name names;) Ok, maybe after I’ve had those 2 drinks, heehee
I look forward to reading your published works in the near future. 🙂
Thanks, Gena!!! That means a lot:)
I love Easter…and books so it sounds like my kind of contest:) I’m like you Jamie, I want a creative writing degree so badly. If only….
Oh, I love playing the “If only” game in my head . . . the stuff dreams are made of:)
This is my comment, because I’d really like Luxe, or any of the books really.
Thanks for hosting a giveaway.
My pleasure, McKenzie . . . thank U 4 playing:)
Your pictures look like everyone had fun. I think a reading/book festival are a great idea. Lots of people would always plan to attend. Thanks for the great giveaway!
Loads of fun! Good luck to you:)
Very cool that you got to meet the authors. Nice selection of books in the basket, also. Authors have very good, useful advice for us aspiring authors. 🙂 Happy Easter and thanks for the giveaway
HaPPy*EAstER* and you are vERy welcome:)
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