Loud Applause for SIBA 2009!
Though I had no idea what to expect at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Conference in Greenville, SC., it’s safe to say that I was, more than once, gobsmacked. The energy crackled as independent booksellers from all over the South gathered together for the genuine love of one thing—the written word.
This event was a smorgasbord of never-ending treats for book lovers, and everyone gorged themselves to capacity.
It was amazing to observe these bright and clearly devoted folks. With palpable enthusiasm they talked about books and authors from morning to late into the night, never seeming to tire. As an author with a book due out in January 2010, I was thrilled (perhaps stunned is more like it) to meet so many booksellers who had already read the pre-pub ARC of my novel. Many of them took the time to seek me out, and I was embraced and showered with wishes for success.
Wanda Jewell, executive director of SIBA, outdid herself, as did all the officers and volunteers. The weekend-long event went off without a hitch, and everyone I spoke with was glad—truly glad—to be a part of this important event. And even though the days were long and many of us had swollen feet, there wasn’t a cranky-pants in the whole bunch.
I met some wonderful people—people I now consider to be friends. I’ll never forget Ruth Breipohl (The Book Seller), and Debbie Smith and Lynn Porter (Etcetera) for their kindness. Emily Bell (Page and Palette) is now a true girlfriend, and Karin Wilson (owner of Page and Palette) was a delight. I’d also like to give a shout-out of thanks Angela Carr (Two Sisters Bookery), Rosemary Hall (Cover To Cover Books & More), Elva Rella (Patrick Paperbacks), Jill Hendrix (Fiction Addiction), Linda Parks (Fireside Books & Gifts), and Myra Meade (Hall Book Exchange)—all were so supportive.
I met some terrific fellow authors too—Drew Perry, Beverly Barton, Janice Hardy, Frank McNair, and Gigi Amateau—just to name a few.
Saturday evening was spent at Soby’s Restaurant, and it was huge fun—I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt! I’d like to thank Dave and Joyce Kliegman, Mike McGroder, Diane Kierpa—all from Viking-Penguin, and Beth & Dave Carpenter (The Country Bookshop), and Mary Jane & Peter Reed (G.J. Ford Bookshop) for such an enjoyable and festive evening. The most special thank you of all goes to my publisher, Pamela Dorman.
As the old song goes, “Thanks for the memories…”