I spent a delightful weekend at the 4th Annual AJC Decatur Book Festival and I must say, IT WAS THE BEST ONE YET! Don't get me wrong, I've attended all four DBFs and they've all been outstanding. But there were three things -- no make that four things -- about this year's festival that made it great for me.
First, I got to attend the festival for the first time as a featured author, thanks to the publication of my debut novel, GONE FROM THESE WOODS, published August 25, 2009, by Random House under their Delacorte Press imprint. I had the pleasure of participating in a panel on Sunday afternoon with Katie Davis (check her out here) and Laurel Snyder (visit her website here), two authors I admire.
Second, it wasn't as hot this year. Okay, my hair did stick to my head and all my makeup sweated off before the Sunday panel and I couldn't stop myself from gulping down a lot of water while I was onstage, but considering the average heat-stroking inducing temperatures I've encountered at the other three DBFs, this weekend wasn't so bad.
Third, I got to peek at author Kate DiCamillo through the massive crowd that surrounded her on the Target Stage. If you don't know who she is, shame on you! Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and her latest, The Magician's Elephant are just a few of my DiCamillo favorites. My neighbor down the street, Andy Plemmons, took the photo of this award-winning author. He also got to speak with her and get her autograph afterwards. Andy, I am SO jealous!
Okay, that was three things about this year's DBF. What's number four? I got to stay at the beautiful home of my friend, Lynn Whitten, who lives two blocks from the downtown area of Decatur, where most of the festival takes place. And I got to spend time with my other friends, all writers, as is Lynn, Kathleen, Ellen, Debbe, Deborah, Pam - - and my lovely daughter, Jenny. And Southern Breezers Connie, Robyn, Susan, Donna, Peter, Peggy and others.
That's more than four DBF things, isn't it? And I could count a lot higher. This festival is now the biggest in the country and it's only in its fourth year. I'm already counting down to DBF number five. If you haven't experienced this great literary celebration in Decatur, maybe you should go ahead and mark your calendar for Labor Day weekend, 2010.