Exactly what everyone else did! I listened to authors speak and then hurried out to the bookstore The Wild Detectives set up in the lobby to buy books and get them signed.
I’m not going to tip my hand on what I bought, because some of those books are gifts. I will say that I practiced restraint. I pretty much wanted one of everything.
I participated in a panel called Keeping Dallas in Suspense. Fellow author LA Starks and I talked about writing mysteries with moderator Sharon Perry-Martin from the University Park Library and then took questions from the audience. It was great fun.
My only regret is that our time slot kept us from catching Curtis Sittenfeld’s talk about her new book, Eligible. Judging from the length of her book-signing line after her event, we would have had trouble squeezing in.
Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, also packed the room and drew a long line of people hoping to get books signed. I had a time conflict and missed his talk as well, but overheard the loud ovation he received at the end. I’ve read his fantastic book (you should, too) and seized the chance to shake his hand before he left to catch his flight. He was very gracious, and that was a highlight of my day.
Meeting people was the best thing about the festival. The folks from the Miniature Book Society were stoked about my earrings – tiny replicas of the Identity cover – and wanted photos. An engineer who writes poetry (talk about using both sides of your brain!) stopped by to chat about writing. I also talked with a young man who seemed to be struggling, perhaps even homeless, but really wants to write his life story. So we talked about the value of just writing – not worrying about making it perfect, just getting the words out of you and down on the page.
Useful advice! Maybe I should follow it myself. Back to work on Boys I Have Dated