Fort Myers Book Festival – March 16, 2013
Kim Harrison and Jeanienne Frost
Sorry it has taken me so long to post about this event, but I’ve been really swamped the last couple of weeks. My To Do List gets bigger every day instead of smaller, as I’m trying to get ready to fly to San Diego on a moment’s notice for the birth of my first grandson. Lots to do to be sure I don’t leave hubby in the lurch while I’m away. But finally, I realized if I didn’t take a few minutes to post about the Festival soon, I’d likely forget all the good stuff. And there was lots of good stuff!
First and foremost, the main reason we went was to attend the Question and Answer Session with two authors whose books I’ve read for awhile now, Kim Harrison and Jeanienne Frost. I have never been to this kind of thing before, and I was so pleased at how much fun it was, and how approachable the authors were. They were very friendly and forthcoming, doing their best to answer all the questions thrown out to them as fully as possible. They were entertaining, informative, and best of all, funny. I learned so much from listening to them, it would have been worth the four-hour drive if I hadn’t done anything else at the festival at all.
One of the things I found most interesting was that when it comes to how to approach writing a book, Kim and Jeanienne are polar opposites. This was a great thing, because it demonstrated that not everyone goes about the creative process in the same way, and that there are no wrong ways, except NOT to do it at all. I loved listening to them talk about whether they wrote very detailed outlines, like Kim, or whether they wrote more “organically,” like Jeanienne. I have discovered that I seem to approach most of my writing organically, myself, which will give me improved status in my Eco-conscious daughter’s eyes, yay! I’m a Green writer! Ha.
After the Q & A session was over, we stood in line for quite some time to get our books autographed, and it was actually kind of exciting. I was in full Fan Girl mode. Or is that Fan Granny? Well, I was excited and pleased, anyway, even though Nicki managed to lean over my shoulder and tell Kim Harrison that I was a published poet! Ack! Hahaha. Nothing like dragging along a good friend who LIVES to embarrass you at every opportunity. Shameless girl!
The setting for the fesitival was in downtown Fort Myers, along the riverfront, and the weather was unbelievably beautiful. Blue, blue skies above and the blue Caloosahatchie River below. Palms blowing gently, gulls and pelicans riding on the water, and roughly 45 million kids racing around all over the place. Okay, maybe not that many, but there were a lot, and that was a good thing, because the festival was promoting the library and most of the outdoor exhibits were designed especially to interest children in reading. It did my heart good to see how many of them were excited to be looking through new books and meeting some of the children’s authors outside. There were story-telling tents set up and other kid-friendly things everywhere you looked. And the size of the vendor area was perfect. Plenty to see, but not so much that you felt rushed. We had time to check out every booth, pick up lots of business cards for checking out later online, and even look for some birthday presents for my granddaughter, who will soon be eight.
When we finished up there, we took a lovely drive around the area and admired all the scenery and lush landscaping. I used to live in that part of the state, but Nicki had never been before, so it was a chance to show her some of the more interesting things, like the Thomas Edison home, which is right next door to Henry Ford’s summer home, and the Firestone home. We plan to go back again to visit all three. Edison’s is especially nice as he had a wonderful garden that is maintained beautifully, and a garden always makes everything better to me.
We left tired and happy, and we definitely want to attend some more book signings, whenever the opportunity arises. I highly recommend the experience to all you readers, and hope you have an opportunity to go listen to your favorite authors. If you’ve already done this, I’d love to hear about it. Who, when, where, and how was it?
Kim Harrison’s latest book:
Jeanienne Frost’s latest Cat & Bones Book:
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