Well, I did it! I went to the Texas Book Festival! And it was great! I left on Friday, October 24th WAY too early in the morning. It actually worked out well because my oldest didn't have school on Thursday or Friday so I drove my girls over to my parent's house two hours away and flew out from there at 6am. It was early, but what do you do! I stopped over in Dallas just long enough to walk to the next plane and hop on. I arrived in Austin about 11am. I caught a shuttle ride to the hotel. But I couldn't check in yet so the hotel shuttled me over to an outdoor shopping area. I had an amazing lunch at...I think it was Blue Fin or something like that? Don't really remember. I was hungry and it was delicious! I wandered the shopping area, but it was all high end stuff that doesn't really interest me. So I thought about catching a movie but again there wasn't much that I wanted to see. I actually ended up getting a wonderful beautiful amazing massage. So relaxing! I then caught a shuttle back to the hotel and checked in. There were some gathered in the lobby from the publishing house. It was pretty neat to meet fellow authors and staff from The Writer's Coffee Shop. I've been talking to these people online for over a year so it was great to put live faces with the emails etc!
I got checked in and relaxed a bit. My roommate, fellow author T.M. Franklin arrived and we got ready for the evening. That night, we ate family style at Bucca di Peppo. It was yummy and WAY too filling and WAY too many courses. We had a great time. I felt sorry for the two lone men with all those ladies cackling around them.
I was greatly enjoying the experience by that time, but I really couldn't wait for the festival. We had some time to get ready in the morning leisurely and we shuttled over to the festival at 9:30am. It started at 10. I had no idea what to do. :) Watch and learn, right? The other authors handed out bookmarks for the various books the publisher had available there and just helped people find what type of thing they were looking for. Each author there had a half an hour signing period during which we would hand out their bookmarks more than the others to direct people to them.
I was excited for my signing, which occurred from 1:30-2pm. My book "Wrong Place, Right Time" is more of a novella and is going to be released in ebook format only. But for this event, they printed out a limited number of copies. And during my signing, quite a few of them sold. They had them priced very nicely and it was fun to catch people's eye with the cover, tell them it was a romantic comedy and a little about it and then sign it for them.
I got to take home the leftover bookmarks and there are a lot so I'm thrilled with that. And I've been telling people the book sold out of the festival, which in a way is true. Ha. It sold out because I bought the remaining copies to bring home and give to people. Because they won't be printing any more! They're very special and I wasn't leaving them behind! And there were only 5.
After my signing I continued on with helping out and I wandered through a few other booths as well. I walked through the capital building momentarily. Very pretty.
That night we went to Baby Acapulco and ordered off the menu. I got a burger. Yep, I'm more American than Mexican. Good news I wasn't the only one! It was also a very fun dinner. I sat near two Australians...love the accent! And had a blast with the conversations.
The next morning I rolled out of bed and left the hotel room immediately at 3:40am. I didn't want to bother my roommate with a shower and I didn't want to get up any earlier than I had to. I got to the airport and flew to Chicago. Just barely made my connection and headed home to my girls. I got some sleep on the plane so all was well.
I was thrilled to see my girls. My baby was sick before I left so it was really hard to leave, but she recovered okay while I was away and all was well.
It was so much fun to be in author mode fully and completely. Instead of mom/author mode like normal. I got to put everything into it and I learned a lot. I knew it might be my one chance to go and I went and I'm glad I did! My summary here is brief, but I wanted to at least go over the highlights of the event! It was a fast, whirlwind trip and I enjoyed it a lot!
Brooke Williams is a romantic comedy and children's book author. This mother of two writes during naptimes and enjoys keeping a blog about the writing process, among other things.