Yesterday’s mixer with the Kansas Library Association was truly inspirational and a lot of fun. I love being in a room full of people who love books and have dedicated their lives to them in so many ways. Approximately 85 librarians throughout the state gathered together in Topeka at the Capitol Plaza Hotel for their annual convention.
At the invitation of director Roy Bird and the Kansas Center for the Book, seven authors in all participated in the “Happy Hour,” which consisted of a really tasty ice cream bar instead of an alcohol bar. Nobody complained!
The six additional participating authors were Wyatt Townley, an award-winning poet and author of The Afterlife of Trees, her husband Roderick Townley, a Kansas Notable Book winner and author of The Blue Shoe, Richard W. Jennings, author of Ghost Town, also on the Kansas Notable list for 2010, Norman Conard and Megan Felt, who, together with Jack Mayer, authored Life in a Jar, former Kansas Poet Laureate and two-time Notable Book winner Denise Low, whose recent work includes To the Stars: Kansas Poets, and Andrea Warren, the award-winning author of Under Siege!
Our featured guest speaker was Nancy Pickard, one of the best known mystery writers in the state of Kansas. Nancy has won multiple awards for her work, and I had the pleasure and privilege of hearing her speak at the Kansas Notable Books ceremony last September, as well!
After Nancy finished her speech and fielded questions from the enthusiastic audience, Claflin Books and Copies of Manhattan was on hand to sell our books as the librarians roamed around the room, socializing with the authors.
It was wonderful meeting and talking with such fine people from all over the state who help keep books alive for so many. I’m pleased to tell you I sold and signed a lot yesterday, and I was particularly happy when several librarians brought in catalogued copies of Silver Shoes from their libraries for me to sign.
Next week, I’ll be off to western Kansas for a mini book tour of four libraries—two public and two school. And after yesterday’s event, I must say I’m looking forward to it more than ever!