Tag Archives: nick valentino

Decatur Book Festival Rocks

Well, it’s been a while I since I actually wrote a Blog post, so I thought this would be a good time to catch up. I won’t go into a lot of past stuff. Instead, I will start with this past weekend.

I drove down to Georgia for the Decatur Book Festival. For the fourth year I was fortunate enough to stay at Mary Cunningham’s house. Mary is the author of the acclaimed Cynthia’s Attic middle grade fantasy series. Staying at Mary’s house is like staying at one of the greatest B&B’s in the world. The house is lovely, the amenities are to die for, Mary makes the most awesome pasta salad, and her husband grills the most fabulous and awesome steaks ever anywhere in the world.

On Thursday Mary took me to her local writers’ group for an author event. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation from M.L. Malcolm, author of HEART OF LIES at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center (a LOVELY facility!) It was a really neat experience. Later that evening, the group went to dinner together at this lovely little restaurant called Little Hawaiian in downtown Carrollton. This was one of the BEST restaurants I have been to in a really long time. Tempura Shrimp with the own sauce and I had to stop myself from licking the little cup. For my main course I had the Hawaiian Noodle Bowl and I just cannot find words to describe it. WOW!!! Did I mention the bread and dipping sauce…sigh!

So brand new debut author Gale Borger from Wisconsin flew in for the festival and stayed at Mary’s house as well. We had such a great time. Gale’s first book, a humorous mystery called TOTALLY BUZZED is just great. She did such an awesome job selling to the adoring potential fans who visited our booth. I actually think she might be a natural.

Saturday at the festival Nick Valentino joined us. He was actually in town for DragonCon in Atlanta, but couldn’t resist seeing me. LOL I really was quite exhausted from having to sell Nick’s book (THOMAS RILEY). It almost got monotonous (just kidding—Nick is a sales dynamo and he has become somewhat of a rock star.) So, we are all standing around with almost nothing to do when romance author Betty Hudson comes flitting (she is just too darn cute) into our booth with a copy of her latest romance SLEEPING BOOTY in her hand. She was tickled to bits as she explains that after meeting Nick at the South Carolina Book Festival she was so taken that she simply HAD to write Nick and his book into her contemporary pirate novel. It was such a cool thing to watch as Nick reacted t her news.

And as if that wasn’t enough to keep Nick’s feet five feet off the ground, another gal strolls into the booth and asks Nick to sign her Kindle…right beneath her autograph from Charlaine Harris. You can actually find the video on Nick’s Blog.

So with all of the great things happening, you have to figure that there would be some not so good. The incidents were few, but pretty major for me.

First, let me thank the young teen boy who caught me and prevented me from cracking my head open as I fell down three marble steps when some old guy’s dog ran under my foot as I was stepping up. Here’s a hand gesture for the old guy who then turned around and snapped, “Ex-scuse me!” and stomped off like I had done something to him. JERK!

So then on Sunday I am walking back to the booth after visiting the local bookstores, The Little Shop of Stories, and I pass by this pub with tables outside. There are five guys (four White and one Mexican-I find this relevant) sitting there and one of the White guys says, and I quote, “Maybe if we could get all the niggers and Muslims together in that mosque at ground zero we could just blow it up and get rid of them all at once.”

To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. I just stopped, turned to them and said, “REALLY? Welcome to fucking American, you moron!” Come on people, do you really need to talk like that in public? If you want to be stupid, do it in your own space and don’t infect the rest of us your stupidity!!

So, as Sunday came close to an end, I was sitting in the booth ringing up a credit card sale and Sam Morton (author of the YA novel BETRAYED) walks up, stops, and with a serious look on his face he says, “You know, when you get in the bathroom and have to go really bad is NOT the time to discover you have your underwear on backwards.” I laughed so hard I snorted, like four or five times. I honestly didn’t think I could stop laughing. And bless his heart, his day didn’t get any better. He texted me later to tell me he had made it 50 miles out of Decatur , headed home, and he had a blow out and had been waiting for the repair truck for over an hour, and guess what…he had to pee. But he was confident that as soon as he dug his thingy out of his backward drawers the truck would arrive with spotlight glaring and lights flashing.

I think, though, that I can say that the very best part of the entire trip was watching my authors sell several hundred books to eager readers, readers of all ages. I have the most super duper authors in the world.

I want to thank the authors who attended for all their support and hard work.

Diana Black (WOOF: Women Only Over 50)

Gale Borger (Totally Buzzed)

Mary Cunningham (The Missing Locket, The Magic Medallion, Curse of the Bayou, The Magician’s Castle and WOOF: Women Only Over 50)

Sam Morton (DisaVowed, Betrayed)

Nick Valentino (Thomas Riley)

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We’ve got Stuff to give away!

We’ve been on a bit of a marketing spree lately at Echelon Press and we’ve got some promo materials we’d LOVE to give away to bookstores, teachers, and librarians.

We have some really cool Kieryn Nicolas READ posters for the young readers in your life. These posters are 11 x 17. Send your mailing info to me at echelonpress@gmail.com and I will send you the posters. Teachers, If your students would like to order copies of RAIN by Kieryn, we can negotiate a really great discount for bulk orders.

Kieryn is training for the Disney Half Marathon to benefit The Luekemia and Lymphoma Society. No one would be upset if you were hop on over and support her efforts.

We’ve also got some pretty cool bookmarks for your customers, patrons, and students. You tell me how many you want and I’ll send them along.

I am trying to think of a really cool contest for booksellers, teachers, and librarians who support Echelon Press and all of our divisions. If you fall into one of these categories and have some ideas on what would make a great prize, please post your thoughts here. I can tell you that whoever’s idea I decide to use as a prize will receive a FREE book of their choice from our paperback line.

I hope you will take some time to check out our book selection. We’ve got some awesome books in both paperback and eBook. Need more info or want to have one of our authors come and speak to your customers, students, or patrons, don’t hesitate to contact me to help you set it up.

Book Club? Ask about our options for having one of our authors speak to your group.

For you readers out there, if you want one of Kieryn’s signed posters contact me to find out how to make it happen.

Well, I am off to the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA this weekend. I hope if you are in the area you will stop by and see me and my special friends, authors, Mary Cunningham, Diana Black, Sam Morton, Gale Borger, and our special guest on Saturday only Steampunk authors Nick Valentino.

You can find us in the Square at Booth 107. we will be right next to the FABULOUS Bobbie Hinman, author of the best fairy books ever!

South Carolina Book Festival 2010 Pregame

And here we are again in the lovely Columbia, SC. If my math is correct, this is our 6th year in attendance. I am always thrilled to come back here because this is one of our most successful and fun festivals. This year I am really glad to be here this year because back in MD it is snowing and colder than…well cold.

This is one of my favorite book festivals because this area has some seriously loyal readers. We have a group of people that come and see us every year to buy all of our new releases. For me that is the ultimate compliment, because we have been seeing them for four or five years now and they are always excited to see us and to meet new authors.

When we first started attending the SC Book Festival we were placed on the very back wall and things were pretty dismal. But the coordinators listened to those of us back there and they designated that last row for the author signings. The other good thing that happened when we first started attending is that we met historian and author Richard Cote. He befriended us and the next year he requested that they place us next to him. The good news there was that he was on the main aisle as attendees come in the door. So we moved on up. Things have gotten better every year since. The bad news with that is that Richard is focusing more on his writing and no longer attends the festival. We got to keep our new space, but we miss Richard and his wit and charm tremendously.

Andrew Gross

The Dark Tide

So I drove in on Thursday so I could rest up for Friday set up. I am not as young and spry as I used to be and need the recovery time. So I got into town, checked into my hotel and spent the night in bed with Andrew Gross. Not only is Andrew handsome, but he is extraordinarily talented. And all of you with your minds in the gutter, you should be ashamed of yourself. I am reading THE DARK TIDE and if you follow me on Twitter you will know that I usually only get to read in the potty (and Andrew was okay with that), but I made the jump and actually packed his book to bring with me. I just couldn’t leave him at home.

The Advocae

Teresa Burrell, author of THE ADVOCATE is my actual roommate on this trip and she arrived at 5 am this morning, via Amtrak from FL. I did manage to fall back asleep for a couple hours, but then I had IHOP on my mind and we had to get up and go to breakfast. If anyone wants to butter Teresa up, IHOP is her favorite breakfast restaurant.

The best of Sam Morton

After breakfast we met Sam Morton, author of DISAVOWED and the recently released, and very controversial Young Adult novel BETRAYED at the convention center to set up our booth. For the record, we are in Booth 102 in the Columbia Convention Center.

As I was checking in I ran to my favorite SC conference gal Nancy who always makes me smile.

I got another pleasant surprise when my most favorite children’s author, Bobbi Hinman, came strolling up the aisle. If you have small children who love books, you MUST visit http://www.bestfairybooks.com. She is the author of THE KNOT FAIRY, THE SOCK FAIRY, THE BELLYBUTTON FAIRY, and the upcoming coming THE FART FAIRY. Bobby is one of the neatest people ever and I was so thrilled to see her and hubby Harry.

Thomas Riley

Soon after, superstar Nick Valentino, author of THOMAS RILEY, a super cool steampunk novel, showed up to set up his display. If you have never met Nick or seen him in action, you definitely need to come by our booth and meet him. It is well worth the trip.

With all the work out of the way, it was back to the hotel room where I have been holed up and doing some brainstorming with a few authors. But now I think you are probably all bored senseless and I should close off.

I’ll be popping in again tomorrow to let you know how our first day of sales went. Don’t forget to stop in and see us.