I was invited to attend a summer reading festival at a local library on June 4. It was an all day affair, with 20 authors scheduled to give discussions and sign books at scattered intervals. It was an educational experience. I had a great deal of fun talking with experienced mystery writers Robin Hathaway and Elena Santangelo. They asked if I would like to join the local chapter of Sisters in Crime. They assured me I did not have to wear a wig and heels to attend. From what they said, the chapter goes on field trips (they visited a morgue!) and has speakers from the FBI, law enforcement agencies, and private eye firms. So, I think I am going to become an honorary sister. The author who had the longest line for book signings was Newbury Award winner Jerry Spinelli. There was also a great deal of food provided for the authors!
I heard some not-too-positive stories (real, not fiction) from authors who had been published by large publishing houses. Some were dropped by those publishers if they did not quite come up to sales expectations. Others said that bookstores were not able to get copies of books two years after publication. One house would only print hard back copies. So, I guess bigger does not always mean better.
This weekend is the Philadelphia Writers' Conference. I'll report on that after it's over.