by Gail Chianese
It seems there’s always something going on when one of my books comes out that keeps me hopping. When my first book released I was on vacation with the family (not that I’m complaining). Book two came out the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and well, you all know how busy that week gets. For my last release, FIANCE FOR KEEPS, I did something cool and different… I attended the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon.
What a blast.
I flew to Milwaukee the day before the festivities started not really sure what to expect. Sure, I’d heard the stories about table decoration wars, and I’d better be ready to think quick during the author Q&A and that there would be lots and lots of readers. What I hadn’t heard was how amazingly wonderful those readers were. I mean I think Barbara made it a requirement in order for people to attend they had to be super duper nice people. Or maybe they were just as excited to be there as we authors were, because I know all sixty of us were thrilled to attend.
There’s nothing we love more than connecting with readers, hearing what they think about our stories (even when it’s not glowing praise) and just talking books. After all, writers are readers too. These were our people and we were in Heaven.
There was much laugher, and discussion amongst the tables during lunch, some great food and friendships made. Eloisa James and Damon Suede headed up the fun and games portion of the weekend… and I can tell you that J. Kenner and Regina Kyle rock at charades, but the readers! Oh my gosh, do they know their books. They were nailing those titles in nothing flat. Very impressive.
It wasn’t all fun and games and silliness. We also raised over $12k for charity that weekend too, showing once again, what generous hearts readers have.
I’ve been to a lot of conferences, attended Romantic Times, but I have to say this was by far the best weekend ever. With sixty authors and around five hundred readers you wouldn’t think you’d have much of a chance to really talk and get to know people, but we did and to me as an author and as a fellow reader, that was priceless.
So if you happen to be looking for something to do in the spring where you will have fun, make friends and get to meet people who love books check out Barbara Vey’s event. Or look for other events like this in your area. I know I’m already looking forward to going back and making new friends, after all these are my people…. book lovers.
Thanks to Barbara and all the lovely readers who attended for making my weekend wonderful.