Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Get the dirt on the Red Dirt Book Festival

I attended the Red Dirt Book Festival in Shawnee, Oklahoma last weekend. Shawnee is a small town about 45 minutes from Oklahoma City. The Festival is run by the Pioneer Library System, which means I spent a lot of my time with librarians. Those librarians have a wicked sense of humor and a love for all things books. Also, they know how to throw a party.

So. A few cool facts about Shawnee:
* It is the birth place of Brad Pitt. Bet you didn't know ol' Brad was an Okie, did you? His family still lives there, and he visits on occasion flying in by private jet. There's a little air strip in Shawnee. (That's not a cool fact, just a regular fact.)

* The Mabee-Gerrer Museum houses the only mummy in Oklahoma. I saw her, and her sarcophagus, and you know how I feel about Ancient Egyptian artifacts. They had quite a collection of items. The Thursday night reception was held at the museum, so I not only got to wander away and look all at the fabulous art, I got to eat delicious food and drink wine. (Told you those book babes know how to par-tay!)

* The Mabee-Gerrer Museum also houses a portrait of one of the Popes. It's the only one not hanging in the Vatican (though there is a copy there).

Out-of-town participants stayed at the Hampton Inn, which offered three things authors need: decent beds, terrific coffee (with real creamer options), and free Internet. Plus, there was an IHOP and a Cracker Barrel on either side. So, no Denny's or Awful House ... er, I mean Waffle House! The hotel also served a full breakfast every morning, and all the employees were super nice. I wish every conference hotel was like this one (you hear that, RT Convention?).

The Festival was free. If you wanted to attend a lunch or a dinner, you bought tickets, but all the programming was no charge. Some of the other authors in attendance were Jordan Dane, Sharon Sala, Mel Odom, Sandra Soli, and Charles Sasser. I've known Sharon since way back, and I adore her. Also attending was Mary-Theresa Hussey, an executive editor with Harlequin, and we had a great time hanging out. Of course, I would like her anyway 'cause she's a chocolate addict same as me. I also met Carol Dean Shreiner and her sister, Althea, who were both delightful. And here's a shout-out to ghostlorist Randy Russell, who cracked me up.

My panel was called Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons---The Sexy Side of Paranormal. My fellow panelists were Steven E. Wedel and Crystal Inman. OMG. They can so take a joke, and we had a great time. Steve tried to throw down with me about vampires vs. werewolves. He can take a punch ... line. Heh. Crystal was a bundle of energy, and hilarious.

I bought a Red Dirt t-shirt, which is made with real red dirt. Thank goodness Carol and Althea saw me buy it and told me to wash it a couple of times. Apparently the red dirt in the shirts have been known to turn the wearers orange. That would've freaked me out. LOL.

I had such a great time! This festival is the best kept readers secret in the mid-west. The next one is in 2011. Everyone should invade Shawnee to go to Red Dirt. It's pure awesome.

Now, two years is a long time, I know, but to give you a taste of Red Dirt, I have a tote FULL of books. Some are even autographed, including those from Jordan Dane, Sharon Sala, Steven E. Wedel, Carol Dean Shreiner, and Billie Letts. There is also an assortment of other goodies I had leftover from my swag haul at RT.

All you have to do is leave a comment. Tell me about your favorite meeting an author experience or your favorite library event or how much you love chocolate.

44 comments:

Jen A said...

So not many of you authors..you know who you are...come to Kansas City? BTW what’s up with that? I have read this bloggedy blog and OK sounded like fun.....but I have go now because there is chocolate in the other room and it’s not going to eat itself. and if someone else touches it I might have to run screaming after them until someone calls the police....What? You know you'd do it too!

Chris R said...

I have been lucky enough to go the the RT Booksigning both times it was in Orlando. It is great to met new authors and to finally met authors you stalk...I mean..buy their books the minute they hit the shelves. But the best booksigning (and most scary LOL) was the first one I went to years ago in Cocoa Beach. There were fewer authors than the RT signings and they were all so nice to the strange person who was visibly trembling.

Anyone looking for booksignings should check with their local author groups. They often have small conventions. You really get a chance to talk to your favorite authors.

Qwill said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! I've met a few authors both at NY Comic Con and BEA09. One of my faves is Anton Strout not only because he rocks as an author, but because he's a terrific person. Also loved meeting however briefly Jackie Kessler, Caitlin Kittredge, and George Mann.

I have a confession - not a big chocolate fan, which just means more for you! :)

JoanneR said...

Have never had the great opportunity of going to a book signing, but I really love chocolate!!!

jacabur1 said...

Never been to a book signing but have had opportunities as live near Austin Texas and have some authors who come to a Bookpeople there to do autographs and meet and greets.
I also have a bit of trivia for Brad Pitt fans, he has some property purchased outside Smithville Texas when he made the "Tree of Life" there several years back now and there were times when he and Angelina and the kids came in to the little tiny airport out of town in their private jet when he was needed for the filming.
Books and more books and more books as a reward for commenting, count me in with a huge smile and doing the happy dance if I win. Good luck to us all.
Jackie B Central Texas

pattepoilue said...

I have never had the chance to go to a signing event yet but i sure would love to. I nearly went to a Patricia Briggs' signing but it was on the other side of the country and i had to work the following day.
But i do love chocolate though lol, i live 15 minutes away from Belgium (i live in France) which means that i always have Leonidas chocolate in the house. Belgium is the best when it comes to chocolate...yummmm

Brenda said...

Since I have not had any experience with all the other topics I will write about Chocolate. I am addicted to chocolate in any form, shape or taste. The dark is healthy for you, in case you did not know. Add peanut butter and it is yummy. Add marshmallow and wow you're in heaven.. Add pecans and you are in Georgia. No GA cook would ever make fudge, a cake, etc. with out pecans.. Be sure to eat chocolate every day as it benefits your health, but limit your intake to only one...LOL!!!

saycheesepease said...

Gosh--I've never actually got to meet an author. But I emails Jennifer Rardin once and she answered all my stupid questions--I was so excited I wished I knew where she was so I could buy her coffee. Or whatever. I don't drink coffee but I'd still love to meet her.

And chocolate--what's NOT to love about chocolate. Multiple flavors, white, dark, milk; can make nearly any food 10 times better; & above all, can pick you up when your a little down :o)

Debi Murray said...

Babe, I have a dirt shirt, too! Bought many years ago on a trip to Texas.

I will be attending Murder & Mayhem in Muskego (Wisconsin) this coming weekend. This is a friends of the library event and is actually held at the library. Had a great time last year and this year features authors Jeffrey Deaver, Barry Eisler, Laura Lippman, Jan Burke, Shirley Dammsgaard, recent Anthony winners Sean Chercover and Julie Hyzy, and J. A. Konrath to name a few. Pretty heavy hitters in the mystery/thriller genres. All for the price of $25 (which includes lunch and I walked away with at least 15 free books). Such a bargain!

Kimberley said...

I have not be fortunate enough to attend a large signing. The only author signing I was able to attend was 17 years ago when Jodi Thomas was at a local new/used bookstore (now closed down). She signed a book to both my baby girl and myself, my baby is now having a baby herself LOL.

I love all genre of books - I just love to read and don't limit myself to any category!

I'm just thankful that the talented people called authors share the fruits of their labors with us..Thank God for authors!

Jasmine said...

Love book signings, all the more when the author is doing a reading as well. My fav still has to be Neil Gaiman, I've seen him several times, he reads so well and that British accent... One of these days I would love to make it to RT just to meet all you wonderful authors.

kimmyl said...

I have never been lucky enough to meet any authors as of yet. But I have chatted with a few and it was the best. Karen Rose, Sue Ellen Welonder Julianne MacLean Cheryl Holt and Karen Moning. That's as close as I've came to meeting them.
My favorite chocolate is Doce and See's. I hope one year I get To go to The RT covention.

elnice said...

I have never been fortunate enough to meet any famous authors. This is one of the disadvantages to living in the middle of no man's land. I would have to drive about 4-5 hours to get to a decent signing. Although I do try to chat with any local and aspiring authors I meet.

joey said...

Unfortunately I am a failure at author meetings/book signings because I am homebound for 5 years plus now and before that noone comes to WV. I am also a failure in the chocolate dept because I am a diabetic. Pretty pitiful huh? But, I LUV books and have so many they are running me out of the house....I can always fit in more! LOL Be happy!

johanna

ScarltsMmy said...

Chocolate!! Did someone say chocolate???!! I have met no authors. *sigh* I have been to to no great library bashes. But I love chocolate!!!

Denise E.

SuzyQ1955 said...

I'm jealous first I NEVER travel thus have never been to any of the conventions and it seems the only thing that comes to NEBRASKA is football game and I hate sports. So thanks for the blog I'll just live vicariously through yours.

Susan Lathen

Martha Lawson said...

Hi there! Never attended an author event, would love to though. I am a librarian though! And yes, we know how to party.. Attended a library conference in August and it was a blast. Move out of the way when happy hour rolls around or you might get run down!!!

rara_weidenaar said...

Hrm, well, I've never MET an author per se, well, I'm sure I may have, in fact...yes. I have. My great grandma was a newspaper writer. But I don't think that's what you're looking for. Oh, and when I was in grade school about well...a number of years ago....I won a young writers conference and was bussed to a writers conference hosted by (gasp) writers who were published. I got a really cool blank book. But I don't think that's what you're looking for either. So, I guess I can tell you that I support writers. Mmmhmmm. I love to talk about books and loan them out or give a copy out and plague someone til I know they read it then watch them convert to being a minion of madness while they too join me in suffering for the next book to be released. Hey, misery loves company right? Oh, and I also have been known to stalk a few online. Sure, Charlaine Harris, love her site. Follow Anya Bast on Twitter. Just check my myspace account and see who I've got there. Yikes. Or facebook. Michelle Bardsley super rocks. Fan from book one of broken hearts series. But honestly, I think it's time that I talk about my favorite thing. Haunting all the sites while enjoying a variety of forms of chocolate. Because if you're only focused on EATING chocolate, well, that's just snobbery. It is a most enjoyable beverage too. And thus ends my public ramble of the evening. :)

amp67 said...

I found a wonderful paranormal series (Abby and Ophelia Mysteries) by a local Iowa author, Shirley Damsgaard, at my hometown library. I got to meet her at a book signing when her third book was released. She had a few minutes to talk, and the only thing that would have made it better was chocolate!

rara_weidenaar said...

I LOVE that series. Of course, you'll hear that of me a lot.

catie james said...

I don't have a favorite "meeting an author" experience mostly because I turn into a blathering idiot around you people! :) Put me in front of the best looking humans, or any other celebrity on the planet and I'll be just fine; get me w/in ten feet of an author? All I can do is blush, duck my head, and mutter: "Ireallyloveyourworkitsanhonortomeetyoumayihaveyourautographpleasethankyouverymuch," before shuffling off into the great blue yonder.

Library events - haven't attended one since I was in single digits. I much prefer donating funds/texts/tomes and picking up reserved books at my leisure.

Chocolate - OMG chocolate! Remember that episode of THE SIMPSONS which featured Homer's fantasy world made entirely of chocolate? Yeah, I could live there, slip into a diabetic coma, and die one happy!happy! woman.

Theresa N. said...

I met Kathryn Tucker Windham years ago she wrote "13 Alabama Ghost and Jeffrey" and a whole host of Ghost and Jeffrey books about true ghost stories. She was doing a lecture and signing, someone asked her if she really believed in ghost? Her answer was a good one, with a smile " I better they but my sons through college".
Theresa N
weceno(at)yahoO(dot)com

HEAFan said...

My one author meeting was a little over a year ago when Janet Evanovich came to Orlando & signed copies of her Plum Lucky at a B&N. I had worked a full day & normally wouldn't think of doing something like that on a work night. However, my husband and dad were also big fans so we went. The signing started around 5 or 6 (?) and the line snaked all around the store. By the time we got to B&N, we were told it would be at least a 3 hr wait so the three of us had dinner. My DH & Dad gave up after dinner, but I met up w/some ladies I knew and we had a fine time in line discussing all the books we liked.
By the time we got up to Janet, it was 10:30; I was so tired I couldn't see straight. My dad had wanted me to say something about his crush on Grandma Mazur. So, I really & totally impressed Ms. Evanovich w/my clever witticism on Granma...Granny.... Gramma... I had a complete and total blank on Grandma Mazur's name. Janet told me her name & I crawled off looking for a corner in which to die. She had been signing books for over 3 hrs at this time and had quite a line still to go. She was very gracious; I so envied her energy level.
There was a section in the store where they were holding trivia contests & other stuff. For the life of me, I couldn't remember the titles to her Full series (tired much?). I started describing the plots to the person next to me who then came up w/Full WHATEVER & got the prize. It was a fun night.

Chocolate...what can I say? It owns me; demands to be eaten & happily resides on my hips. No alcoholic has anything on me & chocolate.

stacey said...

I always wanted to go to a Auther event But thay never have eny around here the .I wish thay did.And I love Chocolates is there some one that does not.thay would be mising out on one of lifes saver.eny time your sad it can pick you up.
sasluvbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com

donnas said...

Sounds like such fun. I really hope to get to attend a book convention one day. Thanks for sharing about your time there. I know if I end up near the area next year to make sure and stop in!

SiNn said...

how much i love chocolate eh I loveee chocolate lol tho for real i can remember loving books as a small kid and the first time my mom ever braught me to a libraryi was thrilled and scared and excited i wanted to move in 3 stories of books asa kid was all i wanted and when they told me i could take books home oh wow i wasi n love my love of books hasnt changed the loctaion of where i livehas i wont ever forget the libarary in PA now i just frequent my libary here in Missouri that event tho sounds seriously seriously awesome deff be looking int o it in 2011 thank you Michele for this post!

lisa.kersten said...

Okay, so I have never been lucky enough to meet an author let alone one of my favorites. I don’t think people read in St. Louis, because we NEVER have any good author visits….. It’s always Kansas City or Chicago. If you are a mom like me with all the little rug rats running around, you don’t have time or the money to visit either one of these fabulous cities. I mean who would clean the house or change thousands of stinky diapers if we were away? Gasp, I don’t think my husband even knows how too…LOL

With all of that being said, I will be forced to tell you about my addiction to chocolate. I have several secret stashes of Godiva and Lindt Truffles. I have to hide them in a shoe boxes in my closet to keep my husband and children away, (does that make me a closet chocolate addict?). As a mom I feel I loaned my body out for the kids and I spend countless hours picking up after my messy husband so I have my two guilty pleasures, 1. My books & 2. My chocolate. On more than one occasion by husband asks me why I spend so much time in my closet trying to find what I am going to wear everyday….LOL. Yep, I think I might have a problem.

Cindy Stevens said...

Michele, you are awesome!! I loved meeting you and having you at the festival. Come party with us anytime - Librarian Cindy

Wanda said...

I think I could live on chocolate. My favourite is dark chocolate but I'll eat anything.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

Steve Wedel said...

It was great meeting you Michelle! Even if you are on the side of the dirt-sleepers. ;)

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

Wow that does sound like a wicked festival... not the suck every red cent out of you they can type. Makes you more amiable to buy stuff - like your tshirt . LOL

I have a serious weakness for dark chocolate. Put it on anything and I will eat it... even did the chocolate bacon thing once. Couldn't get my friends to eat it though so I had to sneak it onto the pizza I made them instead. ;)

Miranda
mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

kismet said...

I have never gone to a book signing, but maybe someday I'll go too.

Margay said...

I have yet to attend any conferences or author signings, but I really would love to do so some day. I guess I'll just have to console myself with chocolate in the meantime.

Margay

Margay1122(at)aol(dot)com

Wilma Frana said...

I've never attended a book signing because I live too far away from the bigger cities that hold these events. I would like to do so some day.

Lisa Mason said...

I have not been to too many book signings (you authors need to come to Florida moer) but I go see Lisa Unger every year and buy her book and have her sign it for mr. She is so sweet and down to earth. Yet, I still feel like a teenager meeting her favorite rock star. why? I guess because my favorite authors are like rock stars to me. Your books ad stories give me an escape fro the everyday life.My mother was telling me she has all of Debbie Macomber's boks and is about to start reading them. I replied, " just fiished Michelle Rowen's Tall, Dak and Fangsome in a day." I told her (no offense to Debbie) but I prefer the paranormal or the serieal killers( I always say if someone isnt getting killed, killing someone, having sex or dying, it's just not really for me. (of course, I do read many genres, but these types are my faves. I need that escape from the the real world. And you, Michele ,are one of those who provide it for mwe. I only hope to attend one of your signings one day!

Anonymous said...

Joanne
Would love to win this! Thank you!
joanenreynolds@sbcglobal.net

April said...

As a librarian, I agree that we do know how to party. Out of the author panels I have attended one of my favorites is Anna Meyers. Of course I also enjoyed the author signing I had in my library with Samuel Hagen. It should also be said that you can never go wrong with chocolate! BTW I love your books, and have turned several people on to your Broken Heart series with high praises from them all. ;-)

Jessica said...

I just love reading, especially these books. Michelle is awesome!!! I trade books with my sister and we go through them within a night. Too hard to put down~

hawlla said...

I've only met an author once in my life and I had never heard of him. He walked into the convenience store I was working at--he was drunk as a skunk and loquacious to boot. He had written a book about haunted places in New Orleans and the bit of advice he gave me was that I should always write what I know. I took that to heart, although I never follow the rest of his advice: I don't write every day.

CristyN said...

I just discovered this blog and am in wonder land, I'll be coming back more frequently. I love Michelle!

Kim in La. said...

Sounds like an awesome time! I love Michelle Bardsley, and would give up a month of chocolate to meet her!

Tara W said...

Unfortunately, I haven't been to any book signings or met any authors yet. I do appreciate good chocolate though, especially milk chocolate with caramel and nuts.

Brenda said...

My favorite Library event is not put on from the Library but by the "Friends of the Library" and it is the annual Old Book Sale. I not only enjoy browsing through the thousands of books (I have to go more then one day..LOL), I also enjoy collecting and giving my read books for this good cause. The money they make at the sale is used to buy books for the 3 libraries here. I love books and want everyone to have books to read.

eda said...

按摩棒電動按摩棒飛機杯自慰套自慰套情趣內衣
角色扮演按摩棒跳蛋情趣跳蛋

G點性感丁字褲吊帶襪丁字褲無線跳蛋

衣蝶
情趣按摩棒
潤滑液SM內衣性感內衣自慰器充氣娃娃AV情趣情趣用品

Who the HELL Do We Think We Are?

We're a bunch of paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors who occasionally blog, make filthy jokes and prowl the halls of conferences and conventions with switchblades!

Current roster: Mario Acevedo, Michele Bardsley, Sonya Bateman, Dakota Cassidy, Carolyn Crane, Molly Harper, Kevin Hearne, Mark Henry, Stacia Kane, Jackie Kessler, J.F. Lewis, Daniel Marks, Richelle Mead, Kelly Meding, Allison Pang, Nicole Peeler, Kat Richardson, Michelle Rowen, Diana Rowland, Jeanne C. Stein, K.A. Stewart, Anton Strout, and Jaye Wells

******************