Monday, October 6, 2008

The Collingswood Book Festival

On Saturday, my daughter, husband and I went to the Collingswood Book Festival. Now, my husband reads primarily bicycle and computer magazines, and after reading the first five pages of my novel said,"It's all I need to read to know it's good." My daughter just turned ten, so she can't even read YA - she tried, but went right back to Diary of A Wimpy Kid. Amazingly, they both found things to do there. My husband became fascinated with a "Tiki Bike" (there probably is a proper name for this, but I don't know what it is - it had a tiki bar roof and it rolled), and he got to talk to all the recumbent bike building people who stood on the fringes of the festival -- he was so happy to find those kindred souls. Anyway, here's a cell phone shot of the Tiki Bike. I think five people can fit on it:

And my daughter found a make your own Wimpy Kid diary workshop, tons of homemade cookies, and this:


There were lots of authors, books, and street fair type anomalies (bubbles, gigantic, walking sharks, Cliffords, Dr. Seuss and retirement age men wearing wizard hats). Mostly teenagers stopped to talk to me, and several people thought I was a conservationist writing about the "shape" water was in (like something connected to the melting of the polar ice caps).

I had one man dressed entirely in black slither up to me. "I'm a demonologist," he said, "would I like your book?" I told him he probably wouldn't, then tried to act busy, which is not easy when all you have is a table, copies of your novel and some business cards. He asked if there was a sucubus in the book, and when I told him no, he moved along.

The funny thing was how many adults came up to me and told me they liked to read YA. I acted so surprised until my daughter looked up from her American Girl magazine and said, "So you like it so much you write it, and you're an adult."


She's right, of course. I have always read YA and MG books, but I never admitted that until I published one.

The other weird moment was right after a couple of teenagers told me how much they wanted to be authors, and I talked to them for a few minutes about writing. They were really enthusiatic about my novel, and after I signed their copies, and they left, I turned to Emma and said, "Wow, it's almost like I have fans."

She was still reading her magazine, and this time, without looking up, she said, "Not really you don't. You're just Mom."


Marcia said...

I read something Lois Duncan wrote about making a public appearance. Now she had been famous before the kid in question was even born. As their car approached the venue where she was to speak, and he saw crowds of people thronging the door, her son's jaw dropped. He said, "Don't they realize you're just a mom?"

TerriRainer said...

LOL, aren't kids GREAT?

I put this really cool map on my blog last month that shows where people who visit your blog are from. I was showing one of my older kids, and my youngest piped up and said "Mom, you're FAMOUS! People you don't even know read your blog!"

Uh, that IS the point! Alas, I'm so NOT famous, and my oldest would roll her eyes and agree emphatically.

As for the demonologist...YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED HIM QUESTIONS!
Man, I would have cornered that poor dark, slinking man and drilled him about everything paranormal that I could. He would have probably run screaming, scared of me, when I got done with him.

:) Terri

Carrie Harris said...

You've got to wonder what made the demonologist come to the book fair in the first place, don't you? :)

Anne Spollen said...

LOL, guys -- Yes, Marcia, whenever people tell my kids their Mom is a writer, or that they liked something in a magazine, they're like, "Well, you'd think she'd write my essays for me then." They are in that utterly narcisstic teen stage of life. My daughter just wants MG books that she can show her friends --provided there are no boy characters.

And Terri, I wished you were there!
I met a whole table of absolutely WILD romance writers when I was walking around. They were definitely a "lunatic fringe" and welcome relief from the some of the stodgy writers there. They seemed to be having the best time of all the folks there. And I would have gladly handed the demonologist over to you. (I wanted to ask him what/how he became such a thing? Hogwarts? Rutgers? The psych ward?)

And, yes, Carrie, why was he there? He entered, looked around and made a beeline for me. I guess he was looking for demons or books about them, but you're right: a book festival is such a wholesome, sane environment that took place on a street with a lot of churches in the middle of an October day. Maybe he was a "nice" demonologist.
So much for meeting the public...

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