Saturday, October 17, Stacy Monson and Brenda Anderson organized the first annual Fall Harvest of Books at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth, Minnesota. Well, they didn’t exactly wait until Saturday to organize, but the event was put together quickly. The idea started as a book launch for Stacy’s Dance of Grace (second in her Chain of Lakes Series) and for Brenda’s Hungry for Home (the conclusion of her Coming Home Series). When they invited other authors they knew to join them, the thing exploded. In the end we had thirteen authors and between one and two hundred attendees. (We were all too busy to count!) Besides the Facebook event page and the links we all made to that, the event was featured on the local Christian radio station.
After delays with the editor and more with the designer, Stacy's book was scheduled to arrive on Monday AFTER the Saturday event! It took a call to the printer and the prayers of her hairdresser to get it there on time.
LeAnne Hardy’s biggest challenge was getting dressed. She wore an authentic sixteenth-century gown she had made herself to highlight her Glastonbury Grail Series, and it required lacing up the back. Very tight lacing. “I need a lady’s maid!” she moaned. “Actually, the process of sewing the dress gave me lots of new insights into my character.”
We all enjoyed talking with old friends and meeting new. “I love meeting people who have actually read my book!” Stacy says. “One was the mother of the gal who worked on my cover. She said such nice things (as did her husband at a different time) and was excited to buy book 2. That's still pretty bizarre to me!”
Kathryn was thrilled with two boys who picked up her middle-grade fantasy, read the back cover and pronounced it “Cool!” Their Dad bought it for them. “This is why I do what I do,” Kathryn says. “May they be drawn closer to Jesus right along with my main character.” She loved meeting other adults who are fantasy fanatics—the adults who also read the back cover and pronounced it “Cool!”
Stacy “was tickled to meet people who were there to support another author but stopped by to chat. They had such nice things to say about everyone.” Brenda especially enjoyed a couple with interesting accents who stayed from beginning to end. “They were so much fun to talk with, and I loved watching them flit around the room talking with everyone.”
LeAnne had to smile at the little girl who was sure that her YA novel about HIV in South Africa must be a mystery with a title like Keeping Secrets. She made sure the mother understood what it was actually about before she bought it.
Stacy would like to start planning future events much earlier. She wants to "find more ways to publicize it, and come up with new ways to get people to stop by every table.” It has even been suggested that we should consider doing a fall AND a spring event.
Watch this space for future announcements!
[Reported by LeAnne Hardy.]