I haven’t appeared at very many book festivals, but attended two in the last couple of weeks. The first one came about because of a Facebook connection, associate professor Ernie Bond, who sent me an invite to the Children’s Literature Festival at Salisbury University, which is held every spring. By coincidence, I was going to be in town visiting relatives at the exact time, so sent him a message that I would drop by. One of the main reasons was that two I.N.K. bloggers would be there, Melissa Stewart and Sneed Collard lll. Then Ernie replied that he would have some of my books ordered for me to sign(!) Well sure, I’m always happy to sign books and was impressed that some were available with only a couple of weeks notice, plus people brought books in from their library or personal collections. And though Sneed hadn’t arrived yet I was fortunate to be able to chat with Melissa who gave me some great tips about her Skype school visits, something I’d like to try now that my iPad 2 has arrived. Her Readers’ Theater scripts and other activities on her web site have also been inspiring.
Speaking of my iPad, I’ve had it a little over a week and used it to film, edit, and upload the video below, taken at the UCF Book Festival last Saturday:
It’s another amazing coincidence that I write and illustrate books, and my brother Robert sells them... pretty cool! His store, Leedy’s Books, is in Orlando, so this festival is a great way for people to find out about his bookstore (he carries primarily used books). The University of Central Florida started their book festival last year and did a great job organizing it, but this year was even better. My only complaint is that it can be very tough for mere authors and books to compete against blue-eyed miniature horses in costume!!!
Not one, not two, but THREE adorable tiny horses (two with blue eyes) were in the booth next to me when I was signing. Needless to say, most of the books were signed at other times throughout the day in Robert’s booth. There were plenty of other fun distractions like a zillion characters in Star Wars costumes, which all added to the fun. Everything is done by volunteers which is probably the rule at book festivals, so hat’s off to the organizers at both events!