Greetings from Miami, y’all! Last weekend I attended the Miami Book Fair and I gotta say, it was way cool. Sunny skies, palm trees, books galore, music. But the best part? Hearing authors read and speak. With three full days of authors in multiple venues scheduled every hour, that’s a lot of authors!
So, highlights for me?
For starters, the panel discussion with Emily Giffin, Maria Semple, and Gayle Forman was so entertaining. You may not recognize these authors’ names, but I bet you’ll recognize their books. Giffin has penned eight chick lit books including Something Borrowed, Something Blue, First Come Love, etc. Maria Semple wrote best-selling blockbuster Where’d You Go Bernadette. Forman wrote If I Stay which is queued up on my bookshelf now. These hilarious ladies were willing to discuss anything and everything including their own personal struggles as authors.
Terry McMillan (When Stella Got her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale, and so many more incredible books!) shared a wealth of personal experience with a packed auditorium (of which I snagged a second row seat). She was down to earth and inspirational and said things like “Whatever you do, own it” and “Don’t try to copy someone else’s voice or writing style.” Her books always star strong female protagonists, and I appreciate that.
Meeting Margot Livesay (Mercury, etc.) was a personal thrill for me because I’d just completed a six week online creative writing class through the University of Iowa, and she was one of the main instructors. This class was beneficial to me and seeing her in person felt surreal after listening to her via this class. (I literally ran into her in the hallway a few hours before she spoke and we chatted and I played the fangirl role to perfection.)
I’ll go on record right now and say I’ve learned lots of cooking tips by watching Top Chef. Padma Lakshmi was beautiful, forthcoming, well spoken, very down to earth and funny. She makes you feel like you want to visit her home and spend time around her dining room table eating exotic spices. We met her adorable daughter too. She’s a little mini-Padma.
Of course another major highlight was seeing my book at the fair.
By the way, Saturday is Small Business Saturday, the day to shop small, shop local. I couldn’t have timed it better.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Flamboyan, Camila Luna