Monday, April 10, 2006

Good Day in Hail: The Southern Kentucky Book Fest

Well, I'm back from the Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green, and I'm happy to say that, not only did I sell a bunch o'books, I had a large time.

First off, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting author, travel writer, rum connoisseur and all around cool guy Bob Morris. Bob writes the Zack Chasteen series of mysteries, each one set on a different Caribbean island. I picked up a copy of Bahamarama at the festival and finished it on the plane home. I can tell you that Bob has now taken a place on my lookout list, i.e., the books I look out for so I can buy them the day they come out.

Soon after, Bob and I fell among blonde companions, which is to say the lovely and fiercely talented writers Tasha Alexander and Kristy Kiernan. Right now, I'm into Tasha's first novel, a Victorian-Era mystery entitled And Only to Deceive. It's a keeper. And if the online excerpt from Kristy's upcoming novel Catching Genius is any indication, I can't wait to read the whole thing. Kristy's definitely an author to keep an eye on.

Soon the posse was augmented by "thrash novelist" Nathan Singer. Now I ask you: how can you not like a guy who considers "thoroughly appalling" a good blurb for his book? Nathan writes them dark, and he writes them exceedingly well. Some day I hope to introduce him to Ken Bruen. The final member of the crew to join up was Kentucky writer and musician Kirby Gann.

Suffice it to say that, soon after, merriment ensued. Tasha has snapshots of the same over at her website.

Oh, and as a bonus, I got to tell Gong Show creator Chuck Barris what a huge influence his creation has been on my life and world view. I'm sure he's never heard that before.

Hats off to: the organizers of the Festival, who kept everything running so smoothly in the face of tornado warnings and baseball sized hail; Bowling Green attorney and mystery aficionado Bart Darrell for excellent moderation of our panel on Saturday and for not one but two wonderful restaurant recommendations; the staff at the Holiday Inn University Plaza in Bowling Green, who could not have been nicer or more accommodating (except for the surly bartender, and even she mellowed out after a while); and of course, all the wonderful folks who came out to browse, to chat, and to buy books.

A big middle finger, however, to the lady who walked up to my table, picked up a book, read the back cover, and made a face as if she'd smelled something bad before tossing it down and walking away. I love you too, hon.

11 comments:

Bob Morris said...

Check's in the mail, mon...

And just in case your lovely wife is reading this: Those "blonde companions" behaved just as honorably as Dusty and I did ... well, most of the time, anyway.

JD Rhoades said...

Heh! Indeed. Good clean fun for all.

Tasha Alexander said...

The blonde companions can be relied on to always behave honorably!

But, hey! When did the bartender mellow out? I missed that.

Glad to hear you're liking the book...

JD Rhoades said...

But, hey! When did the bartender mellow out? I missed that.

That's what you get for leaving early, darlin'. Better luck next time.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Had a large time?

Do I even want to ask?

Honorable Kristy said...

Had a great time, and I had NO idea we left early! Did she like, pour drinks and everything? Damn!

Tasha Alexander said...

Did she like, pour drinks and everything? Damn!

C'mon, Kristy! Pour drinks??? Isn't that asking a bit much?

JD Rhoades said...

"Honorable Kristy"--I like it. Has a nice Charlie Chan feel.

*bows*

The bartender didn't mellow out till late Saturday, after you guys had left. And that was only after I finally complained to the manager because she waltzed into the bar (which was already full) at 6:45 PM and announced that the bar was going to be closed for 30 minutes while she "got it organized." It seemed to me that the time to do this was sometime before 6:45 on Saturday. It didn't much matter to me, because I was on the way out for the evening, but she left a nice older lady standing there waiting to pay for the wine she'd already had. That was kind of the last straw. I had a polite word with the manager, and when we came back from dinner, the bartender was at least civil.

See, you missed the chance to see me get indignant. That'll learn ya.

Tasha Alexander said...

Will you be indignant next year? If so, I'm there...

JD Rhoades said...

Oh, I'm sure I will. High Dudgeon is my natural state of mind.

Nathan Singer said...

Hey Dusty, your last paragraph here pretty well sums up the majority of my book signing experience thus far in my writing career. Had she read the jacket, gasped, "Dear God!" and tossed it back, flicking whatever bits of evil she may have had sticking to her, that'd be about par.

See y'all in Madison!