If you know me, you know I tend to fudge a bit when someone asks me where I’m from: “Well, I was born in Cincinnati, and I grew up in Louisville.” But I was, indeed, born in Cincinnati, and it is the place of my earliest memories. Among my favorites are of going downtown with my grandfather, a retired city worker (a bureaucrat, at least part of his job was to name streets), voracious reader, and stamp collector. As soon as I was old enough to be buckled (or not) in the front seat of the car, he would let me tag along with him to the library and the central post office.
Last Friday night, the first event for Cincinnati’s 2015 Books by the Banks festival was a cocktail party that took place in downtown’s gorgeous Mercantile Library, which was founded in 1835 as a place where the young and connected could meet and mingle and educate themselves. It’s just the sort of place that my gruff and intellectually curious grandfather would have loved. If you find yourself looking for a bit of Cincinnati history, and are in a literary state of mind, you should check it out. I believe it’s the third building on the same spot to house the library, and it’s full of bookish atmosphere. Here’s their website.
Writer David Bell was there–he’s second from the right in this shot of the crowd during the awards announcements. (Okay. Maybe I was a little distracted. I get excited in crowds, you know!)
Does the woman on the left look familiar? She’s the adorable Kathy Garver, a writer who also happens to be an actress. And not just any actress, but Cissy of Family Affair fame. She was totally my teenage role model when I was about eight years old. I was tickled when her publicist introduced me to her.
Here’s my other favorite pic from Friday evening. Perfect for a library, don’t you think?
Saturday morning was gorgeous–a perfect fall day. There was a great crowd at Books by the Banks, the Cincinnati USA Book Festival at the Duke Energy Convention Center. I don’t know how many readers there were, but it was a great venue for meeting writers, library friends, and even a few fuzzy characters (there were both teen and children’s events).
How amazing is the 2015 poster? It’s truly emblematic of the variety of books represented at the conference.
Speaking of making new friends– I was privileged to meet crime novelist Robert Glinski.
And also my delightful table-mate, thriller writer Jamie Mason. This shot is from the end of the day–that pile of books was a LOT bigger. (I’ll be giving away one of her books in November, so keep that in mind!)
Here’s my side of the table. Bliss House sold out before Charlotte’s Story–but, really, you can read the books in any order. Promise!
There was a fun social media spot for writers at the festival. They asked us what fictional character we would choose to be. The guy seemed surprised at my answer…
I have a few more Charlotte’s Story events over the next three weeks, but it really was great to be home and spend time with my parents. (Yes, my mom came to the festival. A group of readers cracked up when I said goodbye and thanks to my mom as she left with two copies of the book. Don’t worry–she’d been sent by friends to buy them. I promise that I sent her a very early copy!) Can’t wait to go back.