Sunday, October 18, 2009

Laissez les bons temp rouler! Louisiana Book Festival!

Dreaming Anastasia in a B&N in Baton Rouge
Look who's on the program at the Louisiana Festival of Books

Me and Burton Raffel, amazingly brilliant scholar and writer and translator of the definitive version of Beowulf

Fran, Joy, and Donna in the B&N signing tent

At the Author Party with our book covers, State Library

Dreaming Anastasia makes it to the big time in Louisiana

Just came back from Baton Rouge and the delightful Louisiana hosptality of fellow 2k9er, Donna St. Cyr (Secrets of the Cheese Syndicate) - who housed both me and Fran Cannon Slayton (When the Whistle Blows) for the weekend. And what a time we had proving that there is no limit to the amount of jambalaya and bread pudding a human can consume and meeting, greeting, signing and presenting at the wonderful Louisiana Festival of Books. (It occurs to me that I did not take pictures of either the jambalaya or the bread pudding, so you'll have to take my word for their wonderfulness. Likewise the shrimp po-boy I consumed at Boutin's (which used to be Mulate's if you're in the Louisiana know) and the wonderful satsuma oranges that we ate each day at Donna's by pulling them fresh off her trees!

And lest you think that all we did was eat and drink... the Festival itself was delightful. Weather- cool, clear, sunny. Books and book talk and readers and writers - all interacting at the Capitol, State Musuem, State Library, and other assorted buildings on the grounds. So seriously - how cool was it for Donna, Fran and me to do our panel on writing adventure into stories and have our venue be a Senate Room E in the Capitol building? Totally cool! If you're reading this and you came out for the event, thank you! I met not only people who were at the festival and chose to come to our events (the other one was about on-line writing communities and we got to present it in the State Museum!), but also people who had already read Dreaming Anastasia and actually came with their books already in hand to have me sign. You are all awesome!

My personal highlight came when I got to meet and chat with Burton Raffel! Yes, the same Burton Raffel who translated the definition edition of Beowulf from Old English!! He has just published his translation from Middle English of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales so that's what he was currently promoting. But Burton Raffel - Someone whose book I've taught from and read aloud - just sitting there and chatting and telling me how he used to read Beowulf installments to his sons when he was working on it back in the 1960's! I can't tell you how thrilling this was for me.

Anyway - the mighty Mississippi was still muddy and mighty. Baton Rouge is charming. The Book Festival was inspiring. I was honored to be part of it. I mean seriously - I got to put on a dress and go to an author party at the State Library and drink wine and eat gumbo and mini muffaletas with FAMOUS authors. How cool is that?

Onward into the week - signing at Blue Willow in Houston Tuesday 10/20 at 7PM. Then on to Changing Hands in Tempe, AZ at 11 AM - noon on Saturday 10/24. Plus the AZ State Fair. And possibly pumpkin carving. (the last two aren't book events, btw. But they're on the agenda! If only because I might get to see the world's largest alligator again.)

Til next time...


dstcyr said...

I'm glad we put our best foot (and food) forward for you and Fran.

Thanks for coming down to the Bayou State to share your insights and wonderful book with us.

We'll have to do it again!


Annie said...

I think I can taste that jambalaya! I miss you guys and wish I'd been there with you!

Sydney Salter said...

Sounds like a great time, Joy! So fun to see your book out in the world.