This afternoon I walked into town to check out my county's annual BookFest. The goofy thing is that I totally forgot it was this weekend until yesterday evening when, as I was driving to work, I spied the writers' pavilion being set up in the middle of the street that bisects the park in the town center.
This year I remembered to bring a tote bag for all the bookmarks, postcards, pens, candy, and other swag my fellow authors were handing out. What I forgot to do, way last winter, was to start a book-buying fund. So frustrating and embarrassing to have all these local writers making their books available for purchase at a discount, and I couldn't afford a single one.
I collected a lot of author business cards and passed out a few of my own. One writer was kind enough to say she'd be willing to read over my manuscript of The Single Eye once I incorporate the last of my beta readers' suggestions, and she suggested I attend the monthly lectures sponsored by the local chapter of Romance Writers of America, which meets in a town not overly far from me. And on a Saturday, too, so my work schedule wouldn't get in the way.
And, what fun, I got to talk to an ATF agent who'd written a nonfiction book about his career. He had a lot of interesting things to say about the Waco and Ruby Ridge standoffs and about the Atlanta Olympics and Oklahoma City bombings, and he was able to assure me that I'd gotten the events surrounding the explosions, etc., at the end of my novel right. (There's one place where I'm probably stretching reality, but I didn't ask him about that. Sorry, I need it for the plot.)
Unlike last year's BookFest, it did not pour down rain; instead, it was bloody hot and more than once I thought I was going to keel over from heatstroke. Never mind, it's a great event and maybe next year I'll have the funds to take better advantage of it.