Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sonoma County Book Festival

This past weekend was the twelfth annual Sonoma County Book Festival. It has grown to eight different venues and stages for readings and panel discussions, as well as four different areas for the over ninety vendors.


Here is Fourth Street in Downtown Santa Rosa which was closed off this year to traffic to accommodate the event.

My writers club had two separate tables, one for membership and another for advertising our various programs and upcoming events. Redwood Writers has become so vibrant and popular that it sponsored four other tables for our members to showcase their books on a rotating basis. Each table had two authors on two hour shifts, so a total of thirty-two members had an opportunity to sell their books as a benefit of belonging to our club without having to pay an exhibitors fee.

That was a great opportunity and one that I utilized. I was also scheduled to read from my novel Quest of the Warrior Maid. To help put myself in a festive mood, I decided to wear a period costume.

My outfit may not be accurate ninth century apparel, but I have limited sewing skills. Many people complimented me on my dress, so if nothing else - I stood out from the crowd by dressing Medievalish.

With my friend Kate Farrell.

Here I am with Teresa LeYung Ryan

Ana Manwaring organized the Redwood Writers Village Stage with twelve different groups who each had multiple readers. That is a lot of organizing. Our podium was created by her husband. It is a hollowed out redwood stump and we were in front of a grove of redwood trees. How fitting for Redwood Writers.

Ana Manwaring introducing me.

I am reading a scene from Quest of the Warrior Maid.

Ana requested that I read a "spicy" scene from my book, so for those who have a copy of my book - it was chapter 28 - a scene on Alcina's island.

It was fun and I had several people tell me later in the day that they enjoyed the enthusiasm I showed in my presentation.

Here is a close up of my jewelry. Yes that's a sword pendant I am wearing as well as Occitan crosses for earrings.

After I read, I introduced another club member's new work.

Robbi Sommers Bryant reads from her new novel The Beautiful Evil.

Our writing club's vice-president Jeane Slone has created a wonderful program for Sonoma County authors with independent coffee shops. There are now eighteen coffee shops selling over seventy titles by forty-seven Sonoma County authors. The coffee shops love it because their customers get to browse while they are waiting for their lattes, and the owners do not have to do anything with the books. Jeane visits them regularly to rotate and refill titles. Here she is talking with two festival goers about the program.

Here is a picture of the list of coffee shops in the program.

And here is an easier to read list of the independent coffee shops who are carrying local Sonoma County authors' books:

Apple Box Coffee shop: 224 B St., Petaluma
The Barking Dog Roasters: 18133 Sonoma Hwy., Sonoma
The Barking Dog Roasters (II): 201 W. Napa St., Sonoma
The Bean Affair: 1270 Healdsburg Ave, #101, Healdsburg
Bungalow Coffee and Tea: near Molsberry Market, Larksfield
Café de Croissants: 6580 Oakmont Dr., Oakmont
Café Noto: 630 McClelland Dr., Windsor
Community Café: 875 West Napa St., Sonoma
The Dry Creek Store: 3495 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg
Golden Bean: 101Golf Course Dr., Suite A3, Rohnert Park
Gypsey Café: 162 N. Main St., Sebastopol
Kenwood Farmhouse Gift shop: 9255 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood
Local Folkal: 117 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale
Midtown Café: 1422 4th St.. Santa Rosa
Muffin Street Baking: 52 Mission Circle, Santa Rosa (McDonald/Mission shopping center)
Off the Track Coffee shop: 6544 Front Street, Forestville
Pearson & Co. Expresso & Catering/McCoy's Cookware: 2759 4th St., Santa Rosa (Near Farmer's Lane, next to Safeway)

Jeane told me that my book is currently at The Bean Affair, Café Noto, and the Bungalow. There were a few others, but she rotates the stock so that the coffee shop regulars will have different titles to browse.

It's hard to see with the shadow, but Jeane is holding up a copy of my book.

Jeane had a great day talking with festival goers, selling a few books and seven more authors expressed interest in having their work entered into the program.

Here I am at my half of the table with my books, book marks, and post cards. I also have an artist's drawing of the Guédelon project to help set the mood. I also set out an Occitan flag that I purchased on my last trip to France.

The bright yellow cross on a field of red is used throughout the Midi-Pyrenees region and even appears on their license plates. It was a symbol of the counts of Toulouse and now represents a regional pride. The design may not date back to the time of Charlemagne, but it is associated with the area where my heroine Bradamante is from and therefore I like it.

Besides the colors are vivid and eye catching. I also found it and my costume to be conversational ice breakers.

Here are some more pictures from that glorious autumn day.

Schmoozing with my friends Pat Morin and Barbara Truax.

Barbara Truax and Catharine Bramkamp checking out Carol McConkie's new book Fat Girl Fairy Boy.

Goofing around with Cindy Pavlinac.

Hanging with "Fear the Beard" SF Giants fan Roger Harris.

And my table was graced with the Cindy Pavlinac's famous road tripping pooch Merlin.

All in all it was a glorious day. The weather was perfect this year. Now, I need to order more authors' copies of my book as I am down to my last copy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Video of OMF and an opportunity to hear me read

I should have mentioned this earlier, but I will be reading a chapter from my novel Quest of the Warrior Maid tomorrow at the Sonoma County Book Festival. I will be reading at 10:45 in the morning at the Redwood Writers Stage.

Ana Manwaring is organizing our stage and asked me to select a short passage that was "spicy." So you are forewarned about the content and please don't bring small children with along with you to hear me read.

For those who have already have a copy of my novel, I chose Chapter 28 a scene on Alcina's island.

Redwood Writers is also sponsoring four different tables for our members to sell their books in two hour shifts. So if you are at the festival, stop by say hello and then pass on by later and meet more of our members. My shift is from 2-4 in the afternoon. Look for the red flag with the bright yellow Occitan cross on it. (The symbol of the Counts of Toulouse.) I bought that flag as a souvenir from my latest trip to France which I promise to blog more about in the future and share more pictures.

I also wanted to share with you a video that was posted on Youtube about the Ozark Medieval Fortress. I love that project!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ozark Medieval Fortress and the History Channel

I enjoy watching the History Channel and its companion, the History International Channel.
Besides documentaries, they also have a few original shows that feature archaeologists, pawn brokers and yes, even a stand up comic whose stage name is "Larry the Cable Guy."

Larry's show "Only in America" recently filmed an episode at the Ozark Medieval Fortress. The easiest thing would have been for him to interview the workers while the cameras recorded the efforts of the blacksmiths, masons, quarriers, etc. Instead, he donned a tunic and joined the crew as a volunteer as the cameras rolled.

The Ozark Medieval Fortress blog has posted pictures of a sweat-soaked Larry showing that he put in an honest day's work. I am looking forward to the 2012 broadcast of that episode and hope that it brings greater awareness of this wonderful Medievalist project in the middle of America.