Here I am, in the great state of South Carolina, enjoying the hospitality of their Book Festival for the fourth straight year. I live on LI, NY, for those of you who don't know this, and it's a 13 hour trip for me to get here on the best of days. Although I will say, that after the blizzard last year, it was only a 12 hour trip to get home. Amazing how fast you quickly you can get where you're going when there's no one else on the road getting in my way. I posted the pictures of the trip home on my MySpace page last year, too. http://www.myspace.com/marcvunkannon A lot of snow, all on the grass and the trees. The roads were completely clear. We could use these self-cleaning roads up north right about now.
Anyway, I must really love this place to travel that far for it. And I do. The people here just love books, and they're so nice too. I remember my first trip down here, I was getting ready to head home and a lady at a gas station, who never saw me before, commented that there had been snow up Virginia way and I should be careful.
This year has been the best event yet for us. The weather is cooperating, at last, and there are just so many more book-lovers coming through the doors than I remember from times past. And they all stop at our booth, and want to buy our books! I should mention that I'm here in the persona of Author Guy, bookseller extraordinaire, subletting a space from my publisher, Echelon press, and selling all the books that aren't already being represented by their own authors.
In this case, those other authors include Nick Valentino, in full steampunk regalia and selling his novel Thomas Riley to just about everyone who walks in the door, it seems. I do fantasy (just click on the cover art over there if you don't believe me), and I've never sold as much fantasy-related work as he has. If I wasn't so busy selling everything else I'd watch to see how he does it. In part I think it's because he has a friendly competition going with Teresa Burrell, author of The Advocate, a mystery novel that is taking it's proper place as the best mystery on my tables. The lion's share of the books we-as-Echelon sold yesterday was sold by these two authors. Sam Morton, a Columbia native, was there as well, but the home-town advantage was no advantage here. Everybody he spoke to knew him already, and most of them had already gotten his books. And he's just too much of a gentleman to tell them to leave him in peace so he can get some work done.
Soon the event will reopen its doors, and we'll all be back again, trying to get some work done, making this the best SC Book Festival Echelon has ever had! If you're in the Columbia area today I hope you'll swing by and help out in that noble cause. And if you're not, well, those book covers over there, if you click on them, they'll take you to a wonderful place filled with literary delights. Go on, click one...
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