Saturday I had the honor of being a special guest at the Southern Magic Luncheon in Birmingham, Alabama. This event is dedicated to readers and the Southern Magic RWA goes all out in showing their appreciation by hosting this not to be missed gathering.
The programming is tight with a meet and greet, buffet luncheon, achievement awards for their members, door prizes donated by authors, raffles baskets with proceeds going to Literacy, a welcome speaker and keynote and a popular booksigning.
Not only did readers start off with a loaded tote bag at registration, once they reached their author’s table they were greeted with individual gifts. While all the personal items for the readers were generous and amazing, one pair of authors stood out. Debra Glass and Naima Simone brought large pillows (made by Naima’s talented mother), throw blanket, travel mug, exquisite compact, books and more. It was like Christmas morning at their table. Apparently, they keep their offerings secret til the last minute and there is a mad rush to sit at their table.
Dianna Love welcomed the readers by referring them to reviews of past books. This was met by much laughter and put the reviews of today into perspective. She spoke about how all authors get dinged on reviews and shared several negative ones that authors like Ernest Hemingway and Walt Whitman suffered in their time, plus this one by the British Review on Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights – “Here all the faults of Jane Eyre are magnified a thousand fold, and the only consolation which we have in reflecting upon it is that it will never be generally read.” Dianna added, “Some things never change. Like the fact that readers will always control the destiny of a book.”
Keynote Sherrilyn Kenyon did not disappoint her many fans by relating the 10 Myths About Being a Writer. Here’s a few: “Once you hit the bestseller list you gain immediate fame.” “Writers spend all of their time touring exotic locations as they research their next book.” “All writers live in gigantic pink houses with gorgeous pool boys named something sexy like Juan-Carlo or Arturo.” “Once you become a New York Times bestselling author you immediately have control over your
cover, your title, your back cover blurb, your release dates, the price of your book, the format of the book and sometimes even the content of your book.”
I’ve got to say that going to the Heart of Dixie Luncheon prompted me to start my own Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon, but attending the Southern Magic Luncheon showed me how much I could improve my event. Their luncheon was so efficient, yet so much fun. It wasn’t even over and readers were talking about attending next year.
The keynote speaker for next year’s luncheon will be Jeaniene Frost.
Bottom Line: They’ve already asked me back for next year, so it’s on my calendar…hope to see you there.