Southern Magic Reader’s Luncheon

Barbara Vey -- November 5th, 2012

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.

Authors Debra Glass and Naima Simone

Authors Debra Glass and Naima Simone

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.


Keynote Sherrilyn Kenyon and Welcome speaker Dianna Love

Keynote Sherrilyn Kenyon and Welcome speaker Dianna Love

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.”

Line for booksigning

Line for Booksigning

Luncheon room before guests arrive

Luncheon room before guests arrive



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.


46 thoughts on “Southern Magic Reader’s Luncheon

  1. Heather

    It was Southern Magic’s pleasure to have you as our special guest at the luncheon. Thank you for your kind words. We look forward to seeing you next year!

  2. M. V. Freeman

    I enjoyed chatting with you and I am glad you sat at my table. You make me miss the north so much! I am very glad you are coming back next year. And I am excited about your Readers Lunch as well!

  3. Lynn Raye Harris

    Barbara, it’s always a pleasure to see you! I’m so glad I was one of the inaugural authors at your luncheon, and I’m willing to come back any time. :) I know it’s going to be a fabulous event!

    Wonderful news that you’ll be back in Birmingham next year!!

      1. Lynn Raye Harris

        Aw, thanks! I did feel like I didn’t get to visit with you enough. I wanted my hubby to talk to you too. Y’all could have talked football. Plus, he’s a Yankee (from snowy Buffalo)! *gg* Next time for sure!

  4. Debra Glass

    It was so good to meet you at the luncheon, Barbara. Thanks very much for coming and being a part of Southern Magic’s big day. Next year (hint, hint) you know with whom to sit. :-) Love of the pic of Naima and me!! Thanks for mentioning us.

  5. Kira Sinclair


    It was so good to see you this weekend! Reader luncheons are one of the best things about being a writer. What could be bad about enjoying a fun afternoon with others who love to read? Not a darn thing! Thank you for visiting B’ham and sharing the day with us. :-)


  6. Katherine Bone

    Hi Barbara! It was great to have you join us this year! I enjoyed chatting with you again and look forward to seeing you at future luncheons. As Heart of Dixie’s former Luncheon Chair, I wish you the greatest success during your 2nd Annual luncheon next year. What you do for the romance industry is phenomenal!!! Thank you! ;)

  7. Carla Swafford

    Barbara, it was so nice seeing you again. Readers like you (a-book-a-day) are what make us so happy.

    And, yes, we have some smart cookies running the show: Heather Leonard, Lisa Dunick, Katherine Bone, Amanda Kin, Angela Blount, Laura Hayden, and many more that I’ll kick my rearend for not remembering to mention. So many hands.

    Stay warm and be safe as we look forward to seeing you in Birmingham next year!

  8. Naima SImone

    Hi, Barbara!
    It was wonderful seeing you again! Thank you so much for coming to the Luncheon! The day was just that much more special because you were there. “Yaay!” about you coming to next year’s luncheon! Debra and I have a seat saved for you!! And thank you for the mention and the beautiful picture!

  9. Stephanie

    Hi Barbara,
    It was so great to see you again visiting down here in Alabama!
    You are so wonderful to come to see us and share time with all of your fans!
    You made the event even more fun for us!

    I hope you will be able to make it back down here for the Heart of Dixie luncheon, June 8th.
    We would love to see you even sooner than next year’s Southern Magic event.


  10. Missy Taylor

    It was so much fun! Very well organized I agree. They did a great job. And I won two baskets! Score! :) It was great seeing you. I definitely wouldn’t mind going next year. I love Jeaniene Frost so you just might see me there.

  11. Christine

    Yay!! I’m so glad you’re coming back next year. So much fun to see you and spend time with you in Birmingham. I may have to head up to your luncheon just to give away more awesomeness in a basket. Thanks again for the review and the support, too.


  12. Jan

    It was so nice meeting you Saturday.
    My friend and I are seriously trying to work the logistics of being in Milwaukee in April.
    I am really hoping we can make it happen.

  13. LouisaCornell

    Thank you so much for the kind words about our luncheon, Barbara! We were so pleased you came and we look forward to seeing you there next year. Southern Magic is my home chapter and the women who volunteer to run this luncheon are some of the most amazing women I know. But best of all they are the most supportive and encouraging people any aspiring writer could ever wish to have in his or her corner. And may I say many, many writers say the very same thing about you! Thanks so much for all you do for the romance genre! Perhaps we will both be fortunate enough to get a seat at the legendary Simone / Glass table next year!

  14. Dianna Love

    What a rockin’ luncheon we had in Birmingham, Al this past weekend. I so love going to see everyone and Southern Magic always shows the world what southern hospitality is all about, with elegance. I had such a good time visiting with readers and other authors. Heather, Lisa and Kathy (and volunteers!) did an amazing job, as always. Laura Hayden (Author Author owner) put on a great book signing, but being a top author she knows what makes a great one.

    Huge thanks to everyone, especially the readers, who came out to spend the day with us Saturday. That was a real treat. :)

    And thank you, Barbara, for joining us and writing up this terrific blog on the luncheon. :)

    1. Barbara Vey Post author

      Dianna, it’s always great visiting with you. I’m so glad the readers get a chance to meet their favorite authors up close and personal. The real prize is meeting new authors you may have missed otherwise.

  15. Pamela Mason

    Loved seeing you again Barbara! And this was my first Southern Magic Luncheon too – I cannot wait til next year!
    The authors and writers of this RWA chapter rock – and the swag isn’t bad either. It’s a great group of talented authors and supportive women who pull off a fabulous event every year.

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