Tag Archives: Southern Magic luncheon

Southern Magic Luncheon

Barbara Vey -- November 4th, 2013

 

Enthusiastic Readers

Enthusiastic Readers

If you like your lunch served with fun, humor and southern charm, this is the place to be.  Saturday I attended the Southern Magic Luncheon sponsored by the Southern Magic RWA chapter.  Over 200 readers lined up hours before the event for the chance to snag the table with their favorite authors.

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My table. (L to R) Alicia Hunter Pace (Stephanie Jones), Nicole Thacker, Sheila Snoddy, Barbara Vey, Tricia Schmidtt. Alicia Hunter Pace (Jean Hovey), Margaret Walker, Tiffany Tayler.

My table. (L to R) Sheila Snoddy, Alicia Hunter Pace (Stephanie Jones), Nicole Thacker,  Barbara Vey, Tricia Schmidtt. Alicia Hunter Pace (Jean Hovey), Margaret Walker, Tiffany Tayler.

 

I shared my table with 2 co-authors, Jean Hovey and Stephanie Jones who write as Alicia Hunter Pace.  Rounding out our table were four readers from a book club.  It was Tiffany’s first reader event and her enthusiasm was contagious.  She was actually shaking with excitement and her smile lit up the room. This book group is the reason for these reader/author events.

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Just a few of the door prizes

Just a few of the door prizes

Authors brought gifts for their table and usually the items tied in with their books.  There was pirate booty, tea cups, beach bags, candles and lots of chocolate.  Apparently, to this group, nothing beats a good book and some chocolate.  Each author then gave away the most amazing door prizes and I was blown away by the thoughtfulness.  There were e-readers, books, wine, coffee, tea, mugs, afghans, pillows, treasure chests, Coach bags and chocolate.  There was one door prize in a basket so big it took 2 men to carry it….I kid you not.

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Jennifer Echols & Christy Reece

Jennifer Echols & Christy Reece

The welcome speaker was Christy Reece.  Christy did one of the funniest speeches I’ve ever heard or seen as she used pictures to portray her writing process over a 30 day period.  There was laughter, tears, beer, wine, salty snacks and lots of chocolate (are you seeing a pattern here?).   Christy took us through the journey of starting with an idea that is amazing with the characters talking so fast she can’t keep up, to having the characters become jerks, the worst book ever written, the characters then become awesome and the book becomes the best she’s ever written.  All in the 30 days and played out for us in about 20 minutes.  I hope she travels with that act so everyone can experience it.

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Jeanine Frost & Tavia Gilbert

Jeanine Frost & Tavia Gilbert

Jeaniene Frost was the keynote speaker and an obvious fan favorite.  She had everyone with, “Readers are my peeps!”  Jeaniene talked about the isolation of being a writer, but talked about the luncheon saying, “This solidarity thing becomes a community thing.”  She also shared her favorite fan letter from a man who met his wife in a bookstore when she recommended Jeaniene’s book.  He was asking Jeaniene to sign the same book as an anniversary gift for his wife.  It was a real “Awww” moment.

 

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As a special treat, voice artist, Tavia Gilbert (who does all Jeaniene’s audio books) took to the stage throughout the luncheon to read from the books voicing all the characters so incredibly that it was disappointing when she’d stop.  It was easy to get caught up in the stories and I think it gave readers a wonderful opportunity to experience audio books live.

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The Southern Magic group did an amazing job by filling in some lulls with homemade videos of heroes and some of their authors singing along to hit songs.  While they’d never make it on Dancing With the Stars or America’s Got Talent, what they did have was heart.  It was so entertaining and I hope they put it online for everyone to enjoy.

.sylvia day

There was a big cheer when it was announced that Sylvia Day would be the keynote speaker at next year’s luncheon.  I’ll be there….will you?  Tickets go on sale January 6th.

As a special treat, Southern Magic has graciously offered to give away one of their gift bags.  It is filled with books and goodies.  If you’d like a chance to win, please comment, “There’s magic in the South!”  Winner will be posted tomorrow, so be sure to check back to see if you won. (Open to US residence only).

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Bottom Line:  Delightful, sassy and fun, the Southern Magic writers are all that and more…Bless their hearts!

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.