Southern Festival of Books… check!

We have not yet come down from our experience with the Southern Festival of Books, 2014. What an incredible honor to have been included in such a wonderfully planned, celebrated, and well-attended event. Rain? Yes, there was plenty of that, but my take-away lesson as a rookie SFB2014 author is that true book fans aren’t afraid of a little cloud water.

Otis and I at War Memorial Plaza (left), and the beautiful 2014 poster, signed by all the authors (right)! Check out the name in the lower, middle, right area... so cool!

Otis and I at War Memorial Plaza (left), and the beautiful 2014 poster, signed by all the authors (right)! Check out the name in the lower, middle, right area… so cool!

Parnassus Books was the on site book retailer for featured Festival books, and we felt a swell of pride when a stack of Otis books was placed in the middle of them all.  And of course, Parnassus played their part with all the professionalism, elegance and class for which they are known and loved.

Otis Goes to School at SFB2014

Otis Goes to School at SFB2014

Saturday morning, October 11, my little tight-knit family boarded the Bramlett-mobile, hung out the windows with paddles, and rowed together into Nashville’s downtown.  War Memorial Plaza was a marble and granite-floored sea of bustling excitement and umbrella polka dots, sailing from one book-loving tent to another. I had already discussed with my supportive family the possibility of low attendance, by reason of the weather and the busy weekend.  Delightfully, I could not have been more wrong!

At 1pm, my scheduled time to present Otis Goes to School, the children’s tent was packed (standing-room-only-PACKED) with little eyes of wonderment and hearts a-flutter with sightings of a real, live, fluffy black dog, making his SFB2014 debut.  We shared the story of Otis and how his book came to be.  We read a few chapters for all my new whippersnapper friends, talked about descriptive words and story-telling, handed out bookmarks, and then Otis did his thing with his new stage-induced howl and his charming willingness to sit and be petted and loved on and oooohed and ahhhhhed over. Tough job he has!

We went on to sign books, meet new fans, take pictures, and just flat out enjoyed our day.  Landmark Booksellers, the first bookstore to host a book signing for me (eternally grateful!), was there with treasured antique books and a wealth of knowledge.  And we made a great connection with the super cool book experts from McKay’s Bookstore, including plans for an upcoming Otis event!

I also had the high honor of signing books right next to Southern writer, Rick Bragg, author of Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story (Harper Collins Publishers)… and wouldn’t you know, he loved Otis and took his picture with him too!

Rick Bragg, petting Otis! He reminded him of a dog he had once. Way to go, Otis!

As if we had not yet reached enough stars for the day, we then crossed paths with Pete the Cat (also Harper Collins)!  Children’s literature brings folks and animals of all kinds together.  That was one awesome feline.

Hey Harper Collins: I’m seeing a pattern… maybe we should chat!

SFB2014.2

My biggest fans, who will go with me anywhere, are my husband and three children.

Rain or shine, sun or snow, they share their love wherever we go.

I am so thankful to have their inspiration, for their heart-generated support, and for their encouragement to keep reaching, keep writing, keep going.  This is a family adventure, this call to write, because it affects each one of us.  I appreciate and love all of you–my Robert, my Paul Kent, my Ella, and my little Preston–beyond any string of words I could ever hope to weave.

My bearded, bowtied husband brings his contagious smile to every event we attend... and he often holds the leash.  And, our three little ones--well, they are golden. Bottom right: Robert and I enjoyed the fantastic Author Party, held at the Waller Lansden law firm and catered deliciously by the Greenhouse.  We met and fellowshipped with some fascinating folks!

My handsome, bearded, bowtied husband brings his contagious smile to every event we attend… and he often holds the leash. And, our three little ones–well, they are golden.
Bottom right: Robert and I enjoyed the fantastic Author Party, held at the Waller Lansden law firm and catered deliciously by the Greenhouse. We met and fellowshipped with some fascinating folks!

Thank you to the Southern Festival of Books, Humanities Tennessee, Parnassus Books, and all the many generous sponsors and donors, for a truly amazing event.  The hospitality was top-notch, the swag was perfect, the organization was flawless, and the fans were devoted!  For me, it will forever be one of those career moments that shines with a special brightness… and I hope it’s the first in a long line of moments together.  SFB2015?  I definitely want to be there.

And for those of you who know us well, and noticed that our schipperke, Oxford, was not in the photos… he’s the only one who stayed home for SFB2014.  What was he doing?  Conjuring up ideas for the sequel.  After all, The Oxford Files, is in the works.  Maybe SFB2015 will be his year…

Oxford... scheming.

Oxford… scheming.

On sale at For Every Child in Franklin, TN

We are so thankful for local shopkeepers who have joined in our excitement of promoting Otis Goes to School, and who have made this book available to their customers.  For Every Child is one of those supporters!  This is a precious children’s clothing boutique on 5th Avenue in the heart of Franklin, known for great service, darling and unique clothing for babies through age 16, and truly friendly folks.  I have no doubt, they have something you need, and you can pick up a copy of Otis while you are there!  Tell them Otis sent you.

Promo for For Every Child selling OGTS.Feb 2014

Just on the other side of town, Landmark Booksellers has the book available as well.  We are looking forward to another reading and signing with this historic bookstore, as soon as the sequel comes out!

There are several exciting irons in the fire at the moment, and I’m looking forward to sharing the news of upcoming appearances and events very soon.  Thank you again and always for urging us forth on the challenging, interesting and rewarding path to publishing.

Enjoy today’s blue skies and sunshine… it’s worth barking for!

OGTS book for sale pic.spring 2014

Looking Forward with Thanks

Join us tomorrow morning, 10:30-12:30, Saturday, February 15, 2014, at Landmark Booksellers, and find out just why Otis Goes to School! (click here for the invitation with details)

We are so thankful for all the businesses that have supported this event and advertised for us, for all the people who have passed the word to friends and family, and for the online sites who have shared and posted the invitation and brought Otis to a wider audience than we could have imagined thus far.  Here are just a few of the clicks…

As seen on the Williamson Herald.

As seen on Now Playing Nashville.

As seen on 94FM the FISH.

As seen on the Facebook pages for Landmark Booksellers and Downtown Franklin.

We can’t wait to share Otis’s new bookmarks and stickers with you, share a few chapters of his adventures, and shake your hand and thank you in person for your interest in this book.

We feel blessed and excited, and we thank the Good Lord for guiding this journey toward publication.  Thanks for the love, and Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

OGTS Book Cover pic

A Reading at Landmark Booksellers, Franklin, TN!

I am so excited to announce that there will be a reading and book signing of Otis Goes to School, on Saturday, February 15, 2014, around 10:30 in the morning… at LANDMARK BOOKSELLERS in Franklin, TN!  We are working on all the details, but we sure would appreciate our readers coming out and supporting us, and passing along the word.  This is a beautiful bookstore, a piece of Tennessee history, and I am just honored at this opportunity.  Tell your friends and family, bring your children… it will be a fun morning!  More information to come…