Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Back from a Weekend in San Luis Obispo

I love the coast. I'm speaking of California's Central Coast. We lived in a beach community for over twenty years before moving to our present home in the foothills of the Sierra (above the Central Valley of California). Where we live now, we have real seasons--not as extreme as what some of my fellow bloggers experience, but the trees do turn color (in Southern California it's green all year around), it gets cold, rains, and once in awhile it snows and we can see snow all around us on the mountains during the winter. And spring is wonderful, though sometimes we only get two or three days before it's summer--summer is hot and lasts forever.

San Luis Obispo is one of those places near the beach and it stays green all year long. They think it's hot when it turns 80. Most of the time the weather is wonderful there. It was not on Sunday.

We traveled to San Luis Obispo to attend the Central Coast Author and Book Festival.
We stayed at the Apple Farm Inn, a place we'd always wanted to experience. Our room was small, but so darling, with a canopy bed, couch and chair, a desk, an armoire, a fake fireplace and a two fresh carnations in a vase hanging on the mirror in the bathroom. The Apple Farm has beautiful flowers everywhere. The restaurant has wonderful food and most of the wait staff are students at the nearby college.

Our first evening we met friends at an interesting restaurant that is by a creek and most of the tables are outdoors. It was chilly that night and I was afraid I would be too cold--but they had heaters all around and it was quite comfortable. Victoria Heckman Doust and her hubby were there--she's a fellow mystery author and I hadn't seen her since we roomed together in Anchorage AK at Bouchercon. Karen Kavanaugh is also a mystery author and a publisher and she's been a good friend for a long while. Needless to say, besides having a wonderful meal, the conversation was great.

The next morning, we arrived at the Central Coast Book and Author Festival about 8:30and found out our assigned spot. We were situated between the Central Coast Sisters in Crime booth and Madeline Gornell's booth, another mystery writer and friend.

People started wandering by almost immediately. It looked like it would be a great day. Unfortunately, a chilly wind began to blow. It blew so hard it turned some of the umbrellas we all had over our table upside down. Authors' decorations blew away. Picture frames fell over and glass broke. The wind seem to chase some of the interested people away too.

Oh, we all sold some books, but not as many if the weather had been a bit more cooperative. Despite all that, I felt the weekend was a success. A reader who bought a book from me at a book fest a couple of weeks ago, found me to get the next one in the series. I met a lot of people, handed out cards, talked about my books and visited with friends.

I have one more outdoor festival coming up in two weeks, the Springville Apple Festival. It's a two day affair and almost in my back yard. We'll be sleeping at home. I do hope the weather is a bit more cooperative.

For the writers who read this, what book selling venture did you attend that didn't quite go the way you hoped for?



  1. I did a reading/signing in California and the audience was quite large--with people I had brought with me. There was only one person in attendance who didn't know me. Needless to say, I was a bit embarrassed but the staff at the bookstore couldn't have been nicer. Thank goodness I know so many people in the Bay area. Maggie

  2. Marilyn, I find it very helpful not to expect anything at all. Because I've done events which I'd assumed would be BIG that turned out very small...and I've had those where I figured two people might come and end up with fifty. I remember with the Deadly Divas, we'd say, "If enough people come to outnumber us"--there were four Divas--"we've done our job." I figure that was a very healthy approach to things!


  3. So far I haven't had any real disappointments, but I'm still fairly new at book signings. I have one I'm hoping will be great. It is scheduled for early November and is to benefit a local school district's gifted and talented program, so the buyers at the store will hopefully be motivated. I hope this one is not my first disappointment!

    Love the CA coast. We moved from Sacramento to Texas one year ago. The beach is probably the one thing I really miss.