I'm just back from the 2010 Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort, Kentucky. A tremendous amount of driving-- four days straight, stopping in Shinnston and picking up my mother to come back for the winter. So it was strenuous, but lots of fun.
Kentucky, beyond the eastern mountains, where I've been before, was more beautiful than I realized-- in my general and extensive ignorance, I hadn't known that Frankfort is in the center of the blue grass, with horse paddocks and horses, deep cuts through crumbly gray limestone in low hills covered mostly with bare trees but lovely blasts of deep red probably some kind of maples.
The book fair itself had a couple hundred authors at tables, and it had that quality I like of all the people together, self-publishers (juried, so nothing really amateurish) but also pros like Bobbie Ann Mason sitting at a table with Frank X. Walker, the poet inventor of Affrilachian writing. They were busier than I was, but everyone was accessible. Nice equality among the writers-- lots of civil war and other history, art books at my table. Headliners included Kitty Kelly (who canceled at the last minute) and David Baldacci. I saw Connie and George Brosi, Marianne Worthington and George Ella Lyon, Alice Hale Adams. Others. One man came up to me and bought a copy of Out of the Mountains, but also had a stack of my old books he wanted signed! That was so nice.
Previous night, a reception for the authors with Kentucky bourbon, and I met some new people, collected a lot of calling cards-- I didn't have high expectations, but it was very nice, always good and stimulating to be in new places with new people.