The other weekend I had the opportunity to drive down to Greenville, SC to attend the SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Association) trade show. Held across the country, these regional trade shows are a chance for booksellers, publishers, and authors to get together to network, share ideas, and learn about new and upcoming books. There are panels for booksellers, signing events with authors, and awards ceremonies throughout the three-day trade show. This year SIBA launched a new “Author Auction.” Bookstore owners were able to bid on the opportunity to have dinner with an author. The brave authors who were auctioned off were those whose books were nominated for 2009 SIBA Book of the Year Award. The event was a hit, and they raised tons of money for the local Greenville charity Loaves & Fishes.
Our own Jill McCorkle was honored at the Southern Writer’s Lunch, alongside Pete Dexter. Jill read from her new book Going Away Shoes and talked a bit about where her characters came from and how she came to write some of the stories in her book, like Intervention, Surrender, and my personal favorite from the collection, Me and Big Foot. Pete Dexter spoke about his new book Spooner. (I’m half way through, and highly recommend it!) A special thanks to Ted Lee (co-author of the upcoming cookbook Simple Fresh Southern) for emceeing the event!