An awesome queue of over a hundred enthusiastic fans followed Jenny Lawson from her speakers’ tent to the book signing tent. People were still in the signing line more than an hour later at 6:00 P.M. when everyone was packing up. We looked in the program to find out who this Pied Piper was and discovered it was Jenny who was signing her best-selling book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened ( A Mostly True Memoir). I was unable to hear her speak on this balmy, sunny Saturday, May 19, at the Gaithersburg (MD) Book Festival, but I did get to hear some others as I took breaks from signing books in my own booth. I made it a point to hear Richard Peabody with his new book of short stories by Washington area women. I have a story in his earlier collection Stress City: A Big Book of Fiction by 50 DC Area Guys. Another on my “to-hear” list was Julia Duin, a Hyattsville (MD) author friend and newspaper writer and editor, who wrote Days of Fire and Glory: The Rise and Fall of a Charismatic Community, revealing “The details of a scandal that rocked the charismatic and Christian community movements, and the Episcopal Church.”
Well over a hundred authors spoke and offered their books at the fair, including Jim Lehrer (Tensions City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain), Judah Friedlander from NBC’s 30 Rock (How to Beat Up Anybody), Baratunde Thurston (How to Be Black – a New York Times bests-seller), Donna Britt (Brothers (and Me)), Tim Wendel (Summer of ’68: The Season That Changed Baseball),
Keith Donohue (Centuries of June), John Feinstein (One on One: Behind the Scenes with the Greats in the Game), L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Princeps), and Luis Carlos Montalván (Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him).
I shared a booth with novelist David Levy (Revolt of the Animals) selling and signing Well Considered and Cologne No. 10 For Men. Levy’s Revolt of the Animals is an entertaining satire about animals taking over the earth to save it from humans who are bound to destroy it.
I had the pleasure of listening to award winning young adult novelists John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back), Pam Borchorz (Drought), and Michelle Ray (Falling for Hamlet), as part of my effort to get ideas on writing for young adults. My next novel, which I am now revising, is of that genre.
I picked up some really useful tips, such as: don’t use adjectives and adverbs.