Okay, I will confess I didn’t know who this keynote speaker at the GCLS Con was. I did my research and read about her and her book BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA which was made into a movie…cool. I didn’t expect to find myself sitting NEXT to her at my first reading…and again, I was sick and clueless and didn’t recognize this great author. Thank goodness MY reading of SHIPS, my FIRST novel written in 2003 was before this great orator went on to deliver her reading. She blew us ALL away and following her would never have the impact. I was absolutely astounded when this woman leaned over after my reading and said, “Good Job! Great story.” It’s always wonderful to be told that, but to be told by someone who you cannot help but admire…well, let’s just say WOW and leave it at that. Her reading left the audience in tears, mesmerized by her words, her delivery, and the story… Seeing her at the awards dinner later in the week was only a bonus, she is gracious, kind, and down to earth. Her southern accent endears the listener and enhances what she has to say. Whether you have read her works or not, run, don’t walk, and get them!
To rub shoulders with the greats, to have them acknowledge a fellow author, these things stay with a person. I can only hope if/when I might make that status that I remember humbly how wonderful they made me feel at a moment in time…and pass it on.