Sep 022010

The Decatur Book Festival is this weekend (!!!!) and I’m here to tell you it’s one of my favorite book festivals of all time (right up there with the one in Savannah).* I’m qualified to say that because I’ve been to some complete crappers in my time, and this from the perspective of someone invited to present. I’m not gonna name names, but Grant Henry himself will testify to the horrible planning of one particular festival, which attested to support local writers, yet imported a novelist from across the country, paid her all the proceeds for the booth rentals rather than putting that money into promotion, and the local writers languished for a entire weekend with nothing but their candy bowls for company. I wan’t local, but I was invited to sign there, and brought Grant with me for a road trip. It was at this festival that the phrase “self-flagellation” became a favorite of ours. Personally I don’t see why the people who paid to present there didn’t descend on the organizer, mob-style.

But the Decatur Book Festival, now, that’s a different story. It’s organized by Thomas Bell, who knows how to put on a festival. It’s one of the rare events that make good on it’s premise to enrich you creatively. Below is my schedule of appearances. Feel free to stop by and harangue me.

Friday, Sept. 3, 4 p.m. — Saved by the Blog,” a 2-hr. mini blogging workshop in Buttrick Hall G. Registration is free.

Saturday, Sept. 4, 2 p.m. — Featured author at the AJC V.I.P. Author’s Tent. (This could be a private affair, I dunno, but if I were you I’d just show up and tell them you know me, and then I’ll be all, like, “Oh, hi!” and stuff.)

Saturday, Sept 4, 4:15 p.m. — Featured author at the THE MOTH storytelling event, where the theme of the night is “Southern Gothic.” I’m gonna tell my story about Myrtle, the lesbian ghost who haunts my house. Also speaking will be the venerated George Dawes Green, who started the whole MOTH phenomenon (heralded as “New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket” by the Wall Street Journal) years ago. Seriously, you do not want to miss this.

Here are some of the events I plan to attend, and bare in mind that they are listed according to my own personal star-struck-edness:

Maura Shalhoup’s appearance Sunday, Sept. 5, 5:00 at Decatur Conference Center Stage.

Jef Blocker, Saturday, 11:15 at Decatur Conference Center Stage, Jef a Shocking Real-Life “Secrets to Writing & Selling Your First Book” alumn!

Charles McNair, Sunday, 12:00 at Decatur Conference Center Stage

Joyce Bone, Sunday, 3:45 at Decatur Conference Center Stage

Rebecca Burns, Sunday, 1:15 at Decatur Conference Center Stage

Joshilyn Jackson, Friday, 3:00 at Maclean Auditorium in Presser Hall

Tom Junod, Sunday, 12:00 at Decatur Conference Center Stage (I know this conflicts with Charles McNair but they’re on the same stage!)

John Kessler, Saturday, 3:00 at Cooks Warehouse Stage or

Jack Riggs, Saturday, 3:00 at Eddie’s Attic Stage (decisions, decisions!)

Please feel free to berate me for leaving anyone out. (I expect you to argue your case.) Looking forward to seeing you there!

* I also really loved the Georgia Literary Festival held in Rome last year.