Monday, November 5, 2012


Acronyms. They can sometimes drive you crazy. But they also come in handy when they represent a mouthful and you use it frequently. Like BBF -- which stands for Buckeye Book Fair.

BBF is the largest author-signing book fair in Ohio. It's a by-invitation-only event that draws both authors and buyers from near and far. I was one of the lucky ones. I got an invitation.

This year's fair was held on November 3. But as a new author, I had no idea what to expect. I only knew it was going to be a long day: from 9am-4pm, not including drive time (which was 1 hour each way to and from Wooster, Ohio).

So I packed up my things, left early Saturday morning with my lovely assistant (aka my daughter, Andrea), and headed to BBF.

What a surprise! The auditorium was filled with talented authors and illustrators of all genres. Everyone had their own table and display. Beautiful, colorful books adorned their rightful places. There was a long line of people starting to form outside, just waiting for the doors to pop open. The excitement was building, and the atmosphere was pulse-riveting. I was finally starting to get into it.

I was assigned to table number 15.

My table is all set up, just waiting for the masses to come.

As buyers started spilling into the building, the fun began. People stopped by my table out of curiosity. People sought me out. People actually decided they wanted to plunk down their hard-earned money to buy my book -- either for themselves or for family and friends as gifts. (One woman even said she was mailing my book to an ex-pat friend in England. Imagine that!)

One curious reader

A few more onlookers (and buyers!)

By noon, I ran out of all the books BFF bought from my publisher. Good thing I had a reserve of extra books in my car (which BFF had encouraged us to do). I had enough for the rest of the day.


Bottom line: I had a really wonderful time! I made friends with the absolute nicest authors on either side of me (their books were Samuel's Mission and The Heart's Journey Home). I got to meet the genteel Jeni Britton Bauer, author of one my all-time favorite cookbooks, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. I bought a wonderful children's book about a little bird in New York City for the future, still-unconceived baby of my oldest daughter (who lives in NYC), called When Blue Met Egg by the talented Lindsay Ward. And I got free lunch.

My new author buddies, Jen Stephens and John Henkels
Jeni Britton Bauer (of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams) with Andrea

The one and only disappointment of the day for me was not getting to meet the incomparable Michael Ruhlman, who was supposed to be there but unfortunately couldn't make it. You see, he so graciously wrote the foreword for my book, but because of today's modern technology, all our correspondence has been via e-mail. I wanted to finally meet "the man" in person. Oh well, I guess that'll have to wait for another day.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted. But my day wasn't quite done yet. I got changed into my "little black dress" (but please don't take the word "little" literally) and went right back out with my husband to attend the wedding reception of a friend's daughter at the Old Courthouse downtown. We even got in a slow dance. Life is good.

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