Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Friday, September 28 Mass Book signing-the feast
It was my first book signing and held in the Deadwood Pavilion on Main Street. There was some consternation before-hand that the Borders people had not shown up and there weren't going to be any books for many of the authors to sign, but Sherry DeBoers got on the phone and located the errant van which had gone to Spearfish instead of Deadwood, and in the nick of time books were stacked on the tables. I had a good time signing books and was heartened by the number and diversity and friendliness of the Dakota readers.
Louis and I found the alphabetical seating really wonderful in one way, a little less so in another. The wonderful part was being seated with Rebecca Norris Webb and Alex Webb, two personable, well-travelled bon-vivant photographers who were great fun to talk to. Terri Jentz, writer of Strange Piece of Paradise was directly behind us and conversing with her was also a highlight. In fact, meeting other authors and buying their books was one of the best things about the entire weekend. We met and got books from Andrew Helfer, who writes amazing graphic biographies, fellow debut novelists Nyla Griffith (Lucky Strike) and Ellen Baker (Keeping the House), Pete Dexter, jounalist, essayist and novelist (Paper Trails, Deadwood) During the weekend we also caught up with some people we already knew; Bill Holm (poet, essayist), Craig Howe (Hate Speech, Horses and Hostages), David Laskin(The Children's Blizzard), Robert Bonner(Professor emeritus at Carleton College), and I did catch up with Cathie Draine and found she is related by marriage to my third grade teacher Sylvia.
In the evening there was another signing in Lead. There we found that if the seating went from A to Z, and A started in the Lobby and wound down a long, narrow hallway, AND Ivan Doig was present to sign books, having a last name that starts with W isn't to one's advantage. Of course, I couldn't hope to compete with Ivan Doig even if my name started with A.
Following the signing was the literary feast. Twelve dinner speakers and four courses. Kenneth Davis was the host and promised to buzz anyone going beyond their fifteen minutes of time. Pete Dexter stood up and said if Kenneth Davis buzzed him during his reading, Kenneth Davis wasn't going back to New York. Sonia Manzano (Maria of Sesame Street) spoke, Ivan Doig read, as did the poet laureate of Wyoming, David Romtvedt. Deb Marquart read from her book, The Horizontal World, which I enjoyed so much I vowed to get her book.
By the time we got back to our hotel room, we were exhausted. I put on the hotel robe embroidered with Bill Hickock's name, and we all watched the animal channel to wind down.