Baltimore Book Festival 2014

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello Baltimore! Here’s the view of Light Street from my room.

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I took Amtrak down to Baltimore on Thursday afternoon and checked into a gorgeous suite at the Marriott Residence Inn at 17 Light Street.

 

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It felt like I was back to living in an apartment. Most comfy place I’ve ever stayed.

 

 

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My hotel.

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When I got settled in on Thursday, I went out for a walk in the Inner Harbor to get a lay of the land. To see how long it took to get from one end of the festival to the other.

 

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Loved this sign.

 

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Dinner at 17 Light was crab cakes. When in Baltimore…

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 This was near the author tents. On Friday, I got to be a fan girl and go to panels and signings. It was awesome!

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Marissa Meyer was a delight to hear interviewed. Her interviewer, Catherine Asaro, took the time to get to know her and made it a really intimate chat in the Literary Salon.

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I was so wowed over by the interview, I had to get a couple of her books signed.

Waiting in line for the signing, I got to chat with Samantha, Book Vlogger, all day. We forgot to take a pic together. But she’s gorgeous and awesome and a great book festival buddy!

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Maryland Romance Writers has a great panel on Writing Science Fiction as women authors. The panel included Catherine Asaro, Jennifer Armentrout, Em Garner, Cheryl Klam, Diana Peterfreund, and M.D. Waters.

 

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Jennifer writes across genres and many of the panelists echoed her thought that they write what they write and let the agents and editors categorize it.

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There was a music stage with dancing going on.

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At 5:30 pm, I headed back to my hotel and freshed up for a night out with Lauren Moscato, one of the coolest blog buddies I have. She and her boyfriend, Sean, took me out for potato nachos at James Joyce in the East Harbor. We laughed all night.

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Lauren is the queen of good selfies. Love this shot of us that she snapped!

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And then it was Saturday. The big day for the author tent. Dad and I got there at 10:30 am to set up. We had people stopping by from 10:45 am  until 8 pm.

My table was between three awesome authors and an illustrator! E.L. Jefferson is a monster promoter of his horror novels and picture books. His wife Janet and his illustrator Tony completed  a smooth operation. They were in complete sync the whole day.

On my other side was Damien Gibbs and Tiffany Gibbs who co-write books and also are individuals authors. Another fantastic husband and wife team. They were super prolific with a memoir, picture book, spirituality, and even fantasy novels to sell.

I’m looking forward to reading E.L. and Dameon’s books!

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I was on my feet all day. I think I pitched the book to at least 80 people. I lost count after a while. I gave out hundreds of book marks. And we sold 15 books.

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Then we met my friend Megan and her husband Greg and went to Chiaparelli’s in Little Italy for dinner. For about 8 minutes, I thought we might be ghosts because all the waiters and servers ignored us and there was no hostess to greet us. But then we were seated and I breathed a sigh of relief.

 The side salad was intense. Enough for 4 people to share 1 salad intense.

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The fried provolone rocked.

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And I loved my chicken vincenza.

Megan and Greg were great dinner companions and we laughed the night away.

So glad we all survived the cab ride back too!

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We left Baltimore the next morning. It was a 6 hour drive in constant traffic back to CT. That’s why today’s post is a bit late.

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38 Responses to Baltimore Book Festival 2014

  1. tmgibbs says:

    Thank you so much! We couldn’t have asked for a better “neighbor” during our first festival! Looking forward to reading your book!

  2. Thanks for sharing so those of us who aren’t “getting out there” as much as you are can live vicariously. And it’s so awesome that your parents are able to see–and be part of–your success.

    • Glad you like these posts. I live a lot in the time I travel and try to mix fun and work as much as possible. Then it’s back to the Kour Cave for writing and promoting again. 🙂 Yes, they had me very young so they are able to see it and help me out with events too. 🙂

  3. Sounds like a great event Kourtney, glad you got to connect with some great people as well as having the opportunity to promote the book some more 🙂

    • It was Andrea! I was so lucky to get to spend the day with such cool people. It’s hard to be pitching your book to readers all day, but these guys were there to cheer me on and keep me upright then entire 10 hours. 🙂

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    Sounds like it was a great trip. I was in Baltimore last spring for a conference at Johns Hopkins. I loved it. But my hotel room wasn’t nearly as pretty as yours!

    • Yes, Lauren told me. She’s so easy to hang out with. If you ever get back to John Hopkins have dinner with her. She’s very low key and all around awesome lady. LOL. I find getting two queens gets you more space. Even if you are one person in a room. 😉 Where’d you stay?

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        I can’t even remember; I’ve been to so many conferences. I just know it was a small room, and the brick wall of the neighboring building was my view.

        And no, I didn’t seek out Lauren. I’m hopeless at these types of things and keep to myself. I bet she was lots of fun to meet though. I think she found out I was in Baltimore through a tweet I sent. I’ll have to be more careful with my tweets while traveling in the future. 😉 (Just kidding, Lauren! Well, kind of…)

        • Totally understand. I hate a small room. And a brick wall view is very stifling. LOL. I used to be that way–very under the radar, but locals are great about showing you the cool spots and it’s nice to have someone to eat with for dinner. 🙂 She’s sweet and cool and fun. We laughed and commiserated over writing. Gotta be careful with the tweeting when you want to go unseen. Conferences can be very tiring too. From her blog, I thought she was a huge extrovert, but she’s actually pretty introverted. I had a blast meeting her–I hope she comes up to CT for a visit.

  5. Sounds like an awesome experience interspersed with fab foods!

    • Definitely a great experience. There was one food debacle–a 15$ turkey leg that tasted like turkey carcass. Awful. Luckily, I found some amazing coconut crusted chicken skewers and that saved the day. 🙂

  6. EllaDee says:

    The festival, food, people and hotel all look wonderful, bright & fun. I too love the sign 🙂

  7. kathils says:

    That room is ginormous! Sounds like you had another fantastic time.

  8. La La says:

    Had a great time Kourtney! Glad you enjoyed yourself and had a successful trip! 😀

  9. Lori D says:

    What a fantastic trip! Looked great. I’m jealous you got to meet Lauren. I hope I can meet some of you blogging buddies some day. If you ever make it to Florida, drop me a line.

  10. It looks like you had a wonderful time. I love your photographs of the food! And I like the selfie your friend took (your double life…you look less studious- from “Pie O Logy”-) Nice time! So good to get away!

  11. Kourtney so sorry. You are down-to-earth and progressive. I was confusing you with another blogger with a double life analysis a la Pie O Logy!!! Sorry! 🙂

  12. jmmcdowell says:

    I am so bummed that I couldn’t get there to see you again! But the jet lag and errands that needed to be done were too much. 🙁 I’m glad you had someone local who could lead you to the best places to refresh. That makes it so much easier to enjoy a new place!

    • Totally understood. That was a big big trip to come back from. The Baltimore Book Festival is really cool. Highly recommend it for next year! Yes, me too. Had two locals showing me around and someone who went to grad school there. I was really lucky. 🙂

  13. Mayumi-H says:

    Do you know what I find so awesome about this post, Kourtney? That it’s full of lines like, “We laughed all night.” I LOVE that you have embraced being an author for more than just the prospect of selling tons of books. You engage, you connect, you share, through your words and pictures and experiences. I’m happy to hear that you had a great time in Baltimore (because it is a very cool city) but more that you’ve grabbed this bull by the horns and are riding strong! 😀

    I loved this shared bit of experience, too: “Jennifer writes across genres and many of the panelists echoed her thought that they write what they write and let the agents and editors categorize it.” That gives me – and probably others, too – the hope that we really can write the stories we love and find others to share them with.

    • I’m incredibly lucky to have such awesome friends that came by the festival and found time to do dinner with me. 🙂 They really made it a magical weekend. Even if I didn’t sell a book (thankfully I did), I walked away with great memories. It’s really about connecting with people and building relationships. Lauren is a hoot. I’ve adored her and her blog for years. Megan and I bonded at a conference in June and we’ve become fast friends.

      It was really cool to hear that because it’s one of the things I struggle with as an author. I don’t set out to write a genre, I set out to tell a compelling story. Sometimes it crosses genres, sometimes it fits neatly into one. That’s never my aim. I think those authors are also incredibly lucky because they have agents and editors. They have people who help them categorize stuff. When you are querying, it’s all on you to categorize and it’s a hard slog.

  14. That room does look comfy! So glad you had a good time and sold books! 🙂

  15. K. Lyn Wurth says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful time! I’m going to a Women Writing the West writers conference in a few weeks in Denver. You got me even more excited! about traveling and talking about books! Thanks for posting. It’s always good to see what you’re up to.

    • Yes, it was a great trip. Definitely glad I jumped through all the hoops to get a table there. 🙂 Oh that sounds fabulous–hope you have an awesome time. Aw happy to share. 🙂

  16. Now that looked to have been a super day .. What a great Book Festival.. Always love your pictures, and of course love the food you posted 🙂 So pleased you had such an awesome time 🙂 xxxx Hugs Sue

  17. Baltimore has so much going on – and being there during a book fair? Can it get any better? Looks like you had a great sport in the author’s tent.
    Fun City for sure

    • It’s really very busy. Lots to do and see. We barely scratched the surface. Book fairs are awesome. I met so many readers. I got to fan girl with them on Friday and sell to them on Saturday. 🙂

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