5 Things I Learned at the Central Coast Book & Author Festival

by Gwen


On Sunday I put on real pants and went to the Central Coast Book & Author Festival in San Luis Obispo, CA. Getting me into pants with zippers and shoes with actual laces is no mean feat, I whine, bitch, and moan. However, I am grateful that I went and here are some of the reasons why……


1. There is something whimsical about sitting in a Carnegie Library. I attended a few sessions and there were times that it was hard to pay attention to what the speaker was saying because I was so busy staring at all of the architectural details.



2. Anthologies seem like a lot of hard work for the editors. Victoria Zackheim talked about her experiences as editor of with The Other Woman, For Keeps, and The Face in the Mirror. On the other hand, she has worked with the likes of Alan Dershowitz and Jane Smiley.

3. The setting for a book is often a character all by itself. Gordon Snider talked about 1906 San Francisco, the setting for his book, The Hypnotist. It was an unforgiving place even before the earth started shaking and the fires started.

4. There are 4 elements to a short story according to Sunny Frazier and Doug Danielson. They are your best sentence, a universal message, authenticating details and you have to tell the reader something they don’t know.

5. Sometimes being somewhat rude can be a great way to meet people. Funny story, I walked up to one table and before even smiling or saying hello, author K.M. Kavanagh yelled out, “I am leaving in 10 minutes so if you want a book, you have to buy it now!” I couldn’t help it, I laughed and mentioned that it was a unique book selling technique. We talked for a while after that and she was nice enough to give me her book.

SLO Mission Plaza

It was a great day down at Mission Plaza and a huge success for me personally. Truth be told, I don’t get out much and I am beginning to get way too comfy in sweat pants and Crocs. Like Meg wrote in her recent post, How Blogging Has Made My Life Pretty Awesome, blogging has given me so much self confidence and opened up so many new vistas.

So tell me, what have you learned lately and what has blogging done for you?





























12 Comments to “5 Things I Learned at the Central Coast Book & Author Festival”

  1. I’m so glad you got yourself dressed and went to a bookish event. LOL But seriously, you’re so right – blogging does open us up to lots of fantastic opportunities!

  2. It’s funny you say that because I think I wear sweats more often and get out LESS now because I spend so much time online chatting and blogging, or reading in a corner so that I’ll have something to blog about 😉 But seriously, before blogging I would never having imagined going to a book event alone… now I’ve done it and loved it and met wonderful people!

  3. Sounds like a lot of fun! I love books where the setting is a character in and of itself.

  4. i have yet to be able to make it to any blog-centric event even though i live a short train ride from NYC! blogging has introduced me to so many new friends–meg included!!-and gives me a creative outlet. i started in 2006 with a life blog but moved over to book blogging in 2009 and never looked back. i love the sense of community and collective love of books! 🙂

    ps. i love SLO–stayed at the madonna inn a few years back. it was quite an experience…lol.

  5. Too true that setting can be a character in a book. I can think of a good few books I’ve read where the setting has played as much more of a role than any of the main characters. Actually, now that I think about it, I *love* books like that.

    Sounds like you had a good time! 🙂

  6. Well for starters… Blogging gave me you! I loved this post, Gwennie… it’s a charmed life you live, at least from this view!

    PS) That lady looks barefoot… You Cali girls know how to roll;)

  7. You are right, I seldom would think of going to something like that alone before. Somehow, now that I am serious about blogging, it gave me a purpose that made going alone totally acceptable, if not better. If I had drug someone with me, I wouldn’t have stayed as long and would have been worried that they were bored!

  8. It was interesting to hear him talk about the setting. I had never really thought about it like that before.

  9. I started with a relationship blog, then a decorating blog while piddling with my book blog. Of the three, book bloggers have the best community, I agree.

    You really stayed at the Madonna Inn?! That must have been an experience. Kooky!

  10. It was like a lightbulb moment for me, I had never realized just how strongly I am drawn to the setting. Just like movies, I can hate the plot or the actors, but if the setting and costumes are stunning, I still like it.

  11. Shoes are totally optional around here. Just think, you wouldn’t have to worry about your wee one wearing matching shoes!

  12. Well, I guess I should’ve gone! I was too busy cleaning out closets, though…big excitement, huh?

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