Friday, September 29, 2006

UMBA Convention - Helen's First

We're off to see the booksellers! Well, at least Kathleen, Lois, and I are.

The Upper Midwest Booksellers Association is having is annual convention in St. Paul, Minnesota today. I'm told I'm to bring promotional materials, but other than that, don't ask me what it's all about because this is my first AS A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!

Kathy and I are setting up. Lois is coming later. Oh, and tonight is Midwest Fiction Writers 25th anniversary celebration and I get to go. Barbara Samuel is speaking, and then tomorrow Jennie Crusie and Bob Mayer are holding a day-long workshop. Book signing at the Mall of America Saturday night.

Busy, busy. I'll bring pictures next week!


Betina Krahn said...

Oh, how I envy you MInnesota guys with your 25th anniversary celebration and bookseller's convention. I remember the 20th celebration-- what fun! I still have my wig!

And the Bob and Jennie show-- wow! That will be FUN. And, of course, there's the chance to sign books and ramble around the Mall of America. . .

Okay, I'm getting homesick. I'm going to have to schedule a Minnesota trip soon. Not that I wouldn't be doing it anyway. . . to see little Kate, the new granddaughter! Who is home now, by the way.

Who's up today? Candace! Woohoo! Maybe Candace, Deb, and I can stir up a little trouble while they're gone.

:> Betina

Have fun guys! And bring me back a T-Shirt or something!

Michele said...

Have fun today at MBA! I'll be there on Saturday, which means I'll miss the Bob and Jennie show. Waaaaa!

If anyone is interested the Mall of America book signing takes place in the Sears court, and I believe it starts at 7 pm with a question and answer session.


Helen Brenna said...

Betina, all of us here in MN miss you too! When you come up to visit your son's family, let us know. Lunch, maybe?

Okay, I didn't make the 20th anniversary celebration. You have to tell us the wig story, Betina!

And don't get too rowdy while I'm gone. No happy hours without ME!

Debra Dixon said...

Betina--I want to know the wig story too!

Helen-- And we're not promising to be good while you're gone. :)

Kelly Parra said...

Have a great time! And yes, details! I've never been to one either. =)

Betina Krahn said...

Deb, here's the wig story:
I was the emcee at the 20th anniversary celebration of Midwest Fiction Writers (MFW) our local RWA chapter. They asked me to ham it up, so I developed "Marian the MFW Librarian." I had a gray wig with bun, a little lace collar, glasses on the end of my nose. . . and a schtick that was. . . well. . . major schtick. I do voices and it turned out Marian was my second "stress personality": cranky and outspoken and a little risque. I wrote a lot of outrageous stuff about the history of MFW and turned it loose. I had to move to Florida two weeks later. . .

(wink, wink.)

I think they've forgiven me-- they asked me to help write something for this celebration, but I was swamped and couldn't. I'm sure they found someone else to make it a great time.

And Kelly, a bookseller's association convention is kinda odd. As authors, you're responsible for the product, but you're still something of a specimen among the sellers. Some are really happy to see authors, others are a little puzzled at what you're doing there. Very interesting.

An interesting comment from one of the major booksellers at my first regional convention. He looked at all of us "romance writers" and said "Gee, you all look so normal." When a couple of the mystery people and a fantasy person or two came in, we understood why. We came in regular suits and dresses, heels, the works; they came in beatnik black and tweed jackets with deerstalkers and ultra-modern/avante garde couture!

What we should have done was make an impression through "costume." I guess they expected big hats and boas from us. We would have been a lot more memorable if we'd been wearing our hair in pink spikes, and tongue studs and tats! A lesson in making an impression. . .

;> Betina

Debra Dixon said...

Betina-- Okay, now I understand the move to Florida. :g: 20 years is a LOT of ammunition...uh...material to draw from.

One of BelleBooks trade show appearances happened to coincide with the Sweet Potato Queen and her entourage making an appearance. Deborah Smith was green with tiara envy. She loves that whole spectacle thing because the booksellers seem to love it. I told her that if she came near me with a tiara I was going to smack her. LOL! I've been business suit Barbie for most of my life.

Oh, and for those of you who haven't read my story "Sweet Tea" in SWEET TEA AND JESUS SHOES, I should add that in home movies of my sister and I as young children we were showing off the Barbies Santa had given us. We dove in to our *identical* stash of clothing and then paraded the dolls across the back of the couch. My sister's Barbie was dressed in a sparkling/shiny party dress. My Barbie was dressed in a business suit.

Is that poetic, ironic, prophetic or what?