Most of you probably know that I recently went to one of the biggest reader events around – The Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend. That’s right, its now a weekend.
This was the fifth annual event, but the first time the events spanned Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. More than 500 readers converged on the Clarion Hotel in Milwaukee to play games, meet authors, talk about books, meet new friends, visit with old friends and just have a great time. All I saw all weekend were smiles. I heard giggling and laughter at every turn. Excited voices drifted down the halls and into rooms as readers and authors met, chatted, and shared stories with each other. Author Jade Lee decided we needed a hashtag for the weekend, and #IWasVeyed was born.
Let’s talk about the festivities. Friday started with bingo, which was well organized and so much fun. I met readers I had met last year and sat at their table. We did have a winner at our table, which is always fun. Friday evening, there was an Author Q&A. I’ve never been so nervous in my life. We had to go up in front of everyone, introduce ourselves, our genres and where we live and then pull a question from the fish bowl and answer it. I was petrified. It felt like I was floating in a dream world and I have to say, I could have done better with my question. I guess it’s true that many writers are introverts and while I’ve never considered myself one, I found out this weekend that I am very much an introvert.
As an author, I sponsored a table for seven readers for Saturday’s luncheon. I won’t lie, I was nervous. I sincerely wanted to meet my readers and hoped they would enjoy the gifts and table decorations, but I am always cognizant that what I think is cool, someone else may not. I’m happy to report that my table mates seemed to enjoy their gifts. Take a look at my table decorations – Veterans and Bikers is the theme.
After the luncheon, we had a book signing, a pizza party followed that and then we played games. Ever heard of MadLibs? I hadn’t but once we started playing, we had a great time.
Sunday morning we had a great breakfast and then we had to say goodbye. Goodbye to the fabulous readers we met and the new author friends we found. But, I’m thrilled to say, we’ve been chatting and tagging on Facebook and we are able to keep in touch in ways we wouldn’t have been in years gone by. Thank you to Barbara Vey and her family/committee for all the work that goes into this great event. Thank you readers, for coming to these events and making it so special for us. Thank you new author friends for making this “newer” author feel welcome.
If you haven’t #BeenVeyed and you would like to #GetVeyed, join the Facebook page for the Reader Appreciation Weekend. Tickets go on sale for next year’s event this summer, July 30, 2016 at 12:01 am. Then you too will be able to proudly proclaim that #IWasVeyed.