Monday, October 29, 2007

Book 'Em

At seven thirty Saturday, on a rainy morning best for long hours of sleep, the last thing I wanted to do was get up and drive two and a half hours to Lebanon, New Hampshire. But promises are promises, and this was a good cause. What could be more up a mystery writer's alley than supporting an organization dedicated to increasing literacy, decreasing crime and helping police solve unsolved crimes?

And even better. Because my son had a rugby game nearby in Hanover, I was able to talk my husband into coming (and he drives a lot faster than me.) Fueled by Dunkin Donuts, we charged north.

The Book 'Em Foundation is a national organization, founded by theWaynesboro, NC police, but the Lebanon event was hosted by the local police department and the city itself. Authors, sixty of them in Lebanon, NH alone, included such names as Jodi Picoult, Archer Mayor, Michele Martinez, Bill Tapply, Nancy Means Wright, Jenny White, Tom Tancin, and Vicki Stiefel. All donated the bulk of the book sales to the cause.

Okay, so I was tired and bleary eyed, and the rain did not let up. The windshield wipers wrecked the promise of leaf peeping at its peak. But I can't say enough about the warm welcome and the great job these organizers did. They greeted authors with coffee and bagels and a high school gymnasium full of eager book buyers.

But the best part was the panel with mystery authors Archer Mayor and Michele Martinez who addressed the difficulties of the publishing industry with humor, honesty and insight.

This is a tough business that often brings out the negatives. But these two successful authors had very different approaches to the problems that plague writers. I found inspiration in both of them.

I want to thank the organizers of the Book 'Em Foundation for inviting me to their event. For the most part, writers sit alone in front of their computers, making up people, struggles and resolutions. It felt good to be with a group of real people with a real objective. As if to mimic my mood, the rain cleared and the sun highlighted all the red leaves on the ride home. And there was the most amazing rainbow. A real one. Not a metaphor.

1 comment:

Mark Kearney said...

Hey there,

I'm the co-founder of Book 'Em. Just one small correction, it's Waynesboro, VA. Our website is

I hope to return to Lebanon one day for their event. I was there in 2006 for the first one.

Hope to see you at my local Book 'Em or some other one as I'm slowly working on spreading Book 'Em and my various literacy programs around the world.

Take care,

Mark Kearney