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SIBA Wrap-Up

October 3, 2009

siba_logo_158I was lucky enough to attend the SIBA Trade Show and the only way my weekend could have been better is if other bloggers had been there.  I did enjoy my time spent with booksellers, authors and publishers and found everyone to be warm and friendly.  No one thought I had an accent!  Almost every author and publisher I spoke with told me that they love book bloggers and feel that bloggers are important in the promotion of books.  The booksellers wanted to know how they could work with bloggers and I gave them several suggestions and told them about Dawn‘s Spotlight on Bookstores feature and about Natasha‘s relationship with her local indie bookstore.


I heard several authors speak at meals and on panels.  Some of the highlights for me were:

  • Anna Fields – Anna has written for As the World Turns, One Life to Live and The Guiding Light .  She has written several plays and has a book – Confessions of a Rebel Debutante– coming out in April 2010.  I got to chat with her for a while and she is really funny, so I have high hopes for her book.
  • Mary Alice Monroe – Mary Alice is a South Carolina author with a passion for the environment.  She loves to write about relationships in women’s lives.  She serves on the board of the South Carolina Aquarium.  Her latest book is Last Light Over Carolina.  She is currently writing about butterflies.
  • Richard Peck – Richard said he writes his dialogue standing up and acting it out.  He said kids need to leave their electronics for a while and read and he compared dialogue to chat rooms and action scenes to video games.  He told us about his latest Grandma Dowdel book, A Season of Gifts.  I’m not familiar with Grandma Dowdel, but I’m really look forward to getting to know her.
  • Jill McCorkle – Jill is a fabulous speaker and her anecdotes kept us chuckling the whole time.  I’ll hear her voice in my head as I read her latest book, Going Away Shoes.
  • Kevin Salwen – Kevin’s story is a remarkable one.  On seeing a homeless man one day, his fourteen year old daughter remarked that if they drove a less expensive car, that homeless man could have a meal.  That remark led to their family making a decision to sell their house and use half of the proceeds to help others.  This project has drawn their family closer together.  Kevin and his daughter Hannah have written a book, The Power of Half, that I’m really excited about.
  • Belinda Acosta – I bumped into Belinda on the show floor and she was so much fun.  She asked me lots of questions about blogging.  Belinda is the author of Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz.
  • I had the pleasure of sitting and chatting with Susan Gregg Gilmore and Patricia Harman. Susan is the author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, and she has a new book coming out next year.  Patricia is a midwife and is the author of The Blue Cotton Gown.   We talked a little bit about books, publishing and book tours, but mostly we talked about life, moving and kids.  It was so much fun visiting with them!
Susan Gregg Gilmore & Patricia Harman

Susan Gregg Gilmore & Patricia Harman

Kathy & Susan Gregg Gilmore

Kathy & Susan Gregg Gilmore


Each season, SIBA members select a dozen books with a Southern theme to hand-sell.  These books are called Okra Picks and this season picks are:

  • A Quiet Belief in Angels by R. J. Ellory
  • A Separate Country by Robert Hicks
  • Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown
  • Give My Poor Heart Ease by William Ferris
  • Going Away Shoes by Jill McCorkle
  • Rebel Yell: A Novel by Alice Randall
  • Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass
  • The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay
  • The Long Snapper: A Second Chance, a Super Bowl, a Lesson for Life by Jeffrey Marx
  • The Soul Tree: Poems and Photos of the Southern Appalachians by Laura Hope Gill
  • The Widow and the Tree by Sonny Brewer
  • Travel Guide for Reckless Hearts by N. M. Kelby
  • Wyatt’s Revenge by H. Terrill Griffin.


Check out my other SIBA Trade Show posts: Leila Meacham, The Lonely Shadow, Robert Hicks and Elizabeth Kostova.  I was told that SIBA’s Trade Show will be held in Daytona Beach, FL next year – if you live in the area, start making your plans now.

34 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2009 6:12 am

    I am only about an hour from Daytona Beach! How exciting!

  2. October 3, 2009 7:34 am

    Okra picks is such a great name (I saw it on Shelf Awareness too). I love okra 🙂

  3. October 3, 2009 8:06 am

    The book by Salwen sounds really good. And of course the *S*IBA wouldn’t think you had an accent! It might be different if you were at the *N*IBA!!! :–)

  4. October 3, 2009 8:23 am

    It sounds like an event that would be great to attend. (That probably will never happen for me), but I get to experience some of it through bloggers like you….thanks

  5. October 3, 2009 8:43 am

    I don’t even know where to start!!! I am so glad that you had this wonderful experience although I admit that I’m still jealous! I love the picture of you and Susan — isn’t she the best?

    There are so many wonderful authors and books that you mentioned in this post. As a big fan of GUIDING LIGHT and AS THE WORLD TURNS, I would love to read CONFESSIONS OF A REBEL DEBUTANTE.

  6. October 3, 2009 9:36 am

    I have enjoyed reading about your SIBA experience. How exciting to meet all those great authors! Now I have to check out all the Okra Picks. You gotta love that name! Thanks for sharing!

  7. October 3, 2009 9:39 am

    This must have been so much fun…it’s great that you get to meet so many authors!

  8. October 3, 2009 10:10 am

    SIBA loves bloggers. We want to host a Blogtastic Tent at the Trade Show in Daytona. The dates are Sep. 24-26, 2010. We’d love to have you. To get in our datasbase to receive updates, please email me at…thanks so much to BermudaOnion for helping bringing SIBA to the blogosphere.

  9. October 3, 2009 10:40 am

    I would so love to meet Richard Peck. I like that he “acts out” his dialogue. He would be pleased to know that he is a favorite author at my middle school!!

  10. October 3, 2009 10:48 am

    I think it’s fabulous that you attended. I couldn’t have picked a better person to be the “face” of book bloggers everywhere!

  11. October 3, 2009 11:07 am

    Glad you enjoyed!

  12. October 3, 2009 11:49 am

    I just read LOOKING FOR SALVATION AT THE DAIRY QUEEN for my book club’s upcoming meeting, and it was thoroughly delightful! Glad to hear the author was just as great. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. As a fellow Southerner, maybe I’ll have to join you next year 🙂

  13. October 3, 2009 1:26 pm

    I think this event sounds amazing. Thank you for the pictures and the break down of books etc. I love to read about literary events.

  14. October 3, 2009 1:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It’s good to know that authors and publishers acknowledge the importance of book bloggers. That has been my personal experience, too.

  15. October 3, 2009 1:43 pm

    What a neat time you had. Thanks for sharing.

    I hope that you’re able to track down Grodin’s book. It’s worth the time to read it.

  16. October 3, 2009 4:47 pm

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I would have loved to have been there with you, especially to listen to Richard Peck speak!

  17. October 3, 2009 5:40 pm

    It sounds like you had a great time! The only book I have from that list is A Separate Country by Robert Hicks…I’d better get going on it!

  18. October 3, 2009 8:24 pm

    I have truly enjoyed reading about your SIBA experience. You met such a wide variety of authors. I don’t know how you could sit there and process all of that with so much going on.

    I liked reading about Richard Peck’s dialogue-writing technique. And, I’m very interested in reading The Power of Half.

    Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

  19. October 3, 2009 9:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing your SIBA experience! Sounds like a great time! 🙂

  20. October 3, 2009 9:39 pm

    It sounds like you had a lot of interaction with the authors and were able to provide some feedback from the blogging side. It’s nice to know they value bloggers!

  21. October 3, 2009 10:09 pm

    It all sounds better than Cinderella’s ball! You are so lucky to have been able to attend and chat with so many interesting people. I really appreciate your sharing your experiences with us. (And btw, A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS is on my wishlist.)

  22. October 3, 2009 10:13 pm

    I’ve so enjoyed the SIBA posts you’ve written, Kathy. We’re all living vicariously thru your experience there. Sounds like nonstop fun and information … will you try to get to Daytona next year?

  23. October 4, 2009 12:04 am

    How fun Kathy! I’m so glad you got to go. I’d love to see one of these big get-togethers come to Seattle. If it ever does, I hope lots of bloggers will attend! What a great opportunity.

  24. stacybuckeye permalink
    October 4, 2009 12:34 am

    This sounds like so much fu! Thanks for sharing the handsell list with us.

  25. October 4, 2009 12:41 am

    I just adore Grandma Dowdel and I can’t wait to read A Season of Gifts!!! Sounds like lots of fun 🙂

  26. October 4, 2009 4:27 am

    Happy to know you’ve enjoyed the event! So much fun!

  27. Julie H. permalink
    October 4, 2009 1:42 pm

    What a great time! I’m glad to hear Gilmore has another book coming out, I just read Looking For Salvation at the Dairy Queen last month and enjoyed it very much.

  28. October 4, 2009 5:54 pm

    Oh my, oh my what a fabulous, fabulous time you had. What an opportunity. I’m so glad you were able to fully enjoy and engage in this event.

  29. October 4, 2009 7:25 pm

    That Kevin Salwen story sounds remarkable! I love the idea behind it!

    It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

  30. October 4, 2009 8:05 pm

    I’m glad you had such a good time Kathy. It would have been wonderful to be there.

  31. October 5, 2009 9:54 am

    Sounds like you had a great time. I need to check out this book: The Soul Tree: Poems and Photos of the Southern Appalachians by Laura Hope Gill

  32. October 5, 2009 10:54 am

    I have the Robert Hicks book as well as one by Jill McCorkle and I’m really looking forward to reading both of them.

  33. October 5, 2009 11:02 am

    Richard Peck’s strategy for writing dialogue is very interesting. Thanks for the wrap-up post. Glad you had a good time.


  34. October 5, 2009 10:51 pm

    Great post! It sounds like you had an absolutely wonderful time.

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