After a Friday ice-breaking discussion and cocktail party, which gave everyone the opportunity to meet each other, Saturday was devoted to smaller group discussions with the authors who graciously attended the retreat. I attended these discussions:
- With Matthew Dicks on the decisions he made on the road to becoming a writer and to get his work published
- With Susan Gregg Gilmore on the significance of place in fiction
- With Chris Bohjalian on general topics
Saturday evening was the Celebration of Authors, where each of the authors attending the event spoke for a few minutes. This event was recorded and will likely be posted as this week's Books on the Nightstand podcast (available on their site or through iTunes) and I encourage you to check it out because it was extremely interesting. Those participating were:
Elizabeth Stuckey-French (The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady)
Ellen Meeropol (House Arrest)
John Milliken Thompson (The Reservoir, coming in June)
Chris Bohjalian (most recently Secrets of Eden)
Steve Himmer (The Bee-Loud Glade)
Susan Gregg Gilmore (Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen and The Improper Life of Bezelia Grove)
I learned so much from all of the discussions and from all of the other attendees and my to-read list has expanded exponentially. I also made many new friends - some of whom I already knew "virtually", and it was great to put faces to names.
Oh yeah, and I purchased some books:
(plus a few more that I had to have shipped home -- don't tell my husband!)
The weekend was a tremendous success and it sounds like it will be repeated; if it is I cannot recommend it enough.