This was going to be my photo of the week more than a week ago, and somehow it never got posted. That's Mr. D, in a wonderful used book store, Eclipse Books, in the Fairhaven neighborhood of Bellingham. And what were we doing there? I was an attendee at Booktopia Washington, and Mr. D was there to hike and hang out with me when I wasn't in Booktopia sessions.
Booktopia is the brainchild of the two hosts of the Books on the Nightstand podcast, Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness. They have been podcasting about books and the publishing industry since 2008, and in 2011 they scheduled their first retreat for authors and podcast listeners at the amazing Northshire Books in Manchester, Vermont. Last year, they changed the retreat name to Booktopia, and they added two more locations, one in the middle of the country, and one in the west. This year Village Books in Fairhaven was the West Coast venue, and I was lucky enough to get in.
Here is a photo of Michael and Ann, about the only one I got of the two of them together:
Village Books was a super place to hold an event like this! It is a wonderful book store, with a friendly and welcoming staff. They really care about their customers, including those from north of the border:
Here is Booktopia Central, Village Books:
Attending Booktopia were seven authors, who presented in individual sessions during the day on Saturday and at the book signing event on Saturday night. They were: Peter Clines, Jonathan Evison, Ru Freeman, Caroline Leavitt, Rhonda Riley, Jan-Phillipp Sendker and Maggie Shipstead. Prior to the event, I read Evison's, Leavitt's Sendker's and Shipstead's most recent books (and earlier books by both Evison and Leavitt) and I attended their author sessions. It was wonderful to hear them discuss their books and their writing process and to have an opportunity to ask questions. I also had an opportunity to get a photograph of Caroline Leavitt's very cool boots!
The Saturday evening session was also wonderful, and it gave all of the attendees a chance to hear the authors whose sessions we didn't attend. I found Rhonda Riley's talk about her book, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, so fascinating that I bought it and had her sign it. I'm reading it now; so intriguing! I brought home a few other books, too, as you can see:
To sum up, I had a fantastic time at my first Booktopia, and I'm hoping that there will be many more in my future.