Even though Kate Morton was the obvious draw for me at the festival, the more I read about it and what other authors would be there, the more excited I got. The Morristown Festival of Books brings dozens of authors (nonfiction, fiction, and YA) to several locations around Morristown to discuss their books and interact with readers through Q&A sessions. After the panels, the authors immediately go to a book signing tent. You can bring your own books to get signed, and they also sell them all right on site.
On October 13, my sister Michele and I drove to Morristown and went right to one of the first panels, which featured Fiona Davis (The Address, The Masterpiece) and Kate Quinn (The Alice Network) along with a moderator. When we arrived, the church where their talk was held was only partially full, but it soon quickly filled up. Both authors were great speakers and I'm looking forward to reading more of their books!
|Fiona Davis (center) and Kate Quinn (right)|
Afterwards, we had a bit of time before Kate Morton's panel, so we wandered around, down to the book signing tent and also Kidfest, where they had all this fun stuff for kids to do, as well as tons of books and author talks.
|Book signing and sales tent|
|Church of the Redeemer, where we attended 3 talks|
After seeing how crowded the first session was, we knew we wanted to get to Kate Morton's early. Good thing we did, because it was basically standing room only. Along with a moderator, Diane Chamberlain (The Dream Daughter) was also part of this panel. Kate Morton was as lovely and charming as I'd always imagined she'd be, and Diane Chamberlain was wonderful, and funny!
|Kate Morton (center) and Diane Chamberlain (right)|
|The church was such a beautiful setting for the panel!|
After the Q&A session, we ran down to the book signing tent to get on line. I was so nervous to meet Kate Morton, totally star-struck, I could hardly think of anything to say! I eventually told her that I'm a huge fan and I recommend her books to everyone, including my mother, who isn't a big reader but is now obsessed with her books. She loved that we share books together. My sister got another of her books signed for me because I didn't want to just give her a whole stack to sign.
Because the signing was right after the session, we figured we might miss Kate Moore (The Radium Girls) speak because she was on about 20 minutes after Kate Morton, but by the time we got our books signed, we had only missed 10 minutes of her talk, so we ran back to the church. Kate Moore talked about how she came across the story of the radium girls and a little bit of the history. The room was packed, and everyone was just enraptured by Kate Moore. She spoke with such passion and emotion, and you could just tell how much the story of these poor women really impacted her. When I got my copy signed by her, I told her how The Radium Girls is my favorite book of the year and I recommend it to everyone; it's such a powerful read. She was so happy to hear that more people are reading it.
I'm so glad I finally went to my first bookish event, and now I'm looking forward to next year's!