As most of you know I was in Rhode Island just two weeks ago in all my Great Literary Vacation glory!! I have two fabulous friends who made this vacation possible, and one of those friends is the lovely Robin Kall.
For those not familiar Robin Kall hosts a weekly talk radio show in Providence RI, aptly named, Reading with Robin. Each Saturday morning at 8am she chats with fabulous authors and shares her own love of books and little tidbits about writing with her listeners. Robin is this ridiculously friendly and outgoing woman, she has a huge smile, you know the kind you can hear in a person’s voice. She can instantly make anyone comfortable in conversation, and she sincerely listens. Robin and I met online, and we just felt this “click” or at least I did. She has been a cheerleader for my blog and has introduced me to more authors and books—just what a woman like myself needs! Robin was in Florida this spring with a friend and we were able to meet for dinner, and it was just as I suspected, like meeting an old friend and chatting like crazy!
Robin and her sisters lost their beautiful mom, Carol, to breast cancer when she was just 53 years old. These three sisters have created the Love Carol Foundation, to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. An Evening with Authors has just celebrated it’s 10th year. I was so honored to be able to attend, to feel the love these sisters and families feel in honoring their mother.
The authors this year were an amazing trio that I was absolutely giddy to listen to. Elizabeth Berg, Amanda Eyre Ward and Chris Bohjalian were there to chat books, the process, the ups and downs, the laughs, the gaffs and more. The style of the panel and talk was very relaxed and comfortable. Robin had asked each author to suggest some questions and she casually asked the questions, and the authors fed off of each other and just made the evening so much fun. If you are ever at a talk with Chris Bohjalian please have him share his underwear story…it’s one you will never forget!!
Before the event began I saw Bohjalian enter the room, I help myself back from running to gush all over him. I did approach him and he immediately said “Anita!” I was amazed he recognized me, and he was so congenial and open. We chatted a bit, my friend Pam came over to join our talk and it was one of the most amazing moments I’ve had with an author. We also had a little one on one with Elizabeth Berg, she is so classy and calm. This woman has written over 24 books and I’ve read most of them and talking to her about her upcoming trip to Italy and about her books was just surreal.
After their talk the authors happily autographed books, and because we are chatty my friend Pam and I were nearly last in line. While waiting Robin brought over some other authors that had come to the event, Nichole Bernier, Randy Susan Meyers, and Juliette Fay. We hugged and chatted and I thank twitter and social media and books for bringing these unlikely friendships to me.
Amanda Eyre Ward was a new author to me, but she was so much fun my friend Pam has jokingly named her, her new BFF, Mandy…ha ha!! Amanda is young, with children at home, and clearly a wonderful husband who was holding down the fort in TX while she was in New England doing author talks. I’ve just recently finished her book Close Your Eyes, and I couldn’t wait to talk to her about it when I finished. If you should meet her you will love her writing process….it’s unusual, but she likes to write in hotels. Remember she does have 3 small children, it makes sense.
I know how lucky I am to have friends like Robin Kall, she is beyond generous. I also spent Tuesday evening with her and her daughter Emily, and her Aunt Eileen. Just four book loving women having a night in a cheese shop bistro…..with some of the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had. My pictures are not great…but here are some shots of the fun!!