Monday, September 26, 2011

SIBA 2011 Event Recap

This year, the SIBA Trade Show was held in Charleston South Carolina. Though it was a bit of a trek from my hometown of Orlando, the awesome Sandy from You’ve Gotta Read This and I decided we would make a road trip of it, and our 6½ hour drive was filled with excited and eager chatting. Arriving in the mid-afternoon on Friday, we were ready to get our geek on, and SIBA became an event of excitement and fun that we won’t soon forget. Friday evening, Sandy and I were honored to meet the wonderful Swapna from S. Krishna’s Books, and excited to be reunited with Kathy from BermudaOnion’s Weblog. We had a great time getting to know one another and reminiscing, and decided we would go out to dinner and stop by a party to kick off a wonderful weekend.  We first made our way to a SIBA Welcome Party hosted by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart and their husbands, Jack Bass and Cliff Graubart  at their beautiful home in Downtown Charleston. Nathalie and Cynthia co-wrote the cookbook Southern Biscuits, which looks divine and delicious, and I’ll definitely be trying out a few of their recipes. After the party we discovered it was restaurant week in Charleston and luckily squeezed our way into a table at 82 Queen Street, a restaurant that was both suave and delicious. Here is a photo from the restaurant:

Saturday morning we were up early for breakfast and then more chatting. We attended a mid-afternoon panel called Hideous and Haunting featuring W. Scott Poole (Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting), Kala Ambrose (Ghosthunting North Carolina), Alma Katsu (The Taker), Kristen Painter (Blood Rights) and Kimberly Griffiths Little (Circle of Secrets). This was a very exciting panel that was chock full of interesting tidbits about some books that would be perfect for those of you who might be participating in the R.I.P. Challenge.

After the panel, we headed over to the Kick Off Lunch where we were treated to a great meal and a fascinating and eclectic selection of authors showcasing their books. We got a chance to hear about some great new children and YA reads from AVI (City of Orphans), Kadir Nelson (Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans), Gordon Korman (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 1: The Medusa Plot), and Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Chaos) It was nice to see such a variety of children’s books, and I have to say that all of the speakers were very passionate and thoughtful when discussing their work.

After lunch, we made our way to a late afternoon panel which was entitled Book Club Reads, where we met the authors of several enthralling new works of fiction that are due to be on your shelves soon. The amazing authors and books featured were R. Overbeck (Leave No Child Behind), Matt Matthews (Mercy Creek), Kent Anderson (Cold Glory), Jonathan Odell (The Healing), Taylor Polites (The Rebel Wife) and Neil Abramson (Unsaid). You have my word these are books you’re going to want to be reading, and each author spoke eloquently and amusingly about their work and inspiration.

After our full afternoon of bookish goodness, we attended the First 180 Days Party which focused on all the great books that were released in the first half of 2011. I got a chance to meet and speak with many wonderful authors including Natalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart (Southern Biscuits), River Jordan (Praying for Strangers), Wendy Wax (Ten Beach Road), Man Martin (Paradise Dogs), Nicole Seitz (The Inheritance of Beauty), Mary Alice Monroe (The Butterfly’s Daughter), Signe Pike (Faery Tale), Lisa Wingate (Larkspur Cove) and my good friend Marybeth Whalen (She Makes It Look Easy).

Sunday morning bright and early found us at the To Morrow Today Breakfast where we got a chance to hear a few wonderful authors discuss their new books. We were delighted to hear Dorthea Benton Frank (Folly Beach), Susan McBride (Little Black Dress) and Wiley Cash (A Land More Kind Than Home) speak about their new books. It was a great chance to get a sneak peek into these very intriguing books.

We spent the afternoon wandering the exhibit floor, where we met with many new and old friends from some of our favorite publishing houses while oohing and aahing over all the exciting new books that will be coming to the shelves of your favorite indie over the next few months.

Sunday afternoon found us taking our seats at the Southern Life Lunch, where we had the pleasure of hearing Ron Rash (Waking), Stuart Dill (Murder on Music Row), Michael Lee West (Gone With a Handsomer Man) and Hillary Jordan (When She Woke) speak about their new books.

In what was the coup of the weekend, we four bloggers attended the Writer’s Block Auction and Wedding on Sunday evening. There we had the pleasure of attending a mock wedding ceremony between two SIBA members and enthusiasts, and had the chance to bid on an author for a dinner date. We were all very pleased to be able to take Marybeth Whalen, Wendy Wax, Lisa Patton, and Jim Minick to dinner that evening. There will be more on that front in my upcoming post about the authors of SIBA.

As things wound to a close on Monday, we were lucky enough to be able to see the 60 Reps. 60 Seconds Each. 60 Books You Don’t Want to Miss presentation, where we heard about some amazing new books that will be sure to be crowd-pleasers. We then attended The Moveable Feast of Authors Lunch, where each of our respective tables was visited by a handful of authors who shared their new books with us and answered any questions we may have had. My table was visited by Holly Herrick (Tart Love: Sassy, Savory, and Sweet), Sandra Brannon (Lot’s Return to Sodom), Randy Russell (Dead Rules), Jillian Lauren (Pretty), Sherri Castle (The New Southern Garden Cookbook), Marjory Wentworth (Taking a Stand) and James Valentine (Southern Appalachian Celebration). It was a great chance to get to get to speak to these authors one-on-one about their books.

As we all drifted our separate ways after The Moveable Feast, we could hardly believe the great times, great conversations and great books we had been able to be a part of, and were already thinking of how best to share all the amazing highlights of our trip with everyone within earshot. We drove home from Charleston early Tuesday morning feeling a little nostalgia for all the people and places we were leaving behind, and vowing to make SIBA an annual tradition in years to come. If there was one place for book lovers to be on this crisp September weekend, it was in Charleston South Carolina, at SIBA. A place where a bibilomaniac’s dreams come true. A special thanks to the incomparable Wanda Jewell, who made this event the bookish event of the year.

Stay tuned for a post that features SIBA and the author experience!

26 comments:

Aths said...

How exciting! I remember reading Kathy's tweet during SIBA saying she was at a wedding and I was wondering what it was about! How wonderful that you got to bid on authors and take them to dinner! Can't wait to read about more of your experiences.

bermudaonion said...

Boy, did that weekend fly by! Reading your post makes me want to live it all over again. I can't wait to see you at SIBA next year!

Jenny said...

Sounds like so much fun!! Maybe I can make it next year... do you know where it's going to be?

Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

This sounds like so much fun! Glad to see that you enjoyed yourself.

nomadreader said...

Wow! You fit so much in a weekend. It sounds like all had a fabulous time. I would like to go to more regional events, and this post reminds me why I should make time to go.

Suko said...

Zibilee, it really sounds like you had an incredible time at this event. Terrific post!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Wow, I am amazed you got all of that squeezed into one post! Now I am counting the days until Naples next year!!!

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Great pictures! No question about it, I'm not missing next year's! I loved SIBA in Daytona Beach last year much more than BEA.

Nymeth said...

As I was just telling Sandy, this sounds like so much fun! I would love to have the opportunity to attend an event like this with blogging friends.

Anita said...

This wrap up post was wonderful!! Full of so many details and authors and books to come!! I've got a review of Little Black Dress coming up later this week, Susan is a sweet woman. I am all excited SIBA is in FL next year...I really hope to be there.

Ti said...

You guys must have had a blast! You all look wonderful. So happy.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Wow what abgreat time! I adore that top picture of all of you together!!

Marg said...

Sounds like so much fun! Thanks for posting about it! Now I am feeling just a little bit jealous.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Wonderful recap! I love those 60 whatevers in 60 minute presentations - no matter what the whatever is - it makes the presenters come up with fun and witty stuff!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This sounded like a whirlwind experience. I bet the 6.5 hour drive flew by for you and Sandy too. I love reading about these events but I tend to be such a homebody that the though of actually attending something like this seems a bit too much for me.

I live through experiences like yours...LOL

Anna said...

Wow, sounds like a fantastic weekend!

TheBookGirl said...

Thanks for letting me attend SIBA vicariously through you :)
Sounds like you had a wonderful time -- it seems that this show has so many intimate events/lunches, etc.. that enable you to connect with authors much easier than BEA.

I have family in the Naples area, so maybe I can stay with them and attend SIBA next year!

Darlene said...

What a lot of fun! First I'd love to meet all of you but it would just be great to attend one of these events too. I'm glad you all had such a great time.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Such fun! Thanks for sharing the photos and your weekend with us.

How many of the "First 180 Days" books have you read?

And I have to laugh (again), because Sandy told Marie and me that you two would be listening to an audiobook on the drive and we both said "no way. you'll be chatting!"

Jenners said...

Great wrap-up of what seems to be a very busy event!! What a bunch of diverse things to do and peole to meet. It sounds like such fun.

Bailey (The Window Seat Reader) said...

Wow sounds like such a great time! It's so neat that you were able to meet up with fellow bloggers as well as authors and others from the industry.

Geosi said...

so much fun here, i see.

Amy said...

This is a fantastic post, Heather. Thank you for all of the wonderful book links, I've added several titles to my Goodreads list.

There were so many terrific events and so many authors! I love that you went to dinner with 4 authors, too. What fun!

SIBA sounds like a really great event.

Susan said...

How totally fun! I'm so glad to have found your book blog so I can read all about your adventures. Oh, and your reviews, of course. Nice to "meet" you!

softdrink said...

It all sounds so fabulous!

Jules said...

Wow! That sounds like a great event, and well worth the trek. Glad you enjoyed it.

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