Saturday, June 3rd, I participated in the Thousand Island Book Festival for the third year in a row. It’s a great event held in Clayton, NY where local authors and authors around the Northeast come together. Local schools participate as well, bussing in kids to attend seminars where authors teach them story, illustrating, writing, or any other topic that is relates to the author’s work.
On Friday night, the night before the event, there is an author’s cocktail party where the authors can mingle, get to know each other, as well as speak to those who put together the festival (most of whom are librarians).
My wife and I attended and had a good time, catching up with those we have gotten to know over the years, as well as meeting other authors for the first time.
(We also had a great view overlooking the St. Lawrence River!)
This was the first year I attended since my second book, Rise of the Branded, had been released. I had a lot of interest in Scar of the Downers the past two years, and so I was hoping that some of the same kids would be there. If they liked the first book, I was hoping they would want to purchase the second one. Some that did happen, but most of the books that I sold were to new readers, which is also exciting.
And, this was the first time I was able to take credit card payments, and I’m happy to report that all went well with that. In fact, I think that was one of the best moments of the day for me – I had some anxiety over how it would go, and when all went smoothly, it was a big relief.
And, my girls had a great time as well. They went to different author presentations and played on the playground. What more could a kid want?
But, interacting with readers and other authors was truly the best part of the day for me. It’s easy to feel alone in this business. Writing is a solitary activity for the most part, and so to have an opportunity to be with others who love books (the reading and writing of them) was energizing and encouraging.
Scott Keen is the author of two young adult fantasy novels, Scar of the Downers and Rise of the Branded. His third and final book of the Scar of the Downer series, War of the Downer King, will be released in July 2019.