At the Breathe Writers Conference, I attempted to follow my self-imposed limit of one book per conference—a practical step given my proclivity to acquire books faster than I can read them.
I bought the latest book by our keynote, Caryn Rivadeneira. Her book, Grumble Hallelujah, was just released in August. I classify it as a memoir-style. Yet one person bristled at that characterization, preferring the label of spiritual development. Caryn writes in a conversational and accessible style, with enough self-disclosure to draw in and connect with readers.
Her speaking style is much the same. I noticed that in both of her presentations, she read her introductions, but delivered them with such skill and pacing as to be largely unnoticed. Then she would segue to an outline for the rest of talks. Her transitions from script to notes were imperceptible.
When I asked her to sign Grumble Hallelujah, we had a chance to talk a bit. I complimented her speaking style and she surprised me by professing to be an extreme introvert. I guess most writers are, but I would have never guessed it with her.
The next day, at a lunch session with Timothy Burns about writers groups, I answered his opening trivia question and was awarded a free book: Your Exceptional Life Begins Now. It is a collection of stories, one of which was written by the speaker. (Can you ask a contributor to an anthology to sign the book? If so, on the title page or the chapter they wrote?) The question I answered was “What were the Inklings?”
At the conference’s concluding session, my name was selected to win a book. Drawings had been occurring throughout the event, but the odds were not in my favor. With only a trio of give-a-ways remaining, my name was called. In this case, I did judge the books by their covers. Two had prominently pink designs, giving off a distinctive feminine vibe. I grabbed the third, a novel by Nancy Rue, called The Reluctant Prophet. I can hardly wait to start it.
So, despite buying only one book, I came home with three.
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!