Last weekend, I volunteered at and attended the 7th Annual Austin African-American Book Festival at the Carver Library and Museum in Austin, Texas. At this event I had the opportunity and great pleasure to meet/greet one of my all-time favorite authors – Terry McMillan. I also discovered two new authors – Anita Richmond Bunkley (“A Thousand Steps”) and Dr. Michael Collins (“Understanding Ethridge Knight”) – who were also guest authors at the festival.
During the opening of the festival, each participating local author gave a brief introduction about their work to the audience. The two authors that really impressed me were Kaneisha Grayson (“Be Your Own Boyfriend”) and Sherry Ransom (“Three Paths, Three Choices” and “The Art of Growing Older Gratefully”). Ms. McMillan was the opening keynote speaker in which she frankly imparted her words of wisdom and support about the writing life to the local authors at the festival.
After the opening event, each guest author gave a speech, read excerpts from their latest book, and answered questions from the audience. Ms. McMillan read excerpts from her upcoming book “Who Asked You?” which will debut in September 2013. Listening to her read from her work was very exciting and it was amazing to see her characters come to life in that reading. I fell in love with them and I am sure others in the audience did, too. As usual, with her words she evoked emotions from all of us with her mesmerizing story. I have already pre-ordered my Kindle version of her new book. There were many aspiring authors in the audience (like me!) and she encouraged us to pursue our art.
After she spoke, a book signing was held in the grand foyer of the library. Ms. McMillan was very gracious and accommodating to all of her fans in attendance with book signings/photos. She has a great sense of humor and made us all laugh when she talked about her discovery of one of our treasures here in Texas — TexMex food!
It is a good feeling to meet someone you admire and find they are just as you imagined.
Have you read any of Terry McMillan’s books? If so, which was your favorite?
Have you ready any of Anita Bunkley’s books? If so, which ones?
Have you ever met someone you admired? If so, who? Please share your experience.