So where was I? Oh yeah, Ferrol Sams cussin' in church. Before you get too upset with him, the fiction venue was held at Trinity Methodist Church and the authors who spoke there were somewhat taken aback by the fact that they were in church, though one author did use it to her advantage.
If you don't know anything about Ferrol Sams, he is a storyteller in the Southern tradition. Which means that his stories are probably going to be a little salty but you're guaranteed to laugh. After assuring the audience that he felt better than he looked (he's 86), he said that a friend had once asked him, "Ferrol, who in the hell wants to live to be 90?!" And Dr. Sams replied "Whatever sumbitch is 89!!" Dr. Sams then went on to tell story after story, keeping the audience in stitches the entire time. If you ever have an opportunity to hear him speak, I highly recommend it.
Mr. Daddy and I then headed over to Bailey White's tent. Bailey White is an author, but she is most well known for her NPR commentaries on All Things Considered. She admitted that she used to be offended when people would ask her "Where do you get your ideas?" "From my BRAIN, of course!" was her reply. But then she realized that if she was going to be truthful, she had to admit that she stole ideas from people every day, often people she encountered in public restrooms. Think about it. I bet we could ALL write some interesting stories about people we've encountered in public restrooms. I thought there might be a riot when she told the audience that she had not been the reader on the audio version of her new book, but she quickly settled everybody back down. She says she has the voice of a 90-year-old woman, but I think she has a perfectly lovely voice -- it reminds me of one of my aunts.
I had to miss Mary Kay Andrews talk last year, so this year I was determined to make it. She took full advantage of the church location and had us all raise our right hands.
"I swear." I swear.
"In church." In church.
"On the baby Jesus." On the baby Jesus.
"That I will buy The Fixer Upper when it comes out in June. In hardback." That I will buy....
You get the idea. We were all dying laughing, but we all did it so I guess she knows what she's doing! She said that the festival had asked her to talk about her "Life in Letters" and so she humorously began to run through letters from the alphabet that had special meaning in her life. I think I've mentioned before that I was a fan when she was writing under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck, but I had no idea that she had written seventeen novels altogether. SEVENTEEN!! I love her storylines and her sense of humor and her style is one I aspire to, but whenever I think about my plots they're always so gloomy. Don't know what that says about me, but let's not dwell on that, mkay?
I know I've got two more authors to cover, but this feels like it's running a little long so I'm going to finish up tomorrow. Hope you'll join me!
2 years ago