"I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1815 [engraved on pewter cups as author gifts; Friends of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library, Lockhart, TX, 10/08/05]
On Saturday night, my husband Greg Leitich Smith and I participated in An Evening With The Authors, hosted by the Friends of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas. Children's/YA author Diane Gonzales Bertrand of San Antonio also was a featured author. The event was hosted in conjunction with Texas Book Festival on the Road and sponsored by Central Market, Pleasant Hill Winery (try their cabernet), and Borders Books (on South Lamar in Austin). The event was a fundraiser for the library.
It's a special place. You may have seen on CNN that a Lockhart librarian perched on the library roof one unseasonably cool October to raise money for the restoration. Her efforts were so successful that she raised more than double her goal.
The outdoor evening event featured 12 authors (including we three children's/YA authors) on a sweeping 1923 property, lit by white holiday lights and torches. Think: stunning gardens, storybook child's playhouse, indoor pool...
Each of us were seated at a table, and guests were encouraged to circulate and visit with all of the authors. I met many lovely folks--from as far away as Houston--and signed a good many books, too. It was a special delight to find so many teachers and librarians in attendance.
(If you ever find yourself near Lockhart in the spring, drive by 625 San Antonio to gasp at the 5,000 tulips, planted each spring).
Afterward, Greg and I had the honor of staying with the McGregor family in their 1898 seven-bedroom home, formerly a B&B (spectacular!) on San Antonio, just across the street from the event. Our thanks to Kara, Stewart, Lucy (young reader!), Pinky (sweest chihuahua/rat terrier), the birds, and the cats for their charm, warmth, and hospitality!
Attention Texas Authors/Illustrators: Kara McGregor is a first-rate photographer, and headshots are among her specialties. She lives in Lockhart (the BBQ capital of Texas) and commutes weekdays to Austin. I highly recommend her to those of you scheduling photos for your upcoming book jackets. Visit Bird House Photography for more information.