12. October 2011 · Comments Off on Evening With the Authors – After Action · Categories: Uncategorized

I know, I should have wrote it up at once, but after a day and an evening in Lockhart, and a long drive there and back, first I was tired, and then I was busy, wrapping up some other projects. We checked out some of the sights of Lockhart – like the courthouse …

which has just been fabulously renovated at a cost of several times what it originally cost to build it. My daughter asked if there was some kind of Sears & Roebuck kit for county courthouses available in the century before the last, as so many of them are the elaborate Beaux-Arts style, with a central and corner towers. Nope – just the prevailing style for municipal buildings of the time.

Then we bought – going halves because we both loved it and it was more than either of us could afford singly … a hand bag. Not just any hand bag, but a saddle bag. No, really – a saddle bag. Like this –

It’s vintage, 1970s – and probably from a  leather production workshop in a bordertown. I found several on-line, but all were slightly different – shape of the saddle, color of the leather, and in the tooled patterns. The back of it is as elaborate as the front. After the retail therapy, we went to have lunch — after all, Lockhart is supposed to be the capitol of Texas Barbeque.  Meat, right and salutary … with bread, beans and German potato salad on the side, from Kreuz Market, tastefully served on plates of thick butcher-paper. It’s a tradition, apparently. I was afraid that I would be too busy talking to guests at the event to eat … which is pretty much how it turned out. And I didn’t really get to meet any of the other authors. Readers of books and local supporters of the Eugene Clark library got to purchase books and talk to the authors, while sipping wine and nibbling on a scrumptious array of finger food, cheeses, sweets and whatever, provided and served by students from the Austin Community College Culinary Arts program. Each of us authors had a table with chairs around it, scattered through an artfully planned garden at the back of one of Lockhart’s’ stately ancestral mansions. Shade trees alternated with spaces of lawn, and pavilions trimmed with icicle lights – which sheltered the buffet line, the dessert table, the booth where wine was dispensed, (courtesy of Pleasant Hill Winery) and the table at the very back of the garden where books were sold.

 The nearest I came to meeting another authorGretchen Rix – was when her sister came and sat at my table, dispensing cleverly decorated cookies. In the right hands her cookies could be the next cupcake fad. We enthusiastically encouraged her to do a book, too. We took several home with us – the decorated cows were fragile and fell apart, but the toilet-paper roll (don’t ask!) is still intact. (Note from my daughter to her – Do the Cookbook!) On the dessert table was a tiered dish of cookies decorated to look like the cover of The Cowboy’s Baby, an endearingly cute way to market the book, especially to those attending the function discouraged initially by the line at the buffet table who decided they would rather eat dessert first. I was one of them; the dessert and cheese table was almost directly across from me. Fresh fruit, crackers and cheese served me well, since I could eat them in bites between talking to people, sequentially taking the chair closest to me, and asking about  . . .  well, really, all sorts of questions.

Three hours – a long time to be “on” even though an opportunity to talk and answer questions from readers and how I came to write them that is so treasured. We came away, refreshed and exhausted, having sold out all copies of Daughter of Texas, and half the stock of the ‘book as thick as a brick’, the Complete Adelsverein Trilogy.

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