Today, Heart of Dixie's president, the incredible Stephanie Jones (and she has the bona fides to prove it) is dropping by to give us the down-low on the Reader's Luncheon. If you haven't been to this event, it is amazing. From the goodie bag each attendee gets to the fun at the table with an author or authors that share with you their writing process and inspiration, this is an incredible event. There is no shortage of smiles and laughter.
Stephanie was willing to answer a few questions I had about the event.
What can attendees expect at this year's Heart of Dixie Reader's Luncheon?
This year the attendees can expect the same high quality of event they have experienced at our luncheon. We are so excited about our speaker, Eloisa James, and have designed our decorating theme around the period of many of Ms. James books. The room will have the feel of being dropped right into a tea party/luncheon setting from times gone by. It should be an extraordinary experience!
We will also have over thirty baskets that will be available for raffle prizes and about thirty more baskets that will be created by sponsoring authors and given away to attendees only. Hosting authors will note be eligible to win these baskets this year, just our guests attendees.
You've attended the luncheon both as a reader and as an author hosting a table. What is your favorite memory as a reader?
Hmmm, that is a great question. There are so many great memories of the luncheon. Probably one of my favorites is the year that I got to help Beverly Barton with her author basket. I grew up knowing Beverly and occasionally playing with her children long before she was THE Beverly Barton. I had read her books from the first one she ever published so it was quite the fan girl moment when I asked her if she needed help and she said yes.That year she had her door prize put together in a huge bird cage full of really great prizes and books. I would have never thought of anything like that. She was such a wonderful person and a talented author!
|Jean Hovey and Stephanie Jones writing as Alicia Hunter Pace.|
Last year when my writing partner, Jean Hovey, and I got to host our first table as Alicia Hunter Pace. It was so wonderful! We were celebrating the first release in our Gone South series, Sweet Gone South. We gave our guests aprons and got to meet some of our fans for the first time. It was so wonderful to hear how much other people loved the characters in the world we created!
(on a side note - there was chocolate - I (Heather )was at another table, and heard the whispers of the fabulous chocolate at the Alicia Hunter Pace table - if you are trying to pick a table for the HOD Luncheon, just giving you the heads up - great stories AND chocolate)
What advice do you have for first time attendees?
Be prepared to be overwhelmed. Seriously, the event is held in a large open ballroom and when you get 200 excited women in one place it can be loud. It can also be very exciting to see authors who you are a big fan of so that can be super cool. One last piece of advice would be to bring some cash. The raffle baskets are always so great that most attendees want to participate in that and then the literacy signing allows the attendees to purchase books from authors then have a personalized autograph added to their book. That is such a fun thing to do because you get to interact with the author a bit as they are signing your book. This year our charity is the Cullman County Library who is still trying to rebuild their collection after the tornado a few years ago.
Seating is limited and tickets are going fast, so buy yours today. Heart of Dixie has a Facebook events page at https://www.facebook.com/events/569851206444279/ if you want to share the word, but you can buy your tickets here This is a once in a lifetime event where you can meet some of your favorite Southern Magic authors. Hope to see you there. Please comment, because I will buy a ticket to the HOD luncheon for one commenter. To be eligible, please leave your email address in your comment as well as a suggestion as to something or someone you would like to see at the luncheon