Wednesday, September 16, 2009

California Book Club Summit

And then, as if the GTM reading and signing at Rebecca's wasn't enough excitement, the next day we spoke at the breakfast meeting of the California Book Club Summit. We were joined by Opal Adisa Palmer, arabella grayson and Andrea Barnwell. This is the inaugural year for the California Summit as well as our first time attending a conference where the majority of the authors were fiction writers. What a treat to see and hear one of my favorite authors, J. California Cooper! It was so interesting to hear writers like Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant describe how they "tag-team" write their novels, and how authors like Tina McElroy Ansa, ReShonda Tate Billingsly, Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes get their inspiration. Not surprisingly, these authors are having a very difficult time because of the impact that our economic crisis has had on the publishing industry. All those who love to read, please buy a book and encourage friends to support Black authors.

There was an especially moving tribute to the late author E. Lynn Harris by several of his closest friends and admirers . Special acknowledgment to Rev. Barnes, who also spoke during the breakfast on Saturday. He provided support and prayer at a time when it was most needed.

The woman, who gave birth to the idea of the California Book Club Summit and certainly experienced all the labor pains to make it a reality is Sigrid Williams. The Summit was such a great conference and we enjoyed it enormously. Thank you Sigrid for inviting us to participate in the Summit. We look forward to next year!

(photo: sitting - Opal, Andrea and arabella; standing - Barbara, Sigrid and Peggy)

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