For the third year in a row, I attended the incredibly fun Once Upon A Book Author event in Frankenmuth, MI.
The city of Frankenmuth, MI is like a fairytale all its own. It is a chunk of Germany dropped into the heart of Michigan. Due to reasons I talk about on my author blog, I didn’t take many of my own pictures of this event. It didn’t even cross my mind, so unless other wise noted, these pictures are not mine.
Looking back, I’m not sure that is a bad thing because my weekend was spent focusing on the people I met and the experience of being at such a wonderful event rather than constantly holding my phone or a camera. The images and memories are all in my head, and I’m glad for that this year.
The event is held at the Bavarian Inn, and is hands down a top notch affair with a list of amazing and informative panels led by experts in the self-publishing industry, a themed costume ball on Friday, and a full Saturday in a room packed with authors, bloggers, and readers, all bonding over their love of books!
I can’t begin to name all the amazing people I met while there, but I can’t let this post go without naming and sharing links to at least a few of them.
I have to begin with the organizer, and the ‘face’ of OUAB each year – Stacey Rourke. Not only is she an award winning author and one of the most inspiring speakers I’ve heard, she is the sweetest, kindest, most giving person you will ever meet. I adore her, and I’m honored to have been a part of the event for the last three years. You can find out all about her books HERE. You can also check out my review of her book “Conduit” HERE.
I love you, Stacey! Thank you for an amazing event!
This year, OUAB featured an author I have admired for years as the keynote speaker, Quinn Loftis. It is hard to put into words how much her books and her writing journey has inspired me. Not only did she remind us that, as authors, we have a responsibility to our readers, but she drove home the power of the written word with a song that left and entire ball room full of people in tears.
You can hear and purchase it directly from the Bandcamp link below.
Aside from the mile long list of readers who came by, there were a number of bloggers I have to give shoutouts to:
Lynn Shaw of 2 Girls & A Book* (2018’s OUAB Book Blog of the Year Winner!)
Tobi Helton of Forget The Housework, I’m Reading*
Jenny Byum of Black Words, White Pages* (2018’s OUAB Reader of the Year Winner!)
Tina Donnely of Reading For Fun*
Jennifer Zamora of The Naughty Librarian’s Playground *
All of these ladies stopped by my table to chat and share their wisdom with me as readers. As a blogger AND an author, I appreciate all they do to support the authors they love!
*Readers be aware. Their media and blog pages may contain images that my readers prefer to avoid. =)
And last but CERTAINLY not least, I spent the entire day Saturday hanging out, talking shop, and laughing with three amazing women.
Caitlyn Mancini had the most AMAZING card game custom made for her customers to play and earn a discount. The readers who stopped by to play absolutely LOVED them and her books. You can check out her series HERE.
None of us could stay away from Laura Morrison’s table when we discovered she had brought Monarch Chrysalis with her! As the day went on, we got to witness one of them emerge, and she was kind enough to send one home with me. (You can follow the little one’s progress on my author Facebook page using the hashtag #MonarchWatch2018.) Be sure to check out her books Grimbargo and Come Back to the Swamp.
I’m going to be completely honest when I tell you that the moment I saw I would be sharing a table with Megan Linski, I was intimidated! She is an award winning, best selling author who had her book, Torrent, featured in the TEEN CHOICE AWARDS! Her book was included in the Hollywood Swag bags and pictured with the Teen Choice Nominees! Check out her Facebook photo album for all the squee worthy pictures.
You can see why I was intimidated, right?!
Well, two seconds into meeting her, I realized she is one of the sweetest, most kind-hearted women I have ever met. She openly shared her wisdom, and demonstrated a strength of character that encouraged me all day long.
I KNOW there are many, many people I’m leaving out, but the one person I can’t forget to mention is Lori Follett Przybranowski of Hell Yes Design Studio. Not only did she design my latest cover, but each year she designs a beautiful poster to go along with the theme for the OUAB event. I mean, LOOK!
There are so many gorgeous things on her design site, I could spend my entire budget buying book covers from her!
My takeaway from this event: The indie author community is HUGE, but we are a family. We love to laugh together, share our hurts, successes, struggles, and help each other grow not only as authors and artists, but as human beings. I am proud to be part of such an amazing group of people!