Have a Marlis Day!

Archive for November 2011

What a surprise to see Meadowlark Lemon at the KY Book Fair in Frankfort last weekend. He was polite, well-dressed, and soft spoken. Nothing like the clowning, noisy superstar who played with the Harlem Globetrotters when I was a kid. He’s written a book, Trust Your Next Shot,  about his remarkable life, and people stood in line for a signed copy. My husband asked him if he played college ball. He said, “I didn’t have time – I went from high school to the Globetrotters.” I stood in awe of this gentle man who entertained millions with his antics and basketball skills.

As usual, one of my favorite authors, Ann B. Ross, was there with her “Miss Julia” books. I’ve read and loved all of her books except the newest one, which I’ll download on my Kindle. She’s always so gracious and modest about her writing. If you haven’t read any of her books, you’ve missed a lot of fun.

As I meandered past the tables of the 180 authors and their books, I was pleased to see Kim Edwards with her new book, The Lake of Dreams. My book club read and enjoyed her first book, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. I bought one of her new books and am reading it now.

I finally made my way to my table and signed over sixty books for youngsters like Emily from Frankfort. I told her she reminded me of Sparky Bailey, one of the main characters in the novels. My table mate was Judy Spegal, a retired teacher and first-time author from Kentucky. We had a lovely day together, meeting people and signing books. When she left, she kissed my cheek. I love that southern hospitality.

Ben & His Mom

I met Ben and his mom at the Printers’ Row Book Expo in Chicago in June. Two weeks ago, they invited me to visit Ben’s school in Western Springs, IL. It took us six hours to make the drive, but it was well worth the effort. This quaint suburb of Chicago is one of the loveliest towns I’ve ever visited. A commuter train runs down the middle of  Main Street in this cozy community of 12,ooo.  We drove down street after tree-lined street of stately two-story homes complete with friendly front porches and wide, shaded front lawns. Perhaps the sunshine on the colorful treetops lent the heavenly glow to the town.

After checking into our hotel, we followed the walking trail through the park, where the townspeople picnic and watch their children play baseball, soccer, football, and ice hockey. Within walking distance of our hotel, we dined at one of the best seafood restaurants in the world. It reminded me of being on a cruise ship.

The next day Ben and his mom met me at the front door of the school and introduced me to the librarian, who assembled the third, fourth, and fifth graders into the auditorium. I talked to the children about my writing, their writing, favorite books in general, and the importance of reading. The fifth grade teachers had been reading The Secret of Bailey’s Chase aloud, so the older students had questions for me when I visited their rooms. Immediately after school, the annual book fair began and I was invited to read from my books. I signed books for many young readers that day, and I don’t know when I’ve ever met such polite and articulate children. I’m already receiving emails as they read my books, and I welcome and answer them all. I hope they know how smitten I am with them and their heavenly town.

Hi! I'm Marlis.

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