Wednesday, May 6, 2015

When it's Good, its So Good...Hudson Children's Book Festival.

So I had the pleasure of being included in the 7th Annual Hudson Children's Book Festival last weekend. Because I've organized events before, I know what a huge undertaking it is to run anything like this which included 75 authors and illustrators from around the Northeast and beyond, and just one day to funnel some 5,000 attendees through a gymnasium so that we, the authors, could promote and sell our books to students. Ultimately the event was designed to promote reading. What a wonderful goal!

My book, The Hidden History of Columbia County- NY, was included because, well, Hudson is part of the book and the book is all about shining an interesting light on Columbia County.

Allison and Assemblywoman, Didi Barrett
The women, volunteers and contributors of the festival deserve a resounding round of applause. Everything ran like a well oiled machine...from the fun cocktail party on Friday night at the Hudson Boat Club, to the breakfast Saturday morning at the Elks Lodge, to the event itself. Every detail was considered and planned for and it showed.

 I was truly thrilled and honored to be a part of such a professionally run event. And what was most astounding was that it was free to authors. Wow...what an opportunity. I must have meet over 300 people during the five hours we were in the Hudson Junior/Senior High School gym (which is gorgeous by the way). My favorite conversations were with students who came over to leaf through the pages of the book and buy it to take home. There were shy teenaged boys and gushing sixth grade girls dressed head to toe in pink and green. I met boys and girls from many different towns who genuinely couldn't wait to find out what happened in their own back yards 100 years ago. It was a thrill. Best of all was when Didi Barrett stopped by to buy the book and tell me about how much she's doing in the state to marry (finally, thank you!) history and tourism.

This is the kind of event that really brought the community together. Thank you to Lisa Dolan and Jennifer Clark the co-directors from the Hudson City School District for their fine fundraising and exceptional event skills! You knocked it out of the park ladies. And I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my "author handler" Kath, (you heard correctly), she was my designated volunteer who brought me coffee, retrieved a delicious boxed lunch and sat in my booth when I needed to run to use the facilities. Wow, I could get used to that kind of personal service!

The sales were extraordinary too and that was due to the fine work of Kelly Drahushuk the co-owner of The Spotty Dog bookstore in Hudson. Kelly and Alan handled all of the book sales with grace and professionalism. So grateful!

If you happened to miss it this year, please mark your calendar for 2016. You will truly enjoy the experience...I know I did!