The Decatur Book Festival

I met Terry Brooks and Tina McElroy at the Decatur Book Festival on Saturday!

The 2nd Decatur Book Festival was held over the Labor Day Weekend, and I’ve promised myself that I’ll make it an annual must-do for me.

I’m an early bird (I HATE being late!) and I was in Decatur by 9:30 and I had time to look around, get some coffee and attend a lecture.

I live in an apartment and I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever known, but I decided to see what Walter Reeves (a locally famous gardener) had to say. He has a radio show and writes a weekly column in the newspaper. He’s written quite a few books on gardening. (I paid attention during the intro)

The audience was mainly white haired southern ladies in pearls with a few husbands in attendance but just about everyone was friendly and I sat way in the front of the auditorium next to a sweet faced elder and her boyfriend (they acted as if they were on a date - I decided they were a new couple)

His talk was a lot of fun! He spoke of the reasons he got into gardening and related the story of how his parents met (a set up) and and how his mother was health conscious way back in the 50s.

He had the crowd sing along with a song about gardening. We had to stamp our feet and bang on the benches. I had a ball!

Terry Brooks (author of the Shannara series, the Landover series and more) is an attorney who started writng just for the love of it. He’s a New York Times bestselling author and I’m sure he’s pretty wealthy, but he was down to earth and genuine. He took time to speak to all of us who waited for autographs - I even met his wife. He talked about his early career, what inspires him, how he developed his characters and his love of the craft. I was charmed by Mr. Brooks.

Tina Mcelroy Ansa (author of the series of books set in the fictional Mulburry, Ga.) spoke in the late afternoon. She read us the first chapter of her new novel and she inspired me - she started a publishing company, DownSouth Press in the spring of this year and I was so moved by some of the things she spoke of that I had to give her something. She was busy signing autographs, so I asked her husband to give her some glass bracelets from a funky little Decatur shop for me. He took my hand and led me to the front of the line, introduced me to his wife and Tina was gracious enough to put on the bracelets immediately and she gave me a hug.

The day was perfect! I started writing as soon as I got home, and I didn’t stop until maybe two the next morning.

Oh…that Decatur. :smiley:

Couldn’t figure out how I’d managed to miss a book festival, and why on earth they’d be holding it here, in the Remaindered Rust Belt Heartland.

Because of Monical’s Pizza - I’d go back to Decatur for some of that thin crust.

And it’s the soybean capital of the world! Jeez, why wouldn’t they go to Decatur?

On my first ever trip to Georgia, I went over there with a friend who is applying at the CDC, and may be moving to Decatur. Luckily we showed up on the day of the Book Fair!

I didn’t get to see any authors but it was a nice show to see. I also had no room in my luggage for books so I didn’t pick up any. Maybe next year.

Side note : I was too tired to laugh or cry when we left town to drive by the CDC & Emory. Even though we’d been using Google Maps on a Blackberry to get us there, and someone had given us (admittedly unclear) directions, he refused to follow them : We drove out on Church, passed N. Decatur Rd, all the way back to 285 and then over to go south on 85, since he knew that N. Druid Hills Rd would take us there.

Once we’d done that, and driven all the way around Emory from the other side, he tried to continue on N. Druid Hills going the other way. We were probably less than a mile from where we’d just been that morning, when he decided it was taking too long, and drove all the way back to 85.

Wow Bobo…you ARE optimistic…no offense **DDG **but i lived there for a year and my family still appraises Real Estate there…mmmm love the smell of the *Staleys *mill in the morning.


I was thinking, “Decatur, Texas? Do they even know how to read there?”

Hey! I’m a Texan. I’m allowed to make fun of Texas.

Really, the best thing I can say about Decatur is that A) The pizza rocks and 2) Everything seemed to be located off Pershing street. The community college was nice, and that one girl was cute, but it was Monical’s Pizza, Steak and Shake, and buying hard liquor in convenience stores that impressed me the most.

They don’t have Monicals, Steak & Shake, and hard liquor at 7-11 anywhere else in the world? Interesting…


It’s generally worse on Monday mornings, or when they scorch the beans.