Austenesque, Book News

Recap of the Northwest Bookfest 2012

Austenesque Authors at the Northwest Bookfest (2012)

or…how four Austenesque authors had so much fun that they became the party spot at the Northwest Bookfest in Kirkland last weekend. Yep. Darn if Mr. Darcy doesn’t bring out the party girl in all of us!

Austenesque Authors book display at the Northwest Bookfest (2012)

The Northwest Bookfest is a wonderful two-day event in Kirkland, Washington highlighting Pacific Northwest authors. You can read my preview of the festivities here.

My fellow booth-mates Shannon Winslow, Susan Mason-Milks and Jenni James and I certainly had a grand time chatting to attendees about our Jane Austen obsession and our books: The Darcys of Pemberley, Mr. Darcy’s Proposal, Pride and Popularity and Jane Austen Made Me Do It. It was wonderful to connect with readers. We met some die-hard Austen addicts who bought each of our books, converted a few new readers and even convinced a few husbands to buy books for their wives, mothers and daughters for the holidays. The funniest comment of the event was from a women who thanked Shannon for killing off Mr. Collins in the beginning of The Darcys of Pemberley! However, our talent, charm and social skills were no match for the incredible draw of the highlight of our booth…a two foot by three foot poster of the man himself, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy! The reaction by the attendees was incredible. You’ve never seen so many women (of all ages) squeal in delight and promptly accept our offer to have their photo taken with him!

Mr. Darcy and Laurel Ann Nattres at the Northwest Bookfest (2012)

Besides spending two days with three talented and very funny ladies, I have many fond memories of the event. Here are my highlights:

Photographer Chris Hornbecker at the Austenesque Authors booth Northwest Bookfest (2012)

When I arrived on Sunday, my curiosity got the better of me when I noticed a photographer and his assistant standing in the parking lot. I was determined to meet him and enlisted Jenni as my wingman to help me find out if there was a publicity angle for us. After running after them and introducing ourselves, he graciously told us he was on assignment with Time Magazine for an article on self-publishing. Like the good publicist that I am, I told him that we were a group of Austen-inspired authors who had a booth at the festival and two of our authors were self-published. He was very kind and said he would visit later. You never know if people tell you this to get rid of you, but, he did arrive about an hour later. (What a gentleman in the true Darcy spirit!) We had a wonderful time chatting with Chris Hornbecker, a Portland photographer who is searching for a publisher for his project 1 Millimeter a Day. We sweet talked him into taking our photo. Who knows if we will be in Time Magazine, but my publisher certainly can’t accuse me of not giving it my all. “England expects that every man will do his duty.” – Lord Nelson

                        Author Susan Mason-Milks at the Northwest Bookfest (2012)

Author Susan Mason-Milks

Author Shannon Winslow at the Northwest Bookfest (2012)

Author Shannon Winslow

Author Jenni James at the Northwest Bookfest (2012)

Author Jenni James

All three of my fellow members of Team Austenesque have written companion blogs about our experience. You can visit Shannon, Susan and Jenni to read their perspective of the two-day event. Suffice it to say, I knew that our little group had really made it when I overheard two ladies standing by the Eastside Romance Writers booth say that the Austenesque Authors booth was the party spot of the festival. As I blushed 50 shades of red, I realized “mission accomplished.” We had brought Jane to the masses and had a rippin’ grand time.

Jenni James, Laurel Ann Nattress, and Susan Mason-Milks with Christina Boyd's salmon platter

Monday afternoon Susan, Jenni and I went to Pike Place Market and had lunch at the Athenian Restaurant made famous in the Sleepless in Seattle movie. After browsing through jewelry booths and gawking at the beautiful flower stalls, I spied the Made in Washington store. We had to stop by because one of my reviewers Christina Boyd is a ceramic artist. We found her beautiful wares on display front and center and were awed by this incredible salmon platter. Wow, Janeites are multi-talented!

Many thanks to Shannon, Susan and Jenni for such a memorable weekend of Janeness. I am so looking forward to working on the four novella anthology that we dreamed up in between customers. You ladies are the best.


Laurel Ann

© 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

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