This weekend I will get a chance to hang with some of my favorite authors, and for a good cause. It all started back in October when I received this touching e-mail from JB Stanley:
I have been writing as many authors as I can in hopes of soliciting help for a beloved Richmond independent book store. I'm sure many of you know Leila Taylor, the kind-hearted proprietor of Creatures 'n Crooks . Hundreds of authors love her as she has hand-sold many of our titles. I had a signing there recently and she began to cry, saying that she may have to close the store. I was very upset on her behalf!
She asked if I could think of an event that might bring folks into the store and help her pay the rent. I am planning to host a benefit for her the afternoon of Saturday, January 31st and was wondering if you could attend. It'll be called Books and Bling: A Benefit and will kick off a week-long raffle in which customers spending $25 or more will earn a raffle ticket to win, well, books and bling. The authors attending as of this date are Katherine Neville, Donna Andrews, Ellen Crosby, Maria Lima, Ellen Byerrum, and myself. If you're unavailable, would you consider sending me a signed book to put in the huge signed book raffle prize basket I'm gathering?
Well, authors responded en mass and the week-long raffle stretched to the full month of January (so there’s still time to purchase and win.) This Saturday, from 1 pm to 4 pm we’ll be at Creatures ‘n Crooks in Richmond, VA. For you, it’s a chance to mingle with authors, have a sweet snack and win some cool swag. And every time you buy a book you’re supporting a wonderful genre-oriented bookstore.
More than 100 authors from all over the USA contributed prizes to be given away. Don’t live near Richmond? No excuse! Phone orders count too.
In addition to signed books from mystery, fantasy, horror and even nonfiction authors, the prize list grew to include a vampire basket from Charlaine Harris, a character donation from Margaret Maron , gold and sapphire earrings from Denise Swanson, a Carolyn Hart basket, a culinary basket from Joanne Fluke, a fantasy book crate with signed books by George R.R. Martin and a historical mystery book prize including a vintage Tiffany necklace.The list of authors planning to attend has exploded too. In addition to the aforementioned names, we’ll see Andy Straka, Joseph Guion , John Gilstrap, Maggie Stiefvater, Kristy Tallman, Dennis Danvers, Elizabeth Blue, Tee Morris, and probably a few latecomers I don’t know about yet. Best for me will be getting to shake and J.B Stanley’s hand. Sometimes I’m proud of a writer for more than her mystery plots.
Those of us who will be at the Creatures ‘n Crooks bookstore, 3156 West Cary Street, Richmond VA on Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm are all grateful for a chance to support a store that has supported us and our peers. And if you want to make the scene, this is the literary place to be.