Friday, January 18, 2013

Pulpwood Queens Weekend

By Margaret Dilloway

I’m getting ready to head to Pulpwood Queens in Jefferson, Texas, again. Jefferson is known for two things: a raucous book convention, and ghosts.  

The Pulpwood Queens is an international book club with more than 500 chapters. It’s run by Kathy Patrick, whose salon, Beauty and the Book, is the only hair salon/bookstore that I know of (and really, what a good concept. Buy a book and read it while your hair sets). Every January, around 400 Pulpwood Queen members congregate in Jefferson to eat, drink, and listen to authors talk about their books.

I first heard about PQ through Jamie Ford. He’d posted a bunch of photos of himself…in a White Rabbit costume…surrounded by the Red Queen and Alice and all these other characters. What the what? I thought to myself. Obviously, this was not your typical book festival, and I wanted to go!

So, last year I went for the first time, dressing as a clown, a circus showgirl, and in an '80s prom dress (each night has a theme). I met Caroline Leavitt, Sarah Jio, Eleanor Brown, Robert Hicks, Carolyn Turgeon, Lisa Wingate, Kathryn Casey, River Jordan, Bill Torgerson, Karen Harrington, Michael Morris, Robert Leleux, Rebecca Rasmussen, Stephanie McAfee, Marybeth Whalen (who looked sooo familiar and then I realized that she’s the image you see when you log into Author Central), and many others. As an extra special bonus, I also get to hang out with my Texan friend Julie Kibler (whose marvelous novel, Calling Me Home, debuts early next month).

This year, I’m going with extra-special purpose. The Pulpwood Queen clubs voted my newest novel, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, Bonus Book of the Year, an honor previously won by Jamie Ford, Jeannette Walls, and Jennie Helderman. I’m so honored and pleased.

And like I said, Jefferson’s known for its ghosts. This year, after I booked our B&B, I thought, “Hmm, I wonder if this place is haunted?” Lo and behold, a Google search told me, “It’s the  most haunted place you could hope to stay.” Gulp. 

Don’t worry, my husband’s going with me, and he won’t mind if I wake him up every time I have to use the facilities. I’ll have to see if there’s an app to translate ghost voices.


Julie Kibler said...

You have a new blog! I so enjoyed getting to hang out again! We have to get started planning our next meet up!

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