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Tuesday
Mar012016

Join me (and one of my heroes) at the Literary Hill BookFest!

Who are the authors who changed your life?

For me, one of many answers is Louis Bayard. About ten years ago, my mom convinced me to read his category-defying literary horror mystery tribute, Mr. Timothy, a re-imagination of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol in which Tiny Tim grows up to rebel against Uncle Scrooge's cloying charity, moves into a brothel, and solves murders. Every Christmas after that, my mom bought me the latest Louis Bayard release, if one was available, and we read it together, often finishing it in a matter of days so the other could gobble it up and we could talk it over.

Bayard is what I'd call a "discouragingly good" writer--someone whose mastery of language and story and emotion leaves me in awe as a reader, but slightly scared as a writer, fearful that I'll never rise to his level of talent or skill. As I've grown as a writer, I've realized that I don't have to be intimidated by his craft--instead, I can trust my own ability to learn as much as possible from the great example he sets of world creation, narrative creativity, and emotional intensity. I have a long, long, long way to go to catch up to my hero, but I'm no longer afraid of the journey or tentative about my steps on it.

Which is why the latest news I've received has made me so excited my hands are shaking. I've been invited to participate in the 2016 Literary Hill BookFest. Also in attendance, as a featured author? My hero, Louis Bayard. I am actually appearing, as an author, at an event headlined by one of my heroes. It's been hard to get this email out because words failed me when I saw the list of authors in attendance.

I'm not sharing this news, in this way, because it's a brag about having "made it." I have a long, long, long way to go before I'm Bayard material. And I'm just holding down a table and making chitchat with passerby while Bayard (I assume, given his status) will likely be a featured speaker or similar keystone of the event. But...just to be included in an event that features him is...I can't articulate it. I guess I really do have a few more things to learn about wordsmithing.

The Literary Hill BookFest is all day on May 1 in the North Hall of Eastern Market in Washington, DC. Stop by to pick up my books on sale, come early for some special freebies I'm lining up, and stick around to meet Louis Bayard. Learn more about the Literary Hill BookFest here.

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