Author Fest of the Rockies – a writer’s feast

Me with my author friends, Linda Berry, Mike Befeler and Michael Madigan on the sunny, welcoming porch of the Cliff House. Thanks to photog Bill Donavan

Me with my author friends, Linda Berry, Mike Befeler and Michael Madigan on the sunny, welcoming porch of the Cliff House. Thanks to photog Bill Donavan

It’s hard to pinpoint what made Author Fest so enjoyable. After several uncharacteristically gloomy weather days, the Colorado sun, blue sky and majesty of Pikes Peak and golden aspen leaves played a large part.  Meeting with fellow writers and authors is always a joy.  Presenting a workshop on the writing craft to those currently writing novel-length fiction always brings a satisfying connectedness and pleasure.  And I certainly couldn’t overlook the history of the Cliff House, a Victorian charmer of a hotel built in 1853.

A Victorian treasure, the Cliff House was built in 1853 and hosted the 3rd annual Author Fest of the Rockies

A Victorian treasure, the Cliff House was built in 1853 and hosted the 3rd annual Author Fest of the Rockies

From my first glance at the hotel I was charmed. The wide porch with comfortable, overstuffed chairs welcomed me. My second impression was equally rich, that of approaching the stained glass entrance doors and seeing them opened with aplomb by the door men. It reminded me of the scene from Titanic when Rose entered the dining room.  All that was missing was the strain of violins, and I understand that, too, occurs on weekends.

Fifty authors participated in this, the third annual Author Fest.  Hosted by the Manitou Springs Public Library, the schedule offered much more than nineteenth century ambience.  In addition to my workshop about using “Free Range Characters” in your novels, Linda Berry offered advice about “Liposuction for your Overweight Manuscript,” and Esri Rose gave some helpful insights into “High Concept-Built-in Marketing for Your Books.”  Radio personality and on-line marketing guru Michelle Vandepas joined me on a panel about social networking, and Connie Martin was among others that appeared on my panel about plotting.

Another RMFW friend, Betsy Dornbusch, presented a workshop on “Exploring Critique.”  Other topics included memoirs, self-publishing, freelance writing, and Mike Befeler shared tips on “Humor in Geezer Lit.” Former Rocky Mountain News editor Michael Madigan spoke of “Heroes, Villains, Dames and Disasters.”

The concluding luncheon speaker, Alec Greven, wowed everyone in the room.  He showed a video of his appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ television show.  He spoke of his New York Times best-seller, his series, and plans to publish his books in Europe.  He was informative, charming, laugh-out-loud funny, poised, and willing to take questions from everyone about anything. What made this all the more impressive? Master Alec Greven is just ten years old.  You can see his *amazing* interview with Ellen at http://tv.rightcelebrity.com/?p=657

But all good must end, and the Author Fest is now beginning its slow fade to history.  The energy and dreams shared, however, will linger.

Thanks to Jan Pratt, who chaired the Authors Committee, for her fine organization and warm welcome, and to all the many volunteers who contributed to this event’s success.  I was pleased to be part of it.

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2 Comments

Filed under The Writing Life, Writing Craft

2 responses to “Author Fest of the Rockies – a writer’s feast

  1. Janet, Thanks for the mention! I really appreciate it. I had a blast at authorfest and I encourage anyone who likes to read, likes to write, heck anyone who has even ever read a book to go next year. Being on the Social Media panel was a hoot. See you in a year.. (and online always)…
    Michelle

  2. redplume

    You’re welcome, Michelle. Keep me in mind for your podcasts, and have a splendid autumn!

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