TSS: BOTNS Author’s Retreat

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Last weekend was such a fun weekend! All week I have been trying to think of a way to put it into words.

Last Saturday, my friend and I drove down to Manchester, VT for the Books on the Nightstand Author’s Retreat. We had been looking forward to this for months and we couldn’t believe it was finally here! Back in January, they announced the 9 authors that would be at the retreat:  Chris Bohjalian, Jon Clinch, Wendy Clinch, Matthew Dicks, Susan Gregg Gilmore, Steve Himmer, Ellen Meeropol, Elizabeth Stuckey-French,  and John M. Thompson. My friend and I started ordering the books and reading.

On Saturday, we drove to the Northshire Bookstore, the place of our first session which was a discussion with Matthew Dicks. I had read Matthew’s book Unexpectedly Milo and loved it! I find this book very hard to describe, but it is now one of my favorite books and made Matthew one of my favorite authors. At his discussion he called his books “quirky fiction” so I’m going to leave it at that. Trust me, pick up this book… it is so good! This first session focused on the decisions that Matthew had made which led him to become an author. There was plenty of time at the end of the session to ask questions. Ann and Michael, the people who put on the retreat, kept each session very small (I think about 25 people) so it was a very comfortable, friendly atmosphere.

My friend and I left that session just amazed! it had been even better than we had been anticipating! The rest of the day and night continued along in the same way. Everything was so well organized and “reader friendly.” The next session was in a cozy room in an inn down the road and the author was Chris Bohjalian. Chris spoke about his newest book, Secrets of Eden, took lots of questions from the group, and told funny stories about being on a book tour.

We spent the next session with Jon Clinch. I had read Kings of the Earth and I can’t wait to read his first book, Finn.  I ended up buying Finn while I was at the Northshire so I could have Jon autograph it for me. It was so interesting to hear him talk about his writing process. Jon also took lots of questions from the group. He is an amazing author!

Our last mini-session was a Yankee Book Swap. Everyone brought a book from home, all wrapped up, and we did a traditional Yankee Gift Swap. Susan Gregg Gilmore, one of the wonderful authors) ended up taking my friend’s book and trading the book she opened in exchange.

After a dinner break, we went back to the Northshire for the evening wrap up. Here, every author spoke for about 10 minutes then we had a “meet and greet” where we had our books autographed and chatted with the authors and other guests. It was so much fun! Books on the Nightstand will be playing each author’s talk during the ending event on various podcasts. They have already published the talks from Elizabeth Stuckey-French and Jon Clinch.

The weekend was a weekend that any reader would enjoy. I hope they do it again next year and I hope I can go!


7 Responses

  1. I’m not familiar with most of those authors, but it sounds like a fantastic retreat anyway! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  2. One of the things I loved most what that I am now familiar with a bunch of authors that I didn’t know before. I now have a ton books to read so I can catch up with all the books they’ve written. 🙂

  3. Sounds like a great idea! I don’t think we have those over here (UK) – but it sounds like we should,

  4. Sounds like a great retreat!

  5. What a fabulous time! I’m glad you had so much fun.

  6. Sounds like a fun retreat, it must have been a treat to meet authors you like.

  7. Oh, that sounds like so much fun! I need a retreat…

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