I wrote the majority of The Wicca Cookbook in a quaint English Tea Shoppe called Tea and Sympathy where I ate Devonshire cream on just about everything. Being in that shop, surrounded by quaint older ladies drinking tea from quaint tea cups, I felt transported to Merry Olde England. I could imagine that Stonehenge and Glastonbury were just down the cobbled street.
Nancy, the owner noticed eventually noticed me scribbling away and asked what I was writing. I told her it was a seasonal cookbook based on the ancient Celtic traditions. When is published, she said, you must come sign your book at our booth. Every year we take our store on the road to Celtic Festivals. I’d love to you have you.
So my first booksigning took place October 2000 at the Scottish Festival in Vista, CA. I set up a stack of my books next to historical fiction authors Kathleen Givens, Jeanette Baker and Amanda Scott. The sounds of bagpipes filled the air as I autographed 25 books that inaugural outing – not too shabby for an unknown author!! For the eight years I signed books with them, my fellow authors were my mentors teaching me about the world of publishing – from agents to contracts, what to expect, what not to expect. We traded books. Their books typically had great romance stories woven into the history they so meticulously research. I fell in love more than once with their male characters. I think it was the accent.
I loved that each festival had its own vibe. Vista had a great meadow where you could relax and watch the kilts go by. KVMR Celtic Renaissance Music Festival had kicking music day and night, ending with a Caleigh – a party where the musicians jammed together. If ever there was a lull, I’d go grab a Guinness or trade with vendors for their jewelry, oils, photography, corsets, or ceramic dragons for my sons. Invariably I’d come back to a line of people waiting to sign my books and my author friends trying to explain what happens during a Beltane celebration! Worked like magic.
Recently my friend Christina and I went to the Costa Mesa Scottish Highland games. It’s been two years since I signed books at the festivals and Tea and Sympathy closed their traveling store. We dressed up and I tell you it’s so much more fun when you do! You become part of the play – in character as wench, faery, pirate, or royalty – up to you who you want to be for the day. We watched the caber toss and the bands compete. It was like coming home in a way.
Next is Irish Faire in Irvine June 18-19. They have the Irish dancers (think RIverdance), the Village of Tara and whiskey tasting. Wanna join me?