Well, wouldn't you know it; after my last posting about the unfairness of being asked to list my favorite books, last night I ran across a posting where some wonderful young girl had included "The Other Sister" on a list of her favorite books. It was a lovely surprise, although my initial reaction was similar to the feeling I get when I occasionally and unexpectedly come across my own name in the newspaper obituaries...kind of a 'that couldn't REALLY be me, could it?' (The obituary thing happens a lot less often now that my last name is no longer just 'Thompson," but it never fails to give one pause!)
Friday's Author Panel at Fargo's Barnes & Noble was not exactly well-attended; there were eight authors playing to an audience of two people, one of whom was my aunt Coral. Basically we spent three hours visiting with each other and discussing our writing histories (in my case, it was a short speech!) I was lucky enough to be seated between Steve Grineski, MSUM and Peter Rennebohm, two regional authors I've never before had the opportunity to meet. Grineski is the author of Baby Dragons: The Story of Moorhead Campus School 1888-1972, easily the most popular book with visitors to Barnes & Noble that day. An MSU professor, Grineski also teaches at the Moorhead Area Learning Center, and tells me that the proceeds from Baby Dragons will go to fund a college scholarship for a student at the school. Steve's kind and gentle spirit reminded me very much of my uncle, the late Dr. Fran Ulschak.
Equally interesting was meeting Peter Rennebohm, a writer from Minneapolis who has penned two thrillers in French Creek and Blue Springs: A Suspense Novel, as well as the deeply moving Be Not Afraid: Ben Peyton's Story. Previously a business owner and salesman in the construction and contracting industry, it's clear that Peter is enjoying his 'second life' as a writer.
We talked about our mutual ties to the Minnesota Lake area; I've written a story that takes place on Lake Tulaby, near Waubun, and Peter is part owner of a duck-hunting camp in the same area.
In the end, new friends were made, conversations were enjoyed, and a few books were sold (mostly to each other). Overall, a success of an unexpected kind.