I have just come from a wonderful talk and book signing by Kristy Woodsen Harvey, author of Dear Carolina, Lies and Other Acts of Love (Berkley/Penguin Random House), and Slightly South of Simple (Gallery/Simon & Schuster). Her talk tonight was the second-to-last event of her Slightly South of Simple 30-day book tour.
I was really excited to hear Kristy speak because I loved her new book (you can read my review here), but the event definitely surpassed my expectations. I have been to numerous events and have often been highly impressed by the speakers, but Kristy’s talk has overtaken Maria Semple’s (Where’d You Go, Bernadette) as my all-time favourite author address.
Although on a book tour it is an author’s job to be enthusiastic and lively, being on the road for weeks at a time, meeting hundreds or thousands of people, signing countless books, and having to give a speech dozens of times has to take its tole. Kristy acknowledged the difficulties of touring, but she was so energetic and engaging that it felt like the start of her tour, rather than the end. For this reason alone, Kristy was impressive.
She was an absolute delight to listen to because she spoke so fluently and effortlessly. She was also hilarious (my mom was actually crying from laughter a few times). It was fascinating to hear about how her career began, as she never planned on becoming a writer. She was intent on becoming a doctor, and then, right before college, decided to go to university for journalism. She then planned to go to law school, but, in the midst of gathering references, she learned of a program concentrating in multicultural and transnational literature and pursued this opportunity instead.
A special part of the night was when Kristy gave a reading. Normally, I don’t particularly enjoy when an author reads from their book as I would rather hear more from them rather than listen to something I have already read. Thankfully, Kristy chose to read a scene that was cut from the finished book, which was really special. I love bonus material and, from studying publishing, I have learned how much of a manuscript can be cut in the editorial process. Therefore, I was thrilled to hear more of Kristy’s unpublished writing.
I am always so excited to get to meet an author and it was such a pleasure to meet Kristy. I was privileged to be able to chat with her for several minutes and she was so kind to wish me luck with my publishing career!
The second novel in The Peachtree Bluff series will be released in April 2018 and I wish Kristy the best of luck with writing the final book this summer!
I would strongly recommend reading Kristy’s books and attending one of her events. You can find the dates of her upcoming appearances on her website.