Same Page Book Festival

As I write this on Tuesday morning, my heart aches for all those impacted by the massacre in Las Vegas. How can we be so cruel to others? I’ve had to turn off the TV. I can’t fix what’s wrong with this country. All I can do is pray. I hope you will join me in that powerful action.

But as we know from other experiences, tragedy happens and then somehow life goes on, changed in indescribable ways, but still goes on.

So, I turn your attention to my fabulous trip to Decatur, Texas last Saturday afternoon. Bob kindly went with me, moving his Saturday work to Sunday. I don’t know if you’re aware, but books, even paper-backs, are heavy. Maneuvering the two bags, the pole, and banner is much easier when Bob does it all. 😊


The Decatur Public Library put on the Same Page Book Festival, and it was the first event of this kind they’d done. Maybe because I knew that going in, my expectations weren’t high, but boy was I surprised. They were organized and had things planned to the T. Lots of staff and volunteers to make sure things went off as planned.

Charlotte Canion gave an opening presentation at 1 pm. She’d written a memoir, YOU HAVE TO LAUGH TO KEEP FROM CRYING, about caring for her aging parents. She did make us laugh through our tears. She is a gifted presenter.

Then we moved to two breakout sessions. One was with Alan Bourgeois with Texas Authors, an organization all Texas authors should belong to. 🙂 You can see him in the background of the picture above.

IMG_6163 Alan Barecka

The other session included Alan Berecka, a poet, and Weina Randel, winner of the RWA Rita Award for her work of historical fiction about young girl in China who became the Emporer. Yes, I mean the Emporer, not the Emperess. The third person in the session was me! We read parts of our works and I gotta tell you I found these two authors a bit intimidating. I write genre fiction. He’s an award winning narrative poet—very good stuff I might add, and she a Rita Award winner for historical fiction.  However, several folks told me they really enjoyed my reading from ACT OF TRUST, Book 2 in the Second Chances Series. I was grateful to hear that. 

Next, we sold books. And did I sell books! Let me tell you, more than at any other book event I’ve ever attended. Two people actually bought the whole set—all six books!


Big thanks to Sharon Walker

and Susan Anderson


You made my month, not just my day.

Then we had another breakout session. I was with the same two people as above, and we talked about the publishing experience. Other authors did readings in a separate area: Mike Hawron, Beth Honeycutt, and Tweed Scott.

The last presentation was given by Julia Heaberlin, author of BLACKEYED SUSANS, a thriller scheduled to be made into a movie. Her latest book is PAPER GHOSTS. She talked about the forensic side of a crime and the importance of research.IMG_6165

And then we sold more books and packed up to head home.

I want to thank Alan Bourgeois with Texas Authors for making me aware of this event. Huge thanks to Patricia Peters and her staff and volunteers at the Decatur Public Library for putting on such a super fun event. Denice Herrera, Jacquie and Sharon were especially helpful.

I liked that it was more than a book sale, and that readers and writers got to hear from some really interesting folks, including moi! 😊IMG_6173

This shows my new banner, which I designed!

When was the last time you went to a book signing? How far is too far to drive to one? Have you ever bought an author’s entire set of books? Love to hear from you and let’s keep Las Vegas in our thoughts and prayers.

Newsletter , Blog  @Marsharwest

10 responses to “Same Page Book Festival

  1. That sounds like an amazing place to be! How I wish our writers group could put on something even half that size. How many authors were there? I’d like to have speakers for the readers too and workshops for authors. Everything under one roof. What a lot of planning had to go into it. I’m wondering if Bob was your good luck charm??? What a day! We’ve tried a few book signings but not with good results.I am praying for Vegas and all those who have endured the devastation from natural disasters. So much turmoil all at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, JQ. Not sure Bob will want to hear he’s my good luck charm. LOL It’s only the second time he went with me to one of these things. One was when I was still in my wheel chair. Now that I think of it, he also went one time to Lewisville, which is forever far from us through awrul traffic. On neither of those did I sell but maybe one book. So we can probably let him off the hook, but it’s sure easier with him along.
    I can’t say enough good things for the library. It was a really good event.
    There were approximately. 12-15 authors and not all of them got to or wanted to speak. I felt lucky to be one of the speakers. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  3. This is Bob, the good luck charm(er). I am also Marsha’s “DH” for her books which I explain as the “deceased husband” since all of her books are about a heroine over 40 and usually after the heroine’s husband has recently died and the widow heroine is adjusting to the complications of dating again. I am happy to support Marsha at these book events relatively nearby, but my main contribution last Saturday was bringing Sudan Anderson to the library to buy a set of 6 books. Susan and I worked together over 30 years ago and I ran into her at the Dairy Queen in Decatur while I was having a hot fudge sunday during a break from my duties supporting Marsha at the book event! The things we spouses do for our writer mates!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, DH. You did more than super bringing in Susan. Though I’m a little miffed that I haven’t had ice cream in a long time and I think you’ve had it twice in that time. Of course, now that doesn’t fit well in to my new eating plan. Thanks so very much for supporting me in this and everything I’ve ever attempted. You’re the best. And “thanks for stopping by. ” 🙂


  4. Wow, Marsha, what a great day! It sounds like a lot of fun, too. My husband gave me a lift to my last book-signing, too. And he likes ice-cream. Wish our two DHs could get together 🙂 Thanks for the super write-up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Helena. It’s really nice when they can go along with us, for sure. And Ice cream. It’s a date. Would love for us to get together. It’s a good goal. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  5. Pingback: Marsha R. West·

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