This post has been a long time coming so my apologies for the delay. As many of you may, or may not, know, I trekked to Winston-Salem at the end of April to speak at the Shepherd’s Center and to hang out at Barnhill’s for a book signing.
Let me just say that southern hospitality is alive and well in North Carolina. I met so many nice people and smiled until my cheeks hurt.
I took a friend with me, naturally. (Girls do tend to travel in packs, you know.) We got up at 3:00 a.m. on Thursday morning in order to make it to the Shepherd’s Center by 10:30. I should mention I’m not much of a public speaker so I thought very seriously about turning around a couple of times. But I had my friend with me, a comfy car, good tunes, and great coffee, so I pressed on.
For those of you who don’t know, the Shepherd Center is an adult learning facility. They offer classes of all types for seniors. When I arrived the classes in session included a tax seminar and a cooking class (which left me feeling incredibly hungry for the rest of the morning.)!
I was allowed to set up in a small room that filled up quickly with around 15-18 people. I read from both of the novels I had with me after I explained who I was and what it is I do for a living. The people were incredibly friendly and asked lots and lots of questions. (For those of you planning to go in the future, take something to drink, because you will do a lot of talking.) I was fascinated by the level of interest the group has in literature and in meeting writers. I expected most of the audience to be writers but this wasn’t at all the case. In reality only one or two spent any time writing on a regular basis. I had a great time.
On Friday I had the privilege of hanging out at Barnhill’s for the afternoon. The store is wonderful. For all of you 2W authors out there, rest assured that your books are in good hands. Tracy and the staff have done an amazing job getting the store up and running. It’s the kind of place that invites people to come in and browse or maybe just sit and read for awhile. I hated to leave at the end of the day. “The color-blind artist” was there, painting beautiful pictures, one of which I bought for my son. Two wineries offered samples of their wares and I gladly tasted every flavor!
Barnhill’s is located in downtown Winston-Salem in this amazing art district. I spent hours shopping down there. Local shops are the best, no matter what city you’re visiting. These are the places that showcase local talent in photography, sculpture, painting, textiles, jewelry, or just about anything else artistic you can think of. Barnhill’s is nestled down there among all these great shops and it couldn’t fit in better.
I could write a book on the beauty of North Carolina, the wonderful restaurants, or the friendly people. I had a great time and the trip went too quickly.
So I’ll just say this–if you get the chance to visit Barnhill’s, DO IT.