It started off with a Q & A session at the Plano B & N, followed by a booksigning with about twenty of the authors. Then we were hosted by Chris Simmie with a meet and greet party, where this year, they allowed readers to participate. The menu? What else but Texas Barbeque.
The tea was actually held on Sunday, and the place was packed. Here’s how it worked. The tickets were $35 each, but if you wanted to go with a group of nine friends, you picked an author and bought the table for $350. Because I was one of the few mystery authors among many romance ones, my table sold early, but even so, I was surprised to see a few women who sat with me last year. I was fortunate enough to be entertained by (first row left to right--Lois, me, and Sandy. Back row left to right—Janet, Judy, Sandy, Genevieve,, Jane and Jean.) Joyce had to leave early and missed the photo shoot.
What a fun group of ladies! I had a blast and felt like I had made new friends.
Anyway, Sarah Maclean was the Keynote speaker and she told an inspiring story about how the written text had changed her life, including being in New York City on September, 11, 2001, crossing the bridge with so many other New Yorkers that day, and being proposed to soon after that. Her Happily-Ever-After made me think about all the people who can’t read text, stories, or even simple words.
Did you know that according to UNICEF, nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names and two thirds of them are women?
It gets worse. 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
OMG! More than 60% of prison inmates are functionally illiterate. And with no help, many will return to prison. See the entire article here.
So, I salute the RWA for their efforts in combating literacy with their literacy booksigning every year at Nationals, and I am humbled that I was asked to be a part of the Richardson Adult Literacy Center’s efforts in this battle we must win.
I simply cannot imagine a world without words.