Author and publisher Suzanne Sherman asked me (Laura, the owner of Wordforest) to share a table with her at the Fourth Annual Bay Area Book Festival the week of April 28 and 29, 2018. It’s in Berkeley, Calif., and packed with events and exhibitors.
Here’s some of what’s on the festival’s About page:
“The Bay Area is teeming with readers, writers, creators, and thinkers. We have harnessed the power of this community to create one of the premier literary festivals in the world. The Festival is a two-day event complete with literary sessions presenting top authors from this region, the nation, and the world, along with an outdoor fair with hundreds of literary exhibitors. We also offer art installations, events for kids, and writing contests. We even have a mini film festival — a series of ten films on literature — with BAMPFA. We transform vibrant Downtown Berkeley into a literary utopia where readers of all ages and interests can find kindred spirits.
“The Festival kicked off in 2015 with the mission to create a free, inclusive, world-class literary event in the Bay Area. Since then, the Festival has welcomed more than 800 authors and is approaching 100,000 attendees.”
I haven’t exhibited at this event previously and I’m thinking about how to make the most of it. If you have ideas, please email me at laura [at] word forest [dot] com.
Note: The photo is of me with my sisters, who are central characters in my memoirs, Reversible Skirt and Resilient Ruin. From left to right, we are Laura, Kathy and Mary Ruth. (On the Reversible Skirt book cover, the order is Mary Ruth, Laura and Kathy.)
Many thanks to Folio Books in San Francisco’s Noe Valley for hosting an event Thurs., Jan. 26, during which Laura McHale Holland read from Resilient Ruin, her latest memoir. The book was published by WordForest in November 2016. Bookstore staff members Susan Kroll and Andrew McIntyre welcomed all who attended with spirited grace.
Laura was also joined by two friends at the mic. Storyteller Susan Ford told of when she made inroads as a young woman working in a furniture manufacturer that had previously hired only men. Novelist and poet Olivia Boler read a poem about a friend with whom she formed a lasting sister bond in grammar school.
In addition, Folio is stocking all four books published by Wordforest: Reversible Skirt: A Memoir; Resilient Ruin: A memoir of hopes dashed and reclaimed; and the flash fiction collection The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song—all three penned by Laura McHale Holland—and the anthology, edited by Laura, Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood. The anthology contains the work of 76 writers from across the globe. It won a gold medal in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was a finalist in the IndieFab Book Awards 2015.
It is incredibly supportive of Folio to carry these books. So if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to purchase one or more of them, take a trip to Noe Valley and stop in at Folio, a true community resource. There are some terrific restaurants to check out on 24th Street, as well.
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I met many fine people and sold books, too, at the Rohnert Park Holiday Arts and Crafts Faire on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday this year.
Thanks to all the folks who stopped by the table, as well as to authors Dorothy Rice, Skye Blaine, S.C. Alban and Bob Winters who took shifts sharing the table with me.
If you’re an author, consider testing the arts and crafts faire waters. I plan to do more events like this next year.
Gabe Meline of the Bohemian just reviewed The Ice Cream Vendor's Song :
Brevity is the soul of flash fiction, and to do it well, one must have a concept and execute it with no wasted words. Far too often, logorrhea remains hard to restrain for most authors. Conversely, 'The Ice Cream Vendor's Song' (Wordforest; $8.95) benefits from Sonoma County author Laura McHale Holland's compact vision. In stories as short as four sentences, she's able to convey a full picture, or at least enough of the full picture for readers to want desperately to fill in the details on their own. There's a subtle Raymond Carver streak running beneath Holland's stories, and a story like "Still There," in which a man is telling a woman he's had enough, appears to veer into "Little Things" territory from the start. Holland is smarter than that, though, and the twist that comes five paragraphs later is entirely unexpected. Those who enjoy short reads with plenty of imagery and context left the imagination will want to seek out this collection.—G.M.
I was among several Sonoma County authors videotaped at Gaia's Garden in Santa Rosa a January 14, 2013.
Here's a link to the YouTube video: Laura McHale Holland tells two stories from The Ice Cream Vendor's Song
Laura McHale Holland will be reading from her flash fiction collection, The Ice Cream Vendor's Song, on Friday evening, Dec. 14, 2012, at Infusions Teahouse, 6988 McKinley, Sebastopol, CA. Full details will be posted as soon as they're available.