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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Karen Cox and Jane Austen: Then and Now or Jane Takes On Hotlanta!

Welcome Back Karen Cox! 
Happy to Hear About Her Adventures During the Decatur Book Festival!
It is a pleasure to welcome back Karen M Cox.  I really enjoyed visiting with her during the Decatur Book Festival Jane Austen: Then and Now events.  I was pleased and grateful when she was willing to share her adventures during the book festival with us here at Darcyholic Diversions.  

It was great to meet Karen and so many others over the DBF weekend.  I will be sharing my own story soon!


I am also announcing initial plans for a Darcyholic Holiday eBook Festival
More Information to come, but send me an email at barbaratillercole@gmail.com if you are an author and would like to participate!!
Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
September 21--Moira B.
September 23--Barbara Tiller Cole and the DBF
September 25--C. Allyn Pierson
September 28--Juliet Archer
October 2--Rebecca Young
October 5--Jan Hahn and Janet Taylor's Jane Austenland Adventure
October 9--Karen W.
November 2--Amy Patterson
November 13--Karen Doornebos
And Many more to come!

Karen is offering a signed copy of one of her books, winners choice to the winner of her give away. Chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, joining this site as a member via Google Friend Connect (GFC) (See the left hand column on the blog to join!), sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend Barbara Tiller Cole on Facebook,  clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook Page.

Jane Austen: Then and Now 
at the Decatur Book Festival, or, 
Jane takes on Hotlanta

I’m almost always up for a little adventure.  Not a big one, like sailing around the world or going on safari in Africa (although I might do those things, if I could), but little escapades—journeys on which I can absorb the whole experience. 
That was the joy of my recent sojourn to the Decatur Book Festival.  I was fortunate to be part of the festivities at the Jane Austen: Then and Now event sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America – Atlanta/North Georgia.  It was a ‘quick succession of busy nothings’ which added up to a whole that was more than the sum of its parts.
Jane and I started out from my house before dawn, cup of coffee in hand, GPS set for my hotel in Atlanta. 
I never tire of looking at a Central Kentucky dawn, and this one was no exception—a light swirling fog filtering weak yellow sunlight, humid air that sticks to your lungs—all part of a bucolic landscape that conveys simplicity and peace, at least at that time of day.  (As you can tell, as much as I love my little adventures, my first love is my home state.)
After a couple of stops, the first one in the area where Find Wonder in All Things is set (Laurel County, Kentucky), I arrived at the Emory Conference Center.  There I met the lovely Barbara Tiller-Cole, a gracious lady with a welcoming smile, quite by accident in the hotel lobby.  I checked in and headed back out to the airport to retrieve Terry, my buddy from Oklahoma, who was traveling to meet me in Atlanta by way of Dallas and Houston. 
That night I met up with most of the Jane Austen authors at dinner.  I sat next to Robin Helm (The Guardian) and had some lively conversation with her and her sister Gayle.  I also had the privilege of meeting my fellow Meryton Press author, Cynthia Hensley (Echoes of Pemberley) and her husband.    KaraLynne Mackrory (Falling for Mr. Darcy), the other Meryton Press author, arrived later in the evening. 
The next morning, after a yummy breakfast at Sweet Melissa’s in downtown Decatur, we settled in for our signing shift amid books and with a group of talented writers who are also interesting people.  I got to put some faces with names—people whose writing I’ve admired for a while—like Pamela Aidan, MK Baxley, Jack Caldwell and Abigail Reynolds.  But I also met some new faces: Jennifer Petkus, Amy Cecil, Maria Grace, Collette Saucier, and Bill Deresiewicz.  I got to see Regina Jeffers again; we met in Kentucky at a book fair last spring. 
Jan Ashe—as Terry so aptly suggested, ‘Can we canonize this woman?’  She and the other JASNA volunteers were tireless in their efforts to make the event successful and fun.  I loved seeing the participants in Regency dress, and everyone from JASNA was so pleasant and helpful. 
One of the supreme highlights of the weekend was meeting and talking with readers—people like Susan, Matt, Stephanie, Meredith, Jakki, Betty Jo, and others who share my love for Austen-inspired stories.  Their enthusiasm and kindness is a major perk of this writing avocation of mine.  I also enjoyed introducing some new readers to the genre.  It was a lot of fun asking people, “What kind of books do you like to read?” and steering them toward something Austenesque they might like to try.  Because if everyone knew about Jane Austen-inspired books, of course they’d love them! 
Hotlanta certainly earned its reputation that weekend, in the literal sense!   But I adapted to the heat, and there was too much going on to dwell on that.  (Big thanks to the anonymous vendors at the Italian ice stand who offered their Coppertone Sport 50 SPF after I asked them if they knew of a drugstore close by where I could get some sunscreen.  Little kindnesses mean a lot sometimes.)   
Sunday morning I took a few minutes to stroll around the Emory Conference Center, which was built and decorated in a style inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The grounds are a beautiful and peaceful oasis in the middle of Atlanta’s big-city bustle. 
On Sunday afternoon, I was a bit worried as I read the train station scene from 1932 with storm clouds gathering above my head!  But fortunately for us, the rain held off until the last hour of the festival.   
After packing up, grabbing a rest and a welcome shower back at the hotel, and ordering a surprisingly good room service pizza, I was ‘plumb tuckered’ and slept like a baby Sunday night. 
Monday morning  I took Terry back to the airport for her journey back to real life, and set off myself, on the long drive north up I75.  I bookended my trip with another stop in Laurel County, Kentucky, which seemed fitting somehow.   I returned home late that day, tired, but grateful for the safe and enjoyable trip, and for the nice people I met along the way.
Another little adventure in my life accomplished, all because there once lived a fascinating woman named Jane Austen…


  1. Viva Jane and the Decanter Book Festival! Sounded wonderful!

    -Did all the extras


  2. Hi, Karen. Nice to read about your little adventure at Decatur so thanks for sharing it with us who cannot make it there.

    GFC follower: Lúthien84
    Share on blog: http://forloveofausten.blogspot.com/2012/09/austenesque-book-giveaways-for-17-23.html
    Friends with Barbara: Sylvia Claire Chan
    'Like' Barbara's page: Sylvia Claire Chan

  3. It's always a fun traveling with you, Karen! Looking forward to all our future adventures! -Terry

  4. It sounds like you had a lovely time. I've driven that route of I-75 through Kentucky and Tennessee. It's lovely. I'm glad travel and the festival all went well. I love the part of Austen lovers all coming together for a good time.

    thanks for the post!

  5. Enjoyed this post and have shared it on my facebook page (Elaine Osmond Dale).


  6. Margaret, Sylvia, Terry, Sophia and Elaine - thanks for stopping by :)

  7. I so much enjoyed meeting you, Karen, and I'm glad we were able to spend some quality time together over my virgin daiquiri. Ha!

    I loved 1932, and I would be very happy to own an autographed copy of it.

  8. How I wish to visit one of such Jane Austen Book Festivals someday!
    Thank you for sharing your little adventure with us!

    oloore (at) gmail (dot) com
    GFC: Oksana Melnyk

  9. I loved hearing you recall all the events from that weekend! It was such a wonderful time! I'm so happy to have met you and all the other authors that were there! Hope we will see each other again soon!

  10. Sounds like a fun time! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  11. I think I enjoyed my wine a bit more than you did your daiquiri, Robin :D

    Oksana, if you ever get a chance to attend a gathering of Janeites, I think you'll enjoy it. It's great to talk with people who 'understand the madness' lol.

    Meredith - it was great to meet you at DBF!

    Candy M - here's hoping to see you at one of these events someday :)

  12. sharing this on Facebook
    Friend Barbara Tiller Cole on Facebook,(Patricia Finnegan)
    clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook Page. (Patricia Finnegan)

    1. link to sharing on fb


  13. Sounds like such a good time--you passed by my house and didn't stop to say hello.. lol

  14. LIked you on facebook; I have one of those Jane Austen action figures too. So cute! Looks like you had a great time! Thanks for chance to win a book.

    donnyandshelly at yahoo dot com

  15. It was great to meet you, Karen. I'd read your stories -- and loved them, and I found you to be just as funny and witty as the characters you create.

    I'm up for spending time with you and Terry whenever we find ourselves in relative proximity. I thoroughly enjoyed our adventures, even if we were a little voyeuristic.

    Looking forward to your next JAFF contribution.

  16. Thanks, Patricia :)
    If I'd known you were there June, I'd have stopped to say hello :D
    Shelly - I love my JA action figure - she was a gift, and therefore, doubly precious.
    Miss Gayle - lol! You had a better view than me - rats!