Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Faces & Places Behind The Art

My husband & I are both book lovers. . .which really helps us understand each other's need to have long, uninterrupted time with our book of the moment.  We have each spent the better part of the past decade working dead-end jobs that paid the bills, but did little to inspire us.  We grabbed what life we could by escaping into books and movies and taking as many vacations as our budget would allow.  This year, we decided to make some serious changes in the direction our life was going.  We quit our jobs & took to the road to see parts of the country that we had previously only heard about.  We knew living on only our savings for a time would be a challenge, but we also knew that it was something we had dreamed about as long as we had known each other & decided it was now or never.

Our love of books became quickly evident as we started planning the direction of our journey.  We were picking places that we had read about, places where we knew authors had lived & drawn inspiration from & best of all, places were authors we loved were actually going to be.  Knowing our budget wouldn't allow for many souvenirs, we decided to save our money for things that couldn't be bought just anywhere and ended up returning home with a collection of new books...most of which were signed by the author. :)

I thought I'd share with you a few of the people & places we were blessed enough to visit along our way.

In January (technically before our journey began, but in anticipation!) we drove to Dallas to meet Tammara Webber, Colleen Hoover & Jamie McGuire.

Pictured (L to R)

Jamie McGuire - author of Beautiful Disaster,  
     Walking Disaster, the Providence series &
     most recently Red Hill (which I haven't read yet!)
Colleen Hoover - author of the Slammed series,
     Hopeless, & Losing Hope
Tammara Webber - author of the Between The 
     Lines series & Easy

Along with the hundreds of fans who joined me in the crowd!

**Most memorable moment....Watching the ABC nightline report that was filmed during the signing &! on TV!  Out of all of the people that posed for pictures with Colleen, I was the one that actually made the cut.  So random!

In May, we got to meet two of my husband's favorite authors....

First...Patrick Rothfuss - author of  The Name of 
          the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear

Second...George R. R. Martin - author of The 
              Song of Ice & Fire series (better
              know as Game Of Thrones)

After that, we moved into June & our adventure truly began.  Our next few stops were to visit friends & family, but as we worked our way through Missouri, we stopped for a quick visit to Hannibal...the boyhood home of Mark Twain...where of course we had to take in a beautiful view of the Mighty Mississippi.

We traveled on through Illinois & the Windy City working our way to Ann Arbor, Michigan where my husband (who is much more athletically ambitious than me!) had signed up to run a marathon.  As we entered town, I started seeing exit signs for Ypsilanti.  The book nerd in me got excited & had to go the couple of extra miles to get this picture....

Our next stop on the literary trail led us to the site of a book turned movie...The Shawshank Redemption.  I haven't actually read the story the film is based on, but I hear this is one of the rare occurrences where the film actually improves the story. 

Either way...the Ohio State Reformatory (where the film was shot) was an awe inspiring, creepy experience that I would recommend if you ever find yourself near Mansfield, Ohio.

After the ghost tour at the Reformatory, we moved on to Chagrin Falls, Ohio...a tiny town in northeast Ohio that is built around the falls which give the town its name.


Chagrin Falls was once the home of Bill Watterson & inspired many of the images in his Calvin & Hobbes comic strips. 

As June was coming to a close, we crossed the border into Canada for a week.

Though I don't know of any authors from Toronto or books set there, I did get the chance to visit with Liis...who I had the privilege of meeting at the signing in Dallas in January.  She is one of the most enthusiastic book lovers that I have ever met, and definitely a champion for independent authors.  We had a great time visiting with her & chatting about some of our favorite books. Check out her blog here...Liis' Bookshelf!

Stay tuned for pictures from the second half of the journey!!  
Coming soon....

No comments:

Post a Comment