BooksNJ 2017: Hot, but way cool

Author Kerry Gans at BooksNJ

photo by J.R. Bale

On Sunday I skipped the last day of the Philadelphia Writers Conference to attend the BooksNJ festival in Paramus, NJ. For those of you wondering where Paramus is, it’s WAAAAY up in north Jersey. You pretty much pass New York City to get there.

Still, the hour and a half ride was pleasant, no problems at all. I got there early and found a nearby bank easily. Then I got lost coming back from the bank because even with the GPS the roads were too confusing (and poorly signed). But I eventually arrived at the Paramus Library, which hosted the event.

I should add that we were having a major heat wave that day. Temps in the 90s, and this was an outdoor festival. Luckily, we authors were under a tent, so we had shade all day, and enough of a breeze to make the weather not unbearable. The library also provided us with cold water and an air-conditioned room to retreat to if needed.

Because the festival grounds were rather large and there were panels ongoing all day, judging the crowd size was a bit hard. I talked to a good number of people who stopped at my table, gave them cards and bookmarks, and signed some bookmarks for some tweens. I got to spend the day with fellow authors J.R. Bale and Kristina Garlick, so I had good company to pass the time.

Author Tag for BooksNJ

J.R., Kristina, and I were on a panel together, along with author Stephen S. Power. The topic: Worlds Beyond Reality: Fantasy and Science Fiction, moderated by Laurie Meeske. We discussed the difference between SciFi and Fantasy, why people are drawn to one or the other, what drew us to writing those worlds, and why we feel those genres are important. Although we were in the final time-slot of the day, our panel was well-attended. This was my first panel at a book event ever, and I greatly enjoyed talking with these knowledgeable and entertaining authors.

After that I packed up, sweated my way to the car, and let the miles unfurl under my tires as I headed back south. I enjoyed the day, and when the next BooksNJ festival comes along in 2019, I will certainly plan to attend.

Kerry Gans at her table at BooksNJ




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