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Author panel at Pulpwood Queens

My author panel at the Pulpwood Queens weekend

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my upcoming trip to the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend. That trip has been completed now, and I’m here to report that it was quite an experience!

The event was held at the Fredonia Hotel in Nacogdoches, Texas, a 1950s-era hotel that has been renovated and modernized. I understand that the hotel hasn’t been open long in its new form, but it was a terrific location! Congratulations to the owners on the job they did, and to the Pulpwoods for choosing it.

The Girlfriend Weekend is a gathering of club members, who hailed from all over the country, and the authors they read. In that respect alone it was a unique event. I’ve never attended an event that had so many avid, enthusiastic readers from such a wide location.

The authors were also a varied group, and I had a good time making new acquaintances. Here are a few photos: The one at the top of the post has Clea Simon, the author of World Enough (she’s a mystery writer), and Reavis Wortham, who writes Texas-based thrillers. At the end is the Pulpwood Queen herself, Kathy Murphy (more about her in a minute). I enjoyed meeting scads of other authors who work in a wide variety of genres: Lorna Landvik (contemporary novels with a humorous twist), Bren McClain (whose debut novel, One Good Mama Bone, was the Queens’ Book of the Year, Tamra Bolton (children’s), Rickey Pittman (children’s ABC books), Romalyn Tilghman, Man Martin, Lisa Wingate (whose latest book, Before We Were Yours, has hit the well-deserved bigtime), Alice Hoffman, and many, many more.

Lorna Landvik

Me with Lorna Landvik, who was the high bidder on my gift basket to raise money for the Pat Conroy Literary Center.

The orchestrator of this event is Kathy Murphy, who is a tireless advocate for books, reading, and literacy. She put the whole event together, co-hosted with author Jamie Ford, and somehow managed to keep this enormous herd of cats pointed in the same direction! It was a delight to meet her. We ended up having dinner together on the night before the event got started, and I was immensely impressed with her verve and zest for the literary experience. There’s a movie in the works about her story, and she’s an author herself!


The Texas Ornithological Society was holding its winter meeting that same weekend, and the hotel staff helpfully directed us. As if the tiaras weren’t enough of a clue!

It was a long drive, but an unforgettable event! I am hugely grateful to have been invited and excited about a return trip!