Posted by: Kristi Tuck Austin | August 27, 2010

Events for the week

Sorry for the delayed post; a book came in the mail last night and I’m a binge reader.

It’s been a good week for River City Fiction: Fountain Bookstore and Rebecca Joines Schinsky of The Book Lady’s Blog co-hosted Susan Gregg Gilmore, author of The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove; I found out more about a library to love, which I’ll share with you next week; and a literary line-up of author Joe Wallace (Diamond Ruby), author and blogger Ron Hogan (, Rebecca Joines Schinsky (see above), and Fountain Bookstore owner Kelly Justice gave a social media primer last night thanks to James River Writers.  And no, as far as I’m aware, Rebecca and Kelly have not told the cops I was stalking them this week.

Susan Gregg Gilmore at Fountain Bookstore

I couldn’t miss Monday night’s launch of the Fountain Bookstore-Book Lady’s Blog Q&A with the author.  I must admit that I’m not sprinting to my bookstore to pick up more novels about relations between white employers and black employees in the 1960s South, but this novel hooked me with the importance a name has for shaping our identity.  The heroine Bezellia Grove is the fifth generation saddled with the unusual moniker, and she’s the only one who proudly goes by the name of her loyal and courageous frontierswoman ancestor.  Her surname signifies her birth into Nashville blue bloods, a status made clear by the first page, which features a newspaper social column announcing the celebration of Bezellia’s birth.  Will Bezellia fight like her namesake or will she demurely slip into the role prepared for her as a Grove?  Read The Book Lady’s introduction to the book here.

James River Writers

The aforementioned group of online or local celebrities spent two hours last night sharing their social media success and horror stories.  And they made us laugh.  Rebecca (@bookladysblog) and Kelly (@RVABookChik, @FountainBkstore) were as vivacious and irreverent as always.  Anyone who can combine a love–nay, a passion–for books with airborne lingerie is someone to follow.  Ron (@RonHogan) and Joe (@Joe_Wallace) held their own, which is impressive since they were on the ladies’ home ground.

The top take-aways:

On communicating expertise with a wider audience:

“I have strong opinions, and thanks to the internet, people all over the world can hear them.” -Ron

“We are all a bunch of cranks with a much larger megaphone.” -Joe

On starting off:

“When you first get started, it’s like walking into a party where you know no one and going, ‘Crap, what do I do?’… But there’s no face-to-face humiliation with this.” -Kelly

On community:

“I made more writer-friends in the last year-and-a-half than I made in 25 years before.” -Joe

Twitter is the great equalizer.  You can have conversations with people you’d never meet or approach in person.   -Rebecca

On cost:

“The best part of this is it’s all freakin’ free.”  -Kelly

Events to see this weekend

Friday, August 27 Ellen Crosby signs The Viognier Vendetta at River City Cellars

Saturday, August 28, 11-4 Hopewell Humane Society at Chop Suey Books

Saturday, August 28, 4-6p.m. Belle Boggs reads and signs Mattaponi Queen at Book People (also the River City Reads book this month)

Saturday, August 28, 6-7p.m. Emma Rathbone, author of The Patterns of Paper Monsters, and Marie Pooczny read at Chop Suey Books


  1. In case anyone wants to hear this panel discussion on social media, JRW has posted an audio recording on its website:

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