Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Pulpwood Queen Magical, Mystical "HOT PINK" Carpet Ride through Reading!

Recently, I received a call from Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's office was calling. The Senator was going to be in my area and she very much wanted to meet me. Would I be interested in doing a book signing for her and her latest book "Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers?Indeed, "I would love to meet Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison,", I so exclaimed. "When perhaps would this event need to take place, " I inquired. "Next week," was the answer. I did not have much time to roll out my magical, mystical "HOT PINK" carpet!

I am one that tends to fly by the seat of her skirt and somehow I managed to pull off the big event with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison with such short notice. We had a sizable crowd and I think everybody was as thrilled as I was to meet such a powerful Texan. Meeting her was a pleasure and a privilege that I do not take lightly as a bookseller, quite frankly as an American. This is the only business that I know of where you get to meet the most interesting and incredible people in the world.Most recently I hosted my biggest book event of the year, Girlfriend Weekend, where almost fifty authors, speakers, some celebrities, and musical artists come to East Texas for our big book loving convention. I am continually amazed by the caliber of authors I convince to travel to my often overlooked part of the state. I am the pied piper of book selling! We have had Kinky Friedman who was at the time running for Governor of Texas. Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, television writer, film director and creator of "Designing Women". National Book Award winners Kimberly Willis Holt and Mary McGarrity Morris have traveled to my shop to speak. Rue McLanahan star of stage, television and screen came for a visit. Pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist, Doug Marlette and journalist, Edward Hume graced our doors.

Most recently Czech supermodel, Paulina Porizkova was a keynote author speaker.Those are the famous authors but we have had hundreds of authors who were yet undiscovered, Michael Morris, Denise Hildreth, Charles Martin, Ron Rash, Darnell Arnoult, Lynn York, Virginia Boyd, Carolyn Turgeon, and Margaret Sartor to name just a few.Some authors who came have become New York Times bestseller list famous: Cassandra King, Jeanette Walls, Lalita Tademy, and Debbie Rodriguez.

So as I was sitting shaking my head at disbelief at WHY these authors do come to my Beauty and the Book, I realized something. Anything is possible if you become a real reader!I was as a child invisible. I was so painfully shy that I escaped into books to get away from life that seemed to frightening for me to bear. Through those books I became brave, braver, and bravest. I am fearless now that I have become a real reader! Nothing can stop me from sharing my message that reading is important.

In fact, I do believe that reading is the one tool that can help us attain the knowledge that can empower us to attain our goals and dreams.As a child, I never dreamed I would meet the people that I have met today. I would have told people they were crazy if they told me a U.S. Senator would want to meet me in person. I also realize that the power of the Pulpwood Queens is growing and this queen knows that with power comes temptations.

But the one thing that keeps me grounded is the fact that I come from humble beginnings. I will always be that little kid from Kansas who dreamed of somewhere over the rainbow. Now that I have landed in the Land of Oz it is time for me to say that I also have learned that Dorothy would never had as much of adventure without her friends, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion. I call my friends, the Pulpwood Queen Posse'. They are my book club members. These are the women and yes, men, (Timber Guys) who help run my events while I am in the limelight!

I may be center stage right now but to all my Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys out there, I know that I could never be where I am right now without all of you. AND the authors too! My goodness, what authors have done for me is pretty incredible. I have always held authors in the highest esteem, up on a pedestal, but what I never dreamed possible is that they would lift me even higher.So this blog today is a thank you to all the people who I have not properly thanked. My Pulpwood Queen Book Club members, my author friends, and their publishers who help support this small independent bookseller.

This is a thank you to the independent bookstore owners and chain bookstore managers and event coordinators who rolled out the "hot pink" carpet for me while I was on my book tour. The many radio stations, newspapers and television stations who helped me spread the word that reading is indeed importantIf I had one wish this bright, sunny, spring day is that each of you would get your day in the sun! I am convinced that there is no real money in books. I have worked on just about every side of the table from lowly bookseller, to children's book buyer and manager, to book publisher's representative, to bookstore owner, book club facilitator's, to published author. The only thing I have not done yet is be a literary agent or publisher but hey, I'm only 51, I have half my life ahead of me.

And even though I have not seen much money in books personally, I have received a wealth way beyond something as tangible as cold, hard cash. I have a book family that loves me as I love them. I watched an amazing film last night, (besides being a book buff, I adore film too). The film was "Across the Universe" starring Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther McCoy, Bono, Joe Cocker, and Eddie Izzard. The film was a musical based on the songs and songwriting of The Beatles. If Margaret Sartor's nonfiction book of the diary of her life from 13 to 18, "Miss American Pie" was a mirror reflection of my life at that same age, then "Across the Universe" was the musical reflection of my era. We are a product of "our times" and just like the film "we all want to change the world".

I just happen to think one person can, in my case, one book, one person, one book club at a time will lead this world to world peace. Yes, this "beauty within" queen declares her biggest desire is "world peace" and I happen to believe that it can be attained by reading!Just like the film, "All We Need Is Love". The message was love will take you anywhere and for me love of reading will take you everywhere. Won't you join me and we too can have a book "REVOLUTION!" As always, I look forward to your responses and replies.

Tiara wearing and Book and Film sharing,Kathy L. PatrickFounder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Clubshttp://www.beautyandthebook.com/, official website!http://www.pulpwoodqueen.com/, official daily blog site!http://www.readinggroupguides.com/ of where I am now contributing to their blog site!P.S. Psst! What the Pulpwood Queen is Reading! or Five Diamonds in my Pulpwood Queen Tiara!"same kind of different as me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with authors to speak at T.G. Field auditorium, April 9th as a fund raiser for the homeless shelter in Longview, Texas. I'm taking the Pulpwood Queen Posse' and my church. You have to read this book and it will change your life. It did mine! I discovered this book at yes, Wal-mart as I always check out the competition. I am glad I did.The Chicken Dance by Jacques Couvillion is a book we read aloud on book tour that captured our hearts and I have the author coming hopefully this June! I'm making deviled eggs, ha ha ha! Thank you to the mysterious woman who gave this book to one of my Pulpwood Queens at my booksigning in Nashville. I would like to thank you personally so please come forward to be recognized. And to Elizabeth Grant-Gibson of Windows, a bookshop, who also told me this was a great read and brought me some of her signed copies for my shop. Sold out my friend and had to order more!Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, (I have signed first edition copies, great gift book and planning to give to all my daughters friends upon their high school graduation!

Thank you Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for bringing your book to my attention.The Shadow and the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafo'n and on of the best books I have ever read. I wish I had written this book, it's just that good and THE book for rabid book lovers as it will get you from the get-go with the visit to the Cementery of Forgotten Books. How magical and mystical is that? For the life of me I cannot remember the bookseller's name at the Davis-Kidd store who forced me to buy this book. If you would please come forward and let me know, I will thank you personally.

Women of Magdalene by Rosemary Poole Carter, I have the author coming for our Pilgrimage weekend and since the book is set in civil war times, she is even bringing this incredible musical artist, Wava Everton, who specializes in the songs of civil war times. Incredible and will haunt you like "Cold Mountain" by Charles Frazier. I

invited Rosemary and Wava here for my Girlfriend Weekend and bringing them back for a command performance the first weekend in May.Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande is one book that will make you understand the medical profession in such a way that Khaled Hussein made us understand the people and culture of Afghanistan. This book was handed to me and recommended by my minister, Allison Byerley of The First United Methodist Church of Jefferson, Texas.

Last I would like to recommend you watch the film "Blood Diamond" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, and Djimon Hounsou. One of the most powerful films I have ever seen as I watched on the edge of my seat, heart wrenching. The story of an ex-mercenary turned smuggler (DiCaprio),a Mende fisherman (Hounsou), and a journalist (Connelly) set in Sierra Leone during a 1999 civil war involving two desperate missions: recovering a rare pink diamond and rescuing a the fisherman's son who was kidnapped and brainwashed into being a child soldier. T

hen read: A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Child Soldier by Ishmael Beah. A "Book and a Movie" make a perfect combination for book club discussion. Thank you Pulpwood Queen Jean Wright who brought me this book and told me it was a must read. So now you know how I discover such great reads!

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