Happy November, everyone.
November is always a fascinating month. We’re recuperating from eating too much Halloween candy. At the moment the wind howls outside my window to remind me that summer is gone for good, and autumn is well on its way to being over, too. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and now one can walk into any retail store and be overwhelmed with Christmas items and Christmas decorations. TV commercials are all Christmas-oriented, too.
And of course, drive down any street and it’s difficult see the landscape behind the HUNDREDS of political signs asking us to vote for people, some of whom we’ve never heard of before.
But the first Saturday in November is always a special day for me, because it’s always the time for one of the biggest book fairs anywhere. It’s called the Buckeye Book Fair, held in Wooster,Ohio, and there are usually about ninety different authors there, sitting at long tables behind piles of their own books. All of us, by the way, either live in Ohio, USED TO live in Ohio, or write books about Ohio or, like me, write fiction SET in Ohio. I’m told that tomorrow I’ll have five of the 28 books I’ve written stacked up in front of me.
In 23 years, I’ve missed only three years at the Buckeye Book Fair. Two years I didn’t have a new book released, and one year the fair was cancelled. There have been many truly famous authors there to chat with you and sign their books. I’m recalling Senator (then Congressman) Sherrod Brown, Governor (then Congressman) John Kasich, former Secretary of State Alexander Haig (“I am in charge”), legendary White House reporter Helen Thomas, TV celebrity Mike Douglas, and athletes who have written books, including amazing Dodger pitcher Tommy John, the wonderful Lou (“the Toe”) Grosza, and—oh yeah, a guy named Jim Brown, who SOME of you might have heard of!
In addition there are many local Cleveland celebrities who appear at the Book Fair semi-regularly: Fred Griffith and his esteemed chef wife, Linda, who’ve written award-winning cookbooks; Neil “One Tank Trip” Zurcher; sports reporters Terry Pluto and Dan Coughlin; brilliant novelist Mary Doria Russell (“Doc,””The Sparrow”); my fellow crime-writers Casey Daniels, Bob Adamov Amanda Flower and Karen Harper; award-winning children’s writers Angela Johnson and Dandi Daley Mackall; and brilliant “Funky Winkerbean” author/artist Tom Batiuk.
In addition there are historians, artists, writers for children from toddlers up through young adults,and authors who write about every subject imaginable—including quilts,lighthouses, rock music and trail-hiking. Visitors come to the fair from all over Ohio to fill the Christmas stockings of their friends with BOOKS. It’s always been a fun and exciting day for everyone.
I hope if you’re in the neighborhood tomorrow (Nov. 2), you’ll drop in and say hello at the Buckeye Book Fair, held in the Fisher Auditorium OSU/OARDC, 1680 Madison Avenue, in Wooster. We kick things off at 9:30 a.m.and hang around until 4 p.m. I guarantee that if you come by, you will leave with a big smileon your face—carrying an ARMLOAD of terrific books!
See you at The Fair!