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Last weekend, I was honored to be the featured author at The Moveable Feast on Pawley’s Island, SC (which is an hour or so north of Charleston, SC). I read and talked for a while about my books, then sat and chatted with the people I was seated with about books in general. It was great fun. I love any opportunity I can get to connect with readers face to face.

As I was driving home, I kept thinking about what a brilliant, yet simple concept a regular author luncheon is. Every week, a different author comes to town. People sign up in advance if they are interested in listening to that author speak, and the program coordinator books a room in a local restaurant for a luncheon. It is the ultimate ladies-who-lunch event. As a writer of women’s fiction, these are my people. Why don’t more bookstores do this?

As authors, we understand how hard it can be to get opportunities to talk to potential readers in person. Small book stores are also always looking for a way to differentiate themselves from the big retailers, so I would think there would be more programs like this. As an avid reader, I would love an opportunity to interact with authors in a more personal way than sitting at a reading and just listening. My favorite readings are the ones where I get to talk to the author before or after the reading, rather than in a hurried signing line.

Does your community have a way for authors and readers to meet in a casual one-on-one way? Would you attend a luncheon that had a local author speaking at it? Do you go to readings at your local bookstore or library? Would you go to a cocktail hour that featured a local author or poet?

What are your thoughts on clever author events? Do you see any trends emerging in your area?