Post Event Wrap Up – In The Land of Cotton

We’re back in North Carolina after a whirlwind week in Mississippi.  We left last Friday, February 17th at 5:00 a.m. and arrived in Holly Springs around 4:30 p.m. CST.  It’s a day long ride down through South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and then into MS, but since I have a passion for these states known as the Deep South, what better route is there?

Now I’m back home, I want to share about the events I had to promote THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE.  There were three – one with Square Books, which had been planned for about four months, and the others (newspaper and radio interviews) came in because of that – which was great – I loved being able to make the most of the time I had there!

The first event was on Saturday, a newspaper interview with Sarah Smith of The Daily Mississippian.  The Daily Mississipian is a paper run by the students at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, otherwise known as Ole Miss.  For those Rebel followers, we all know the chant used during football games, and for those who don’t, this is the history of “hotty toddy, gosh almighty!”

The newspaper has been in print/circulation since 1911, and is entirely run by the students at the school.  Sarah met me at The Southern Eatery in downtown Holly Springs.  It was a relaxed and easy-going conversation and Sarah came prepared with great questions.  I got a sweet tea, and she ordered water.  I coerced her into letting me buy her a dessert after the fact (chocolate pie!) once the interview was over.  I got some too  – and a banana pudding.

Me, and Sarah Smith, of The Daily Mississippian

Here is the interview, done in typical journalism fashion, with lots of quotes.  I swear I never know if I made sense after the fact, but Sarah made sure to write it as if I did.  After the interview, it was my mother in law’s birthday, so we celebrated by going out to eat – and yes, I had CATFISH.  Notice the liberal dash of pepper on that coleslaw.  This was in Red Banks.  We were supposed to go eat in Byhalia, but the place was jam packed and more coming in the door every second, with a thirty minute wait.

Don’t judge catfish until you eat it in MS!

Sunday and Monday were supposed to be relaxing days.  Unfortunately, because of my Little Dog’s previous bout with pancreatitis (recently diagnosed, and treated six weeks before) the stress of the trip caused a flare up.  So, on Sunday, off we went to the vet.  And yep, he got another bout of it, and yep, he had three shots, and yep, that meant the rest of the week, I had to “wrangle” with him twice a day to shoot some nasty medicine down his throat.  I felt so bad for him!  Other than hating that, he recovered nicely and ate like a horse most of the time.

Little dog on the back deck in Holly Springs

Monday was truly a rest day.  Yay!

THE BIG EVENT, the one I’d been anticipating since November was finally here on Tuesday, February 21st.  For those who write and dream, this was absolutely a dream come true.  Something like four or five years before, when I was standing in Square Books, the owner, Richard Howorth was there and my MIL mentioned that I’d written a book.  At that time, I think I had my agent, but of course, the book had not sold yet.  I won’t ever forget what Mr. Howorth said, “well, maybe one day we’ll see you here.”

And, look – that happened.

A REAL pinch myself moment here!

This photo was actually after the “official” event at Off Square Books, the location where they host authors.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking about the actual event itself:

Wheee! I’m on “the chalkboard!”


My in-laws, Shirley and John Cottrell, who helped make it a huge success!

Trying not to look nervous – except notice the death grip I have on myself.

To sit…or to stand, that is the question.

About to start – did I sit? Or stand?

I stood! (to allow for nervous pacing, of course)

Before I knew it, it was all over.  I’ve never had an hour go by so fast.  Square Books had me sign all of their inventory, and then, off we went to eat at Ajax Diner.

The very next day, we had to get on the road around 9:30 CST to head to Memphis TN for the radio interview with WYPL, 89.3.  I found out from the show’s producer their station is syndicated – wow!  More coverage for Dixie Dupree in Arkansas, Colorado and Ohio.

I spent about an hour there, from 11:00 to 12:00 or so, and after I finished the interview, we had to get takeout from Corky’s of course!  You can’t go to Memphis and skip the barbecue!

That was Wednesday, which left Thursday and Friday to recover – literally – because somewhere along the way I also picked up a COLD.  It’s not a bad one, just enough of a bother to make me feel off kilter.

That said, since my father in law was a judge for about thirteen years in the field trial championships, he, my MIL and my husband headed to the Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, Tennessee on Friday where they saw the presentation of the National Championship award to the best bird dog for this year’s Bird Dog Field Trials.  Here are a few shots taken of Ames Plantation and the winning dog, Lester’s Sunny Hill Jo.

The horse palace, I mean barn.

A very old cedar tree!

Official photo of winner!

Lester’s Sunny Hill Jo – beautiful dog.

Historic Ames Plantation, circa 1847.

I’ll be hunkering down to pick up where I left off with my writing now this is behind me.  I had all good intentions of working on my latest project, but I managed to only nit-pick at it while I was gone.

All in all, this was such a wonderful trip, with not only a lot of great exposure for the book, but, a nice visit with family and friends.

I wish I could go back and do it all over again. 

I’ll be sure to post the link for the “Book Talk” interview when it airs – I think that will be sometime around late March.




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