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February 9, 2020

Super Book Weekend: Notes from the Field


The last weekend of January, I was lucky enough to join 19 other authors and over 150 avid readers aboard the Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach, CA for the first ever Super Book Weekend, hosted by Adventures by the Book. Organizers Susan McBeth, Kathie Bennett and Robin Hoklotubbe kicked off the weekend with a sunset cocktail party at nearby Signal Hill Public Library, where the authors shared their love of libraries.

The next morning, in the ship’s elegant Queen’s Salon, historical fiction author/opera virtuosa Kate Quinn offered up a rousing rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Susan Meissner’s keynote included a history of the ship and her personal connection to it, and Mary Alice Monroe gave a moving speech that invoked the “soul-searching connection” between writers and readers.

The authors took up her charge during the panels, which were both personal and hilarious. The sibling teams of Lee and Tod Goldberg and Attica and Tembi Locke brought down the house, as did Beatriz Williams and Karen White. The day attracted writers of all genres and styles, including Kristina McMorris, Cassandra King Conroy, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Gregg Hurwitz, Colleen Oakley, J. Ryan Stradal, Kristin Harmel, Michelle Gable, Jan Moran and Jasmin Darznik.

On Saturday evening, a gang of intrepid authors headed to the ship’s engine room in search of ghosts (apparently the Queen Mary is haunted with scads of poltergeists), then retreated to the Observation Bar to drink away our disappointment. Attendees left energized and loaded down with books --- a true sign of success --- and excited about what next year may bring.

- Click here to see photos from the event.

- For more info, visit