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POINT OF VIEW: At Pride

Last week I talked about personal pride. This week it’s all about the capital kind of “Pride” – in this case, Davis Pride.

Davis is a college town about 1/2 an hour West of Sacramento. It has an adorable downtown, and at this time of year, lots of college students.

This year, for the first time, our local author group – the Queer Sacramento Authors’ Collective – decided to set up shop there for their pride festival in Central Park.

Kim Fielding, S.A. Stovall, Mike Lopez, Kelly Haworth, and I all ran the booth, with help from my hubby Mark and various other spouses and offspring.

It was a Pride Festival that almost wasn’t. California’s in the midst of a freak May “atmospheric river,” and the second of three storms was due in Saturday and Sunday.

The Davis Pride folks had their shit together, though, and rearranged everything at the last minute to move everyone under the park’s covered pavilion.

It rained cats and dos on the way over, but once the festival started, it almost magically cleared up, and in spite of the dire predictions of the weather forecasters, it ended up being mostly a beautiful day. We even had a bit of sunshine.

The day wasn’t without mishap, though. During the earlier downpour, the canopy in our assigned space got covered in water, and in attempting to clear it I managed to drench myself in cold water.

And later, a spilled mocha took out six of my books. You gotta just laugh and bounce back from these things – I ended up making lemonade out of spilled mocha (is that a thing?) and sold off most of those books for $3 each.

Shami (S.A.) did this amazing thing – she offered to draw a free caricature for anyone who would (in the meantime) start reading one of her books. She extended the offer to all of us other authors, and we sold twenty books by the end of the day – a record for us for one of these events. Even better – every one of us sold at least one book.

There were also acts of kindness. We were on the edge of the pavilion, half under it and half under the aforementioned canopy. The Lavender Library folks called us over after the festival started to let us know the table next to them – fully under the pavilion – was empty, so we picked up and moved our table and soon were happily working the main aisle of the festival.

The college students were out in force, and the place was full of interesting people – from the guy who wanted to know how racy “Fifty Shades of Gray” really was to the adorable eight-year-old girl who came by and asked if she could have some of our free swag, and some more, and who write the books. We had kids and parents and grandparents too, and folks of all different races and creeds.

There were so many folks of all stripes from the LGBTQ+ community there – lots of trans and non-binary festival goers, many lesbian couples, and gay guys – and three Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

For the first time this year, we had professionally printed postcards for the group to give away, and soon we’ll have a spiffy new stand-up sign too.

I want to give a big thank you to Dreamspinner for coming up with a special offer for us to share with all the readers who came by.

It ended up being a great day, and we look forward to next year – and hopefully less rainy weather.

To my author friends – do you participate in your own local Pride events? If so, what do you do to make your booth stand out and to connect to people?