It’s been almost two weeks since Coastal Magic wrapped up it’s second year as a virtual event, and 10th year as a real live thing that I made!! I still can’t believe that ten years have gone by since we gathered for “Olde City, New Blood” in that unfortunate hotel on St. Augustine beach. I still remember so much about that weekend, the really great parts, and the not so great parts. One of the highlights was the “Dating Game”, where authors answered questions “as” their characters! So much fun! I learned a lot from that first weekend. Not the least of which was how amazing the book community can be. ❤
Recent years have been much different – and I hope, much improved – from that first year. Our little community has grown, and we’ve created some amazing memories. 🙂 Despite the circumstances, I think even our virtual events have given us a special way to connect. If you were able to join us for this year’s programming — THANK YOU! I hope you had fun! If you missed our discussions, games, and other shenanigans — you can watch most everything via replay on our Facebook page, or on our YouTube channel. Links can be found on the schedule page, HERE.
I posted my dedicated “thank yous” for this year on social media, but wanted to share them here as well, in case anyone missed them.
The “thank you” part of wrapping up each year’s Coastal Magic is one of my favorite things. You might think that planning a virtual event is much easier than an in-person event. In some respects, it is. But there are challenges that you just don’t even imagine until you’re “in the thick of it”. This year we had 16 panel discussions, 10 activities/games, 12 individual author Q&As, live book signing chats, a writer workshop, and a 1985 themed murder mystery game!! The people who support Coastal Magic, and me, even in these strange times are absolute rock stars. The fact that we’ve been doing this together for 10 years now is absolutely mind-blowing! This little shindig that I had to be talked into putting together has become a real community of people who care about each other, support each other, and look forward to their time together every year. Every single author who has participated during one (or more) of our weekends… every single reader who’s come across the country (or signed on to their computer) to hang out with fellow booklovers… each of you has made Coastal Magic Convention something I’m so, so proud of, and something I’m happy to be sharing with all of you.
I hope you all realize how special you are, and how very thankful I am for each of you.
My first specific thank you is to our incredible lineup of Featured Authors. Considering the focus of this event has always been to bring readers and authors together for a fun weekend, we literally could not do this without you. But more than that… your genuine excitement for the weekend, your generosity with your time, and your patience while I turned things upside down and a little bit backwards for this year is appreciated more than you know. Thanks for chatting with us, playing along and being ridiculous, and for stepping in when I needed help. Thanks for taking time away from your own family and deadlines to spend time with us. Some of you have been active since June, and others focused attention on the convention weekend, proper – either way, our readers have loved all of their time with you.
The next set of thank yous for all they did during the lead up to this year’s Coastal Magic, and on the weekend proper, are our Featured Bloggers and the Reading Challenge group. Two very specific groups who impacted the convention is tremendous ways.
Our Featured bloggers spent months doing spotlights with our authors and sharing the news and updates about the event. Their help in making sure their readers know about the Coastal Magic helps us grow a little more every year, and their assistance during the planning stages of things is invaluable.
Definitely check out their blogs, they have great things to share.
The Reading Challenge group is an actual bookish force of nature. 100%. Their dedication to the event, and to spotlighting our authors and supporting each other (even though they’re all trying to out-read each other in friendly competition) is amazing. Between June and February they read AND reviewed 1235 books by our Featured Authors – read 286,875 pages – and many read at least one book by each of the 52 authors on our original 2022 lineup!! Not only that – they’ve created their own community-inside-a-community and declared themselves the Coastal Magic Convention street team, LOL! Leading the group and giving more time and effort to the event than I can measure – huge thanks, as always, to Dolorianne. I can’t express how much I, and Coastal Magic as a whole, appreciate all the Reading Challenge group adds to our event.
My last dedicated, sincere thank you goes to our amazing readers/“attendees”. Coastal Magic only works when you are active and engaged. And to my genuine delight, you’ve been active and engaged for 10 years now.
I love your enthusiasm for our authors. I love your interest in discovering new books and authors to read. I love the community you’ve built with each other. I love your silliness, and willingness to be silly with all the rest of us. I love your feedback every year, in an effort to make each Coastal Magic exactly what we want and need it to be. Thank you for your patience as the last few years have turned our weekend on its head a bit. Thank you for still showing up, even in little computer screen boxes that are far from the “beachside reader weekend” I promise in our tagline.
Thank you for supporting Coastal Magic. Thank you for supporting me. Just, thank you.