NIBB 2017 or I’m not Rae Matthews…

The authors of NIBB2017, stolen from the BFbookies!
Way in the back, you can see me trying to put distance between Erik and I.


Well, I’m back from the North Iowa Book Bash and rested. Okay, not fully recharged yet, that’s going to take at least a week. If you’ve ever attended the immense party, Micki, Rachel, and Lori—with a ‘little’ help from their volunteers—put on, you understand where I’m coming from.

Where to start… I wanna fill you in on everything, but much of it is a blur!

This has to abso-freakin’-lutely be my favorite event. It’s small enough that you’re not totally lost in the crowd, but big enough that there’s something for everyone. It’s the Goldilocks of events. As a writer, I get to see old friends and make new ones, both other writers and readers. As a reader, I get to fangirl out over my favorite authors and fill my ‘to be read pile’ with new authors.

As most of you know, my favorite things to do is meet my readers. Even better? I get to introduce them to authors I love. Guess it’s my years of working in a small library taking over, making book suggestions was my favorite part of the job. I also love getting suggestions. I have so little time to read for pleasure, I want to spend it reading really good stories.

Meeting Monica and Lea was completely off the charts awesome! With a twinkle in her eye, Monica proceeded to tell me she’d won the first three Fey Creations books in a charity auction. As if my heart wasn’t singing enough, she also confessed to ordering and reading the fourth. And even better, she’d been sharing them with others. You guys have no idea how it makes me feel to hear that you LIKE my crap! Topping this off was the announcement that Lea had won one of the Kindle drawings, talk about making my day. I’m so glad they agreed to document the occasion with a picture, something I will cherish forever.

Lea & Monica rock!

In the crush of readers, Laurel circled back and managed convince me she needed a book, guess she didn’t want to share with her mother. She also snagged reading material from Tammy—Tambo—Jones and Aaron Bunce.

Total book lover!

I managed to get Annika Martin—a.k.a. Carolyn Crane—to sign my copy of Mind Games. It’s amazing what happens when you follow someone around and whine enough. Not getting a picture with her is a huge fail on my part, maybe I can catch her at another event. I’ll probably have to go in disguise…

Many of my writer clan were in attendance. The always professional, Dennis Green—I could spend hours talking to Popcorn. I try not to stand too close to the prettier than me, Aaron Bunce and Erik Therme. The goddess of dark and twisted, Tammy—Tambo—Jones, dubbed me her ‘punk-ass-bitch-writer-bestie.’ Seriously, how cool is that title! I finally got to meet Craig Hart in person. I got to spend time with the woman who can juggle more in a day than I can in a year, Savannah Verte. Slap me back to the 1950’s, Cassie Leigh was lucky enough to get out of sharing a table with me this year. And the almost famous, Michael Koogler had the honor of sitting across from me.

The most hysterical moment of the day went something like this…

Lady approaches my table: I’m here to see Rae Matthews.

Me, more than a little confused: I’m not Rae Mathews.

Lady’s grin widens: I know, you’re A.R. Miller, but I’m here to see Rae Matthews.

I’m wishing I’d printed out one of the seating charts: I think she’s over there.

Lady’s head swivels as I wave a hand toward the center of the room: Okay, thank you.

As we file out for lunch, I turn around and glance at the name tag of the woman behind me: I’m NOT Rae Matthews.

Dark-haired beauty in the silver, take-me-now pumps: Huh?

Fighting to keep a straight face, I proceed to tell the ‘real’ Rae Matthews the story. This little story led to an afternoon of tomfoolery and discussions about Rae’s knitting abilities. Maybe next year she’ll do some classes! And yes, I pilfered this photo from her Facebook feed, but I’m in it, so she was asking for it…

A momentary lapse of professionalism with Tambo & the ‘real’ Rae Matthews!

Gosh, this is getting long—heck, it’s almost longer than one of my books—but before I go, I NEED to thank Micki, Rachel, and Lori for making me feel like ‘kinda a big deal in Iowa!’ And oh, yeah, the honorary prize, think it will become my new drinking vessel at signings. Without you ladies, I would never have met such awesome people and had such a great time. Much love to all three of you and your volunteers!

Can’t wait till #NIBB2018! Here’s hoping you can make the jaunt to Clear Lake, Iowa next year, ‘cause I wanna hang with you too!