Traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina from my home in upper East Tennessee, with my best friend of twenty years, to meet author Donald McCaig was an exciting, exhilarating, adventure. Although I was on the road almost 5 hours, (one way), it was a beautiful, crystal clear day — the route to Charlotte took me through the quaint downtown area of Boone, North Carolina, passing Tweetsie Railroad (which I had visited many, many years ago, at the age of three), as well as, several other gorgeous areas that I would love to visit again someday soon.
Arriving in Charlotte the traffic was quite hectic and a bit nerve racking as we were so very unsure of where we were going. Making last minute lane changes, across six lanes of zooming motorists to take the right exit is an experience I hope to never repeat again — however, I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. Finding our way past the Carolina Panthers stadium, the new Target store that appeared to cover at least 2 city blocks and numerous construction sites, we finally made our way into the historic area of town and home to Queens University. The turn of the century, southern mansions were breathtakingly beautiful and made it difficult to concentrate on the traffic and the map. I could have spent hours driving around looking at the architecture on display in this area.
Arriving early at the campus, we parked literally at that front door. However, our excitement about our parking good fortune was short lived as concern mounted when we found no posters or announcements about the event. As the minutes clicked by, my nerves began to get the best of me…as I feared the five hour drive may have been much-ado-about nothing. All was quiet inside the auditorium, as the university choir began practicing in an adjacent chamber room and the sound of their angelic voices drifting throughout the building calmed me somewhat. My best friend and I were in the middle of a conversation about what to do, when a gentlemen inquired about the name of the auditorium and the book signing. Wonderful – we are in the right place…it’s still on…we were just very, very early!
The Queens University campus is very attractive and Dana Auditorium (where the event was being held) was especially classy. This author event was sponsored by Park Road Books– voted Charlotte’s favorite bookstore, twenty years in a row! The owners of Park Road were on hand to set up, prior to the author’s arrival, answer questions and talk with readers. I was disappointed to learn the publisher of Mr. McCaig’s best selling civil war novel “Jacob’s Ladder” would not allow the book to be released to be on-hand at the signing. (So, this wonderful book is still on my wish list.)
I was fortunate to be introduced to Mr. McCaig upon his arrival at the auditorium. I enjoyed talking with several readers that reside in Charlotte and had a special conversation with a couple I hope to remain in contact with. Listening to Mr. McCaig read from Rhett Butler’s People was a real treat and the questions posed by those in attendance were presented in such a warm, welcoming way it felt more like a conversation between friends and that was wonderful. (Southern hospitality.)
Afterward, Mr. McCaig personalized and autographed my copy of his book and stood up to take a few pictures with me before I left for my long drive home. Of course, my route home was all interstate and eliminated many of the quaint cities we had seen on our trip over — but, after 10+ hours on the road and all the excitement, the thing I wanted more than anything was to get home, cuddle up in a comfy pair of pj’s, sip a warm cup of coffee and stretch out.
I can’t wait to see who I have the chance to meet in 2008.
Read Bio: Donald McCaig’s biography
Donald McCaig’s Books (from Alibris)
The story behind Gone With the Wind:
Rhett Butler’s People in the news:
Books by Donald McCaig:
I had planned this adventure for several weeks and must admit I am a bit sad that it is over… It was well worth all the hours on the road –I had the pleasure of meeting several wonderful people, as well as, the honor of meeting and talking with Mr. McCaig. Check back after the first of the year to read my “opinion” of the book.I hope everyone enjoyed reading about my road trip — drop me a note, I love hearing from you!
Happy Reading & Share the Magic!
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