Stepping to the stage is: Mary Finley
Can you name an occasion where you’ll get to meet, converse, and enjoy a hearty laugh with exceptional authors like Brenda Hampton, Chris Renee, Justin Amen Floyd, Alex Richardson, and Moses Miller all in the same room? Well, I can because I was there! The OOSA Book Club’s Pajama Jam 2013 was the place and uplifting, affirming, motivating, and having a downright Oosa-tively jammin’ time was the theme for this two-night affair.
This was my initial attendance, but my hopes were high, based on the advertisements and pictures I’d seen on Facebook, and I was not disappointed. On the contrary, this event exceeded my expectations from beginning to end.
Friday night opened with Pillow Talk, a book club meeting hosted by renowned author Brenda Hampton, who greeted me with a smile and warm sisterly hug as soon as I walked into the room. I couldn’t believe it! As the room filled with readers and authors from all over the country, Brenda kept the same cheerful disposition and was hostess extraordinaire during the entire gathering that night. After we mingled, ate some delicious snacks, sat on blankets on the floor, and grabbed one of the many huge, decorative pillows, she introduced all authors present. I felt so privileged to be in that number. There was such a positive and comfortable atmosphere in the room. Although I’d only met them all that night, it didn’t take long for me to feel as if I was surrounded by friends. The novels discussed were Hell House and Who Ya Wit by Ms. Hampton, Tell Me No Lies by Nikki Michelle, and Sin Eaters by Kai Leakes. The views expressed by readers and authors alike were lively, as well as thought provoking. Several prizes were given away including the grand prize of a Kindle Fire. At the end of the night I was totally hyped and ready for Saturday night’s event.
I can’t begin to tell all I want to about Saturday night’s happenings. The ladies of OOSA showed out this year! I’ve never been part of an event you get dressed for bed to attend. When I entered the room and saw all the different, creative, colorful pajamas being worn by a bouquet of beautiful black women, I felt right at home with my sistahs. Scientist Moses Miller set up display to sell and autograph his work in one corner. His table was shared with Justin Amen Floyd, who was the life of the party, to say the least. In the opposite corner, same side of the room, Alex Richardson and Chris Renee were sharing another table where their novels were on display. All four of these authors were so friendly and easy going they mixed right in with the crowd. The dinner tables were all decorated to perfection with an array of edible goodies available on one table in the middle of the room.
Laughter filled the air. After introductions and greetings from the hostesses, we ate a delicious dinner, and the All Things Literary Awards were presented. Then the games began where the four featured authors were each captain of a team and we competed in singing, dancing, charades, and other games that made me feel like a kid again. It was just one huge party. I had so much fun! Regardless to whether an attendee was on the winning team or not, we all left with a parting gift from OOSA Book Club. I just happen to be on the winning team, Team Chris Renee, so I left with two bags of goodies a few hours later, totally exhausted but delighted!
It is always so amazing to me when the Creator gives me a life changing experience that grows me more into the person I am to become. The OOSA Pajama Jam was one of those experiences for me as an author. Bravo, OOSA! I’ll definitely be returning next year.
Mary Ann Finley, a native Oklahoman, has been writing poetry and prose since the age of 8 and thanks God for her gift of creative writing. She is most fond of free style poetry. Mary Ann was nominated for Female Author of the Year 2013 by OOSA Online Book Club's All Things Literary Awards for her first published novel entitled ‘Thicker Than Blood’ (2012), which is available on Amazon.com. The sequel to this novel will be available summer 2014.