Tucson Festival of Books, Here I Come

I’ve been invited to the Author’s Pavilion at the 2014 The Tucson Festival of Books. Oh yeah. I can’t wait! The TFOB is a literary feast and I am preparing to gorge.

Now, technically this is a business trip. I’ll be signing Gift of the Phoenix in the West Author Pavilion on Sunday, March 16 from 2-4. I’m excited to meet new readers and talk books. Info is right HERE.

However, even though I’m going as a writer, it’s the reader in me that’s really excited. I mean, have you seen the line up of authors? Do you know who’s going to be there?

More than I can list. Here’s the delectable smorgasbord of treats the Tucson Festival of Books is offering up. And that’s just the presenting authors. There’s also other author activities (that’s where you’ll find me) and entertainment. Not to mention vendor booths and food and sidewalks packed with fellow book lovers

Are you pricing flights to Tucson yet? If you need me to sweeten the pot any further, it’s a sunny 75 degrees in Tucson as I write this. I’m just sayin….

When TFOB released the schedule of presenting authors, I curled up with a notebook and gleefully wrote down all the options that interested me, hoping my slot at the Author’s Pavilion on Sunday wouldn’t interfere with anyone I really wanted to see.

It was like picking out truffles at my favorite local chocolate shop. It was like shopping with someone else’s money. It was like 75 degrees at the beginning of March. Pure bliss.

Then I realized that in order to see every author I want to see and attend every panel topic that interests me, I need at least two more clones of myself. And all I did was look at the presenting authors, never mind everything else going on.

So… I’m still figuring things out. Here’s what I know I’m doing FOR SURE:

One or both of the panels with Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak. Her new release, The Impossible Knife of Memory, is on my nightstand and is next up on my list of books to read.

I’m drawn to her kind of YA fiction. Serious fiction. Similar books I love include The Book Thief, Fangirl, Bridge to Terabithia (technically a children’s book, but still), The Fault in Our Stars, The Giver, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (another brilliant childrens book)… you get the idea.

There may be a sub-genre these books fit into, but I don’t know what it is. I simply classify them as brilliant and hard hitting. Put those two elements together, gear them for children or young adults, and I am in love. In fact, this is the kind of fiction I may explore when I’ve finished writing a few key fantasy novels in my head, but that’s a topic for another post.

Anyway, Laurie is on two panels, both on Saturday. One is titled “Don’t Tell Me What NOT to Read,” and the other “Edgy YA – Confronting Difficult Decisions.” I want to attend them both. And probably will.

My other FOR SURE item on the agenda is a Sunday panel with Nancy Turner. She wrote These is My Words, one of my favorite books and one of the few I’ve re-read more than twice.

My real dilemma comes during the Saturday 10am slot. Here’s what I want to attend:

“Rise of the Machines” with Kristen Lamb. A fellow author turned me on to Kristen’s book, which is about how authors can navigate social media and the Internet revolution without losing their souls. If only I’d discovered her book six months ago, I would have been spared the little breakdown that lead to my rant on social media. I’ve only read a few dozen pages of Kristen’s book and I’m already in love. It’d be great to see her in person.

“Building a Mythology,” a panel with Brandon Sanderson. This is right up my alley and it’d be interesting to see what the big-hitters have to say on the matter.

“Conform or Resist: The Giver Quartet” with Lois Lowry. You did see The Giver in my list up there, right? You do see how this all fits in with the panels I want to attend with Laurie, don’t you? I would say to myself, “Self, you don’t need to attend THREE panels on the same general topic, do you? Mix it up a bit!” But this is a direction I can see myself going as a writer. I want to soak it all up and let things germinate in the back of my mind while I continue to work on my fantasy (which I also adore). And how many other chances will I get to see a legend like Lois Lowry??

All three of these things happen at 10 am on Saturday. I have a feeling I’ll be making that decision at the last minute.

Rebecca Eaton, of Masterpiece fame, will also give a few presentations, one of which is all about Downton Abbey.

Have I blogged about Downton Abbey yet? No? Well, it’s only a matter of time. Until then, if you’re a Downton Abbey fan and hang out on Twitter, you’ll see my comments about it over there.

So, yeah, with all this cool stuff going on I tend to forget I get to participate as an author. Which will be amazing.

Know what else is going to be amazing? The post-Festival lounging by the pool. I selected my hotel based almost solely on it’s free Wifi and amazing pool. It’s true.

So, if you’re in the area or heading to Tucson just for the event, stop by and say hello at the Pavilion on Sunday. We can talk books and authors and get all giddy fangirl about Laurie and Lois and Nancy.

Or whoever it is you’re there to see. :)

One thought on “Tucson Festival of Books, Here I Come

  1. Pingback: Don’t Tell Me What NOT to Read | Donna Cook

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