WHERE AUTHORS AND READERS COLLIDE

 

Over 100,000 lovers of all things written descend upon Tucson every spring. Authors, readers, publishers. There is something for everyone!

Over 100,000 lovers of all things written descend upon Tucson every spring. Authors, readers, publishers. There is something for everyone!

My favorite weekend of the year is the second weekend in March. I look forward to it the way kids look forward to Christmas morning. Over 100,000 people who love books descend upon Tucson, Arizona to meet authors, attend presentations and panels, browse book-related gifts, and enjoy what is usually perfect weather.

I’ve been attending this festival for seven years, missing only the first year because I hadn’t heard about it. I’ve gotten to talk with, shake the hands of, or just listen to many of my favorite authors. I stood in a long line for a long time on different occasions to listen to Larry McMurtry, Nancy Turner, Richard Russo and Luis Alberto Urrea. I boughta copy of Deadwood and got to chat with Pete Dexter while he signed it. That was after listening to this delightfully interesting and curmudgeonly talk for over an hour (don’t mention the HBO version of Deadwood or Alec Baldwin. Ever).

Richard Russo and Luis Alberto Urrea at the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books. I waited in line for 90 minutes - worth it: got a front-row seat!

Richard Russo and Luis Alberto Urrea at the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books. I waited in line for 90 minutes – worth it: got a front-row seat!

Workshops and panels cover every topic under the sun, every genre of writing, every form of writing. Literature, romance novels, mysteries, crime, historical, western, young adult (there is a huge section just for kids), memoir, science, biography, history. It’s all there. And it’s all free.

This year I had the added pleasure of actually being one of the participating authors. I got to sell and sign my newly released novel Chasm Creek in the central Author Pavilion for a couple of hours. I was in heaven. I made friends with the couple at the next table. I talked to a lot of folks and handed out a lot of book marks. Friends came by (and bought books – thank you!)

I signed and sold CHASM CREEK in the Phoenix Publishing and Promotion booth both mornings. The booth featured authors from Phoenix - fiction and nonfiction.

I signed and sold CHASM CREEK in the Phoenix Publishing and Promotion booth both mornings. The booth featured authors from Phoenix – fiction and nonfiction.

One of the highlights for me is getting together with a large community of authors, fellow students, and friends for Saturday night dinner at the Blue Willow restaurant. This year, twenty of us filled up the entire back end of the patio. Fun and friendship!

If you live in Arizona or would like to plan a wonderful vacation (sunshine, temperatures in the 80s, gorgeous scenery, friendly people), mark the second weekend in March in your planning calendar. You won’t be sorry.

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6 comments

  1. David Waid · · Reply

    The festival is fantastic. All the more so when you are there promoting your novel and signing copies…a la Chasm Creek. Congratulations, Trish!

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  2. Thanks, David! It was a wonderful weekend (as always). So glad to see you there, thank you for taking my picture (I didn’t even give you credit – sorry), and next year you’ll be signing copies of your novel. I’m sure of that!

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  3. K Dorman · · Reply

    Thanks, Trish. I will certainly be there next year. Sounds awesome.

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  4. Plan on it. Second weekend in March. Maybe next year we’ll fill up the entire patio at the Blue Willow!

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  5. charmibee · · Reply

    As usual the festival was AWESOME. Trish, you did a thorough review of the event, I limped around post-surgery with my walker, and still was glad I attended (though I now have an appreciation of what it is like to be on “wheels”). Okay, now that you’ve revealed how super this event is, the lines will be even longer! (Newcomers, Just keep an eye on the website and find out how/when to get free tickets to the big events). Congratulations, Trish, on being a part of the event–you are running with the “big dogs” and deserve to be.

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  6. Thank you! It is an event that grows every year and I think they’re doing a fine job of trying to find ways to deal with the crowds. It does require much planning ahead of time, but they provide all the info needed on the webpage. It was good to see you there, and I know next year will be easier for you.

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