Monday, November 02, 2009
Texas Book Festival
In honor of the book festival, the Statesman had an article on Saturday about the Austin writing scene.
Our goings-on this year began at the Children's Author and Moderator party graciously hosted by Clay Smith, literary director of the festival.
After much Tex-Mex and one or two libations...
Me: Is the very tall blonde woman whose name tag says "Jane Smiley" THE Jane Smiley?
Cyn: I don't know, why don't you go and ask her.
Later, while I was in conversation with Jacqueline Kelly and a gentleman from PW, Jane Smiley approached, and I blurted, "Hi! I love Moo!" Jacqueline Kelly also expressed admiration for that book, although much more serenely. So, anyway, Jane Smiley was very gracious as we talked about humor and horses and writing...
Next morning, Cyn and I went over to the Capital and ran into Ken and Kathi Appelt in the green room (author reception)
At noon, we attended the Small Town Girls panel with Jill S. Alexander, author of The Sweetheart of Prosper County; Heather Hepler, author of The Cupcake Queen; Jacqueline Kelly, author of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate; and Diana Lopez, author of Confetti Girl. All offered fun insights into their writing and writing processes.
Later, was the Deals with the Devil: Writing about Faustian Bargains, with Cyn and Daniel and Dina Nayeri, authors of Another Faust. The discussion, led by moderator, April Lurie, ranged from literary antecedents to, well, Faustian bargains, and what teens look for in fiction. Daniel and Dina, whom we met for the first time, are smart and fun. You should go out and read their book, even though Daniel is a Sooners fan.
After the signing, Cyn, April, Daniel, Dina, our author escort, and I headed out for an early dinner at El Chile on Congress. Margaritas and chile rellenos were excellent, as was the conversation. After taking the Nayeris through the lobby and bar at the Driskill Hotel, Cyn and I called it a night.
Sunday morning, we got up early to have brunch with Anita Silvey, whom Cyn had met up in Vermont last summer. We had a lovely time at Moonshine, where we all ate far too much :-). Conversation ranged through a variety of publishing-related topics and we all agreed that sunlight seems to make people more optimistic. :-).
Cynthia attended the Ouch! That Hurts panel featuring Libba Bray, author of Going Bovine; Jessica Lee Anderson, author of Border Crossing; and Sara Zarr, author of Once was Lost; while I concurrently attended Anita's talk on her new book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book. Insights from prominent personages were both surprising and gratifying.
After the signings in the signing tent, we all (and with the addition of Erin Edwards and Emily from Book People) wandered down Congress Avenue for dinner at Roaring Fork in the Stephen F. Austin Hotel. Food and conversation were, again, outstanding.
More photos to come. Also, check out Cyn's blog for her take on the event.