Capitol of Texas, undergoing renovation.
Well, the 15th Texas Book Festival is in the bag and, once again, a tremendous celebration of authors and literature from around the nation, and fund-raising for Texas libraries.
Friday night, Cyn and I picked up Heather Brewer and Andrea Cremer from their hotel and took them to the children and YA author reception at Clay Smith's. It was a festive occasion, with catering from Maudie's and a frozen margarita machine on the patio. We ran into Austinites Don Tate, Varian Johnson, Brian Yansky, April Lurie, Emma Virjan, Jennifer Ziegler, Chris Barton, K.A. Holt, Margo Rabb, Liz Garton Scanlon, Jo Whittemore, and P.J. Hoover. We also chatted with Ingrid Law, Laurie Halse Anderson, Cinda Chima, Matt de la Pena, and others.
Saturday morning, we attended the panel "Century Before Last: Three Novelists Channel the 1800s," with Deborah Noyes, Robin Oliveira, and Ann Weisgarber. We learned about how the three research the past and dive into their respective eras.
We also hit Ann Angel's session on Janis Jolin: Rise Up Singing, introduced by P.J. Hoover. The session was entertaining and provided new insights about the Austin icon.
Finally, that afternoon, we attended the panel, "True Grit: Kids with Chutzpah," with Carolyn Cohagan, Lisa Railsback, and Sara Pennypacker, and moderated by Bethany Hegedus. The discussion focused on giving characters attitude and courage, and was lively and informative.
Carolyn, Ingrid, Me, Brian, and Cinda.
The panel I moderated, "Portals to Imagined Worlds," with Brian Yansky (Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences); Ingrid Law (Scumble); Carolyn Cohagan (The Lost Children); and Cinda Williams Chima (The Exiled Queen: A Seven Realms Novel), got Sunday off to a terrific start. The discussion was fun and funny and substantive; and the room was packed. Among other things, it was established that none of the panelists outline, although they do try to get character and voice first.
Later that afternoon, Cyn performed HOLLER LOUDLY in the Read Me a Story tent while I introduced M.T. Anderson. He talked about the perils of writing about the mysterious interior of Delaware and how he, himself, is not much of a traveler.
M.T. Anderson and Liz Garton Scanlon.
After signing, we wandered down Congress Avenue where we ran into Jennifer Ziegler, Matt de la Pena, April Lurie, Varian Johnson, and Amy Rose Capetta and had a drink at the Stephen F. Austin. And then we crashed.
Many thanks to everyone who's worked to make the book festival a success all these years!
For more recaps: Cynthia Leitich Smith; Jennifer Ziegler; Don Tate.
Also, check out the article in the Dallas Morning News!