I am so incredibly lucky to live in a city that takes books and reading very seriously. Our library system rocks really hard, and the Tucson Festival of Books has become the 4th largest book festival in the United States, in only 3 short years!
My bestest girlfriend T (AKA 3girlmum) decided to come out for the weekend from LA, and the two of us crammed in as much as we possibly could in the two short days. First off, we talked a forum friend of ours, Wycked, into coming down from Phoenix with us on Saturday. We spent what seemed like a half hour or so trying to park, but finally made our way over the University of Arizona mall area— the almost half a mile long strip of grass at the center of campus.
We walked around, touring all the hundreds of booths that were set up. Everything from the ereader experience, to the library foundation, to the CSPAN bus, to book retailers were set up in tents, giving away swag, bags, and anything else you can imagine. We met up with Gini Koch, my dear friend for her first signing of the day, then headed over to have lunch with her.
After lunch I was able to get my first book at the event signed, my copy of Jennifer Ashley’s Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage. Jennifer was super great, chatting and signing books with fans over at the Tucson chapter of RWA booth. I also got the chance to run into the great Diana Gabaldon, getting my picture with her as she was surprisingly NOT busy. I even admitted that I feel like I stalk her, since I go see her every time she is in town!!
One of the big things Wyched was looking forward to was the signing by Kim Harrison. We knew the line would be crazy long, so headed over early to stake out a place in line. Whie waiting, we talked briefly with husband and wife authors Weston Ochse and Yvonne Navarro. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them both before, and actually got Yvonne to sign a book for me this go around. I’m looking forward to reading her new UF book, Highborn, first in the Dark Redemption Series.
While Wycked and 3girlmom waited in line for Kim (HOLY HUGE LINE!!), I branched off to meet up with Lorelei Brown before her first panel about epublishing. We found other epublished author Ginny Glass and got the chance to chat with her a few.
By then it was almost time for the only panel we went to on Saturday, talking about the Zombieacopolypse with Weston Ochse, Yvanne Navarro and Jeff Mariotte. Since I’ve met these three before, I knew we would be in for a great time, and they did not disappoint. I laughed so hard my side hurt by the end of the panel. It was great fun!
By the time the panel was over and we chatted a bit after, we were all starving. 3girlmom, Wycked, Gini and I all went out to dinner at the fabulous El Charro, a wonderful Mexican restaurant here in town. The food was great, the drinks were flowing, and the laughs wouldn’t stop. It was a fabulous, fabulous day!
But that was just Day One!! For a recap of Day Two, head over to The BookPushers later this week to find out which great historical romance authors I met, and enter for a chance to win my Tucson Festival of Books contest. It’ll include free signed books, bookmarks, swag, a Kim Harrison nametag and so much more!!