Not long ago I had the privilege of attending the Tucson Festival of Books. It’s the only event I’ve seen that attracts hundreds of thousands of people who share a love of books and reading. Display tents line the University of Arizona mall several rows deep, filled with all kinds of vendors and publishers and booksellers and others, most book-related.
A large meeting room filled to hear a panel discussion featuring Bob Boze Bell, author, illustrator and Executive Editor of True West magazine, and author and retired rancher Alan Day. I filled the third seat at the table. Bell, a raucous raconteur, kept the audience laughing as we three exchanged stories of how our experiences growing up in the West contributed to and affected our writing.
Later, I conducted a workshop on opportunities in and approaches to Western writing for a small group of aspiring authors.
All in all, a worthwhile trip with lots of Arizona scenery and sightseeing stops along the way. Besides, the weather down there was a lot warmer than what we left behind and what we came home to.
If you’re able, plan a visit to next year’s Festival. A full slate of lectures, panel discussions, books signings, and other presentations by authors of every type of book imaginable, including writers who are household names. If you love books, you’ll love the Tucson Festival of Books.