Sunday, August 29, 2010

Suwanee Festival of Books

There's nothing I love more than a good book festival, and during my many years in Los Angeles I was a regular at the Los Angeles Festival of Books and the West Hollywood Book Fair. Georgia, of course, has the Decatur Book Festival (scheduled the same weekend as the legendary Dragon*Con.) But it looks like a number of other places are yearning to put together their own literary celebrations. Yesterday, I had the chance to check out the first annual Suwanee Festival of Books, hosted in the Suwanee Town Center Park.

It was a nice day for it. Rather warm, a little humid, but not overly muggy with a pleasant breeze.

Ah, the familiar sight of book tents!


I popped in briefly to Peter Bowerman's writer's workshop, where he advised hopefuls on "How to be a Well-Fed Writer". He quizzed attendees on ways to maximize their PR. There were audible gasps from the room when he recommended his own personal secret: hiring an intern to handle much of the legwork for you.

I also got a quick look at a presentation by local illustrator Michael Montgomery, who was demonstrating some of his drawing skills at one of the authors' tents.

I was on the lookout for Laurel Snyder (author of Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains, and the recently released Baxter the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher) but didn't see her.  There was plenty going on in the children's area though.  Craft tables manned by local teen beauty pageant winners.  Giveaways from the American Girls doll company.  Pony rides.  Hula-hooping. A special guest visit from Spiderman.  Best of all, I got to talk to R. Gregory Christie, the New York illustrator of Jazz Baby, Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves Deputy U.S. Marshall and Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth as well as many others.  He told me that he is in the area doing research for one of his newest projects.

Considering the heat though, probably one of the most popular attractions was the interactive fountain in Town Square.

This was a pretty impressive effort for the Festival's first year.  Smaller, easier to manage and less crowded than some of the other "big" book festivals out there, I think people were having a really wonderful time.


  1. I was looking for you too!

    Next time, I hope!

  2. Maybe we'll stumble across each other today. I'll probably be over there in the afternoon.
    In the meantime, I'm holding down the fort at the library!



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