The weekend is almost here, and I’m almost ready.
The Tucson Festival of Books is a huge event, held each year in Tucson, Arizona. I’ve heard about it for years and have wanted to attend. But the stars never seemed to be aligned properly to permit it.
Last year about this same time, two of my writing buddies and I drove north to Colorado Springs for the 2013 Left Coast Crime gathering. The Tucson Festival was going on about that same time, so once again I wouldn’t make it. Left Coast Crime is also a really big event and we had a fabulous time. It was my debut as a newly published writer, so I was introduced at the New Authors Breakfast. I was also fortunate enough to secure assignments on two panels on different days, and I had a blast!
I’ve been trying to focus on one or two events like that a year. There are so many conferences, and I’ll probably never get to attend all of them. So it occurred to me if I planned far enough ahead, I could probably do the Tucson festival with relative ease.
Getting there, of course, is always the big challenge. In this case, I had a slight advantage: my husband attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, and that, happily, is exactly where the festival will be held. I laid out my plan to him last summer, and he agreed it would be a great trip. We can attend the Tucson Festival of Books on the weekend, and when it’s over, we proceed to the Phoenix area and visit with three of his kids who live there.
I’ve learned a few things over the past several years about going to conferences. First I knew I must find out all I could about the event, and see how I would fit in. A writing contest was announced and I decided to submit an entry. Then I waited to see what would become of it. The short answer is: NOTHING! I didn’t win, but at least I entered.
In the meantime, I learned about the Authors Pavilion. This is held on The Mall at the University. They will have four different pavilions to accommodate the authors wishing to sign their books. It turns out there are probably twelve hundred people who attend this thing, so competition for one of these slots wasn’t a sure thing. They let us know that as soon as the registration process for the Authors Pavilion opened, we would receive an email. The people who responded first, and paid their fee, would be assigned a two-hour slot in one of these four sections: The West Pavilion, The Central Pavilion, The Children’s Pavilion, and The East Pavilion. I will be signing my mystery, The Easter Egg Murder, at The East Pavilion on Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 11:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m.
I hope huge numbers of people read this post, make notes, and head on out to Tucson, Arizona for this amazing event. When you get there, please come by my table at The East Pavilion during that two-hour window when I’m signing. I’d love to see all of you there!