Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tucson Festival of Books

My trip to Arizona was all about books. I flew to Phoenix with my friend, Donna, and then we drove down to Tucson. The book festival means friends. We had a birthday dinner with a friend and her guests on Friday night. Saturday, we weren't on the grounds for ten minutes when I ran into a former co-worker and her husband. It's so good to see Arizona friends. Oh, and just to let you know, we left Indiana just before the cold weather settled in, and arrived in Arizona to enjoy sunshine and 90 degrees. Beautiful! And, very much appreciated in March.

While Donna went to a variety of panels, most of the ones I attended were in the mystery field. Some of the panels seemed a little odd, and the panelists struggled to discover what they had in common, other than they wrote mysteries or thrillers. I went to the first one to see a writer who was going to be on the panel I moderated on Sunday.

Darynda Jones, Hester Young, John Sandford

What do Darynda Jones, Hester Young and John Sandford have in common? Well, Jones and Young have some paranormal elements in their books, but Sandford doesn't. He was an excellent storyteller, though.

The moderator of that panel was Lee Harris. She hasn't had a Christine Bennett book out in eleven years, but I read every one of them.

Lee Harris

Following that panel, I headed off to hear Donis Casey and Andrew Gross talk about family and the influence on their books.

Donis Casey
Andrew Gross
Because Terry Shames and I both marked her appearance for the wrong day, we were able to find time to go to lunch together.

Terry Shames
I was able to catch Craig Johnson just as he took his place at Clues Unlimited's booth.

With Craig Johnson
Then Cara Black was kind enough to spend time talking to me about sites I should see in Paris.
With Cara Black

On Sunday, I spent time talking to friends at Desert Sleuths, Sisters in Crime. I went to see Terry Shames and Andrew Gross on a panel. Donna and I caught up with each other when we went to a ticketed event, Lisa See, Christina Baker Kline, and Martha Hall Kelly. A search for gelato led to other friends from Glendale, and I sat with them for a while before heading off to moderate a panel.

I moderated a panel called Deadly Debuts with Gina Wohlsdorf and Hester Young. I'm sure it wasn't easy for them with only two people on a panel.

Hester Young, me, Gina Wohlsdorf

My panel was the last one I attended, but I hurried to another room where I stood in line with Donna to have Craig Johnson sign a book. And, I took a picture of her with Longmire star A. Martinez and Craig.

A. Martinez, Donna, Craig Johnson

Terrific book festival. It's changed some while I was away from Arizona for the last four years. But, it's still wonderful. The organizers do an excellent job, and it runs smoothly.

From Tucson, we headed to Scottsdale for the next few days. More pictures soon!


Jeff Meyerson said...


I do wish A Martinez would get rid of those stupid chin whiskers, though.

Lesa said...

Funny, Jeff. Probably not as long as they're filming Longmire.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

You and Donna had such a good trip! and I am so jealous, but I enjoyed reading all about your good time and seeing all the pictures. I can't wait to hear what Cara recommended, Lesa!

Lesa said...

I took notes, Kaye! Now, she was telling me so many things, I don't know how good the notes are, but more than anything, she recommended little shops down alleyways.

Carol N Wong said...

Wow, it sounds like a lot of fun.

Lesa said...

I love this festival, Carol.

Reine said...

Sorry I missed you! Couldn't find your booth!

Lesa said...

I was actually in a room in the student union on Sunday, Reine. I'm sorry I missed you, too!