Sunday, March 16, 2014

Debs Reporting from the Tucson Festival of Books

DEBORAH CROMBIE:  I arrived in Tucson, Arizona, yesterday for my first visit to the Tucson Festival of Books. The festival is only six years old, but already has 120,000 attendees, 1800 volunteers, and more authors than you can shake a stick at. I can't begin to name all the wonderful writers here in all genres, so have a look at the festival website. I think every author who comes wants to come back, so I can imagine the riches growing and growing.

As I can't begin to describe all the activities, I'm going to throw out a few of my pictorial highlights.

Here's the view from my hotel room before last night's event, a literary fundraising author's reception and dinner.

The Girls' Fab Four at the pre-dinner reception: Cara Black, yours truly, Libby Fischer Hellman, and our RED Rhys Bowen.

Wonderful writers Bryan Gruley and Steve Hamilton.

A fuzzy shot of Rebecca Eaton, producer of PBS's Masterpiece Theater, who was the keynote speaker. She was fabulous.

Today's Bloody Murder panel with me, moderator Patti O'Brien, G.M. Malliet, and Jenn McKinlay.

Our best audience, Kendall, our friend Reine Carter's assistance dog. You know we were fascinating!

Kendall giving me a kiss!
Loaning my festival cap to author Brandon Sanderson during our afternoon signing. The sun was fierce!

A little more evening fun--a festival sponsored reception for the authors. With William Kent Krueger, G.M. Malliet, Susan Shea, and Terry Shames.

Kent and I sport our festival caps!

Another panel and more signings tomorrow, and then I'll be sorry to say goodbye to Tucson. 

I hope everyone had as great a weekend, and it was great to be warm!

A last but not least bit of JRW business--here are the 5 winners of Peter Swanson's The Girl with a Clock for a Heart. Winners, please email me your mailing addresses at deb at deborahcrombie dot com and I'll forward them to Peter.

And here I quote Peter:

Joan Emerson, for being first
James Montgomery Jackson, because he gets up at five AM
Kathy Reel, because she's posing with a statue
Denise Ann, because she was up front about wanting to win the book
Beverly Fontaine, because she says there is no such thing as reading too much


  1. Kendall asked if he could wear a star on his Power Paws bandana! I love that picture of him giving you a kiss! xoxo

  2. Wow . . . this sounds like an absolutely amazing festival. The pictures are wonderful and Kendall certainly seemed to be having a great time!

  3. Isn't that the best book festival? Not only 4,000 authors, but it's held largely outdoors. It's a great party.

    Thanks for sharing the photos! I'm envious of Kendall's smooch, by the way.

  4. Debs, it sounds like you are having a wonderful time at the Tucson festival of books. Did you meet Penny Warner? She wrote the Connor Westphal mystery series, I loved her books. I met Rhys Bowen when she and Penny Warner appeared at the local bookstore some years ago.

    Wish I could be there at the festival. Love the photos ~ thank you for sharing.

    Congratulations to the five winners of Peter Swanson's The Girl with a Clock for a Heart. I received my first ARC ever a few weeks ago. It was the ARC for Forever Girl by Alexander McCall Smith and I loved it.

    Look forward to more photos and stories from the festival of books in Tucson.


  5. Having fun in Tucson, although having long busy days of panels and signings. Deb and I pass in the hospitality suite like ships in the night, but seeing lots of friends from the mystery community. Off to do the same today.

  6. What a wonderful festival! This looks like just too much fun. Oh, how I wish I could go to every festival that looks like it's this much fun.

  7. The sunshine looks warmer than ours.

  8. I realized I wrote this as if it were last night, which it was, and that you would be reading it today, so a bit confusing. The fundraising dinner was Friday night, the other pics from yesterday, and off in a bit for the last panel and signings.

    If anyone wants to go to a book festival, this is the one!

  9. Would love to attend and get books signed and meet authors!! Hope you will let us know next year's dates and place!

  10. Really does sound like a lot of fun. Enjoy the final day.

  11. Debs, I was so excited that my friend Jim Wilson from Tucson told me he met you and mentioned that he and I had been friends since childhood. I had told him to seek you and Rhys out if he had a chance. He's involved with the theatre group in Tucson, and a show was going on this weekend, so he had limited time. His partner, Adam Conrad Hostetter won the writing contest at last year's festival. I'm thinking I really need to do that visit to Jim during next year's festival.

    The pictures with Kendall are delightful. You both seem so happy to see each other. Reine, I think Kendall is gaining many admirers. We might have to form a fan club. Wonderful that you and he were at the festival enjoying it all.

    Rhys and Debs, your presence alone is worth attending the festival, but then you add on all the other authors I see, and, wow, it may well be the festival to go to, as Debs says. I hope you all are enjoying your last day there today. Kaye, I, too, wish I could attend every festival. I think if I had unlimited funds, I would make a life out of attending book festivals.

    1. Kendall and I just left the bookstore on our way to see Debs, Jeri Westerson, and Jenn McKinlay. On the way out the door we heard a slight commotion and turned around to see what it was. Several people were looking and pointing at us... "That's Kendall!"

  12. Oh Debs, I want to be there--it looks like so much fun! thanks for the report xo

  13. Would love to see more photos. Loved all of the photos posted from the festival of books.