Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rhys Reports from the Tucson Festival of Books

RHYS BOWEN: I'm checking in from the Tucson Festival of Books, a two day extravaganza bringing authors and readers together. Last year's attendance was 150,000 and it attracts some really big name authors. (read on to see who I was signing with!)

There are panels and talks going on all over the U of A campus, ranging from small poetry readings to huge auditoriums. And the kick off event last night was a fabulous reception followed by a concert by the ROCK BOTTOM REMAINDERS.  In case you have never heard of them, they are all famous authors: Dave Barry, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Greg Isles etc etc who get together to play charity events occasionally. They are not the world's best musicians but so much fun.
Here are a couple of candid shots I took from the back of a crowded auditorium (the distance, not the wine i'd had at the reception, explains the slightly shaky shots.) Can you imagine Amy Tan dressed like a dominatrix with whip singing These Boots are Made for Walking?

Today began with a launch party for some writers with new books out this month. J.A Jance, Cara Black, C.J. Box and I represented the mystery genre.
Then we were taken to sign in a circular outdoor area. Judy Jance pointed out the chains to me and told me it was the anchor from the U.S Arizona. After that it felt weird signing books beside something so poignant.

I only had one panel today, in a huge tent. It was on Humor in Mysteries. Lots of wind blowing but a satisfyingly big crowd that kept on growing as we spoke.

But I signed at various bookstore booths with amazing writers.
Here I am at Mostly Books from Tucson with Gail Sheehy
And late in the day found myself sitting next to Joyce Carol Oates!
I'm through for the day now, looking forward to a good dinner and a glass of wine and then much more of the same tomorrow (3 panels plus a booth signing).

Isn't it encouraging to know that so many people care about books?


  1. This all sounds quite lovely . . . hope you have a wonderful time!

  2. What a fantastic event Rhys! No I cannot imagine Amy Tan as a dominatrix:). But you fit right up there with the stars!

  3. This sounds like the kind of rock concert I would love! WOW.

  4. I've been there once, it is such a nice book festival. So many free panels and talks, so many authors, and so many books of all kinds. And the weather is great there for an outdoor event.

  5. Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all! Yes, I _can_ imagine Amy Tan as a dominatrix — a lifetime ago I edited the Rock Bottom Remainders book from Viking/Penguin. I worked with music critic Greil Marcus, who was in the group.

  6. Rhys! SO terrific! And you know, of course, you are most likely featured on Joyce and Amy and Gail's' blogs this morning, right?

    Remember , this makes up a bit for all the difficult writing days, the pressure, and the juggling--right? Big time!

  7. Oh, Rhys, so jealous! I had a great time last year. Sorry I couldn't make it this year. Is it hot? Broiling last year, and I got a little sunburned even though I did wear my sunscreen as instructed!

    Hope you're having a great day today!

  8. The Tucson featival was wonderful. Rhys, Cara Black and Kelli Stanley were fantastic in the penultimate session. The weather was nice, if a bit windy.