Growing my collection at the 2024 Tucson Festival of Books

This blog is authored by Toby W., Joel D. Valdez Main Library

I recently celebrated my tenth-year moderating author panels at the Tucson Festival of Books (TFOB), and collected nineteen books and more than 30 bookmarks signed by authors and illustrators!  This adds to my collection of dozens of signed books and more than 150 bookmarks that I have obtained over the years.  I have met many authors and illustrators at TFOB and presented many library programs and author talks.  It is a thrill to read and discuss the books with their creators, and a great pleasure and honor having them autographed!

At my TFOB Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror panel discussion “Do Cell Phones Ruin Everything?”, authors Liz Kerin, David R. Slayton, Seth Dickinson, and Jonathan Maberry had a spirited discussion about how to utilize technology to create suspense in fiction writing.  It became a debate team type of discussion! Different scenarios and situations were considered using various techniques to create thrilling and riveting scenes, while progressing the narrative and character development.  Please check out some titles of my panel authors and other authors from the Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror panels in this book list:

Growing My Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror Collection at TFOB

List created by PimaLib_TobyW

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In addition to the panelists that I interviewed, I sought out other authors and illustrators to request signatures.  Local children’s author Adam Rex hosts an annual Draw-Off, where illustrators of picture books create drawings, taking cues from kids in the audience.  It is always a lively and hilarious program (my favorite hour at TFOB!), and I always look forward to seeing Adam each year and meeting the panelists. They also sign my books and bookmarks, many of which they decorate with mini sketches!

I was most excited to meet Caldecott medal winning author/illustrator Brendan Wenzel! In addition to being on the panel for the Annual Draw-Off, Brendan presented an illustrator workshop that I attended.  He showed his technique and talents in both painting and drawing, a combination he will use for his upcoming picture book, Two Together.

Check out some of Brendan's amazing picture books along with Draw-Off authors and illustrators in this book list:

Growing My Picture Book Collection at TFOB

List created by PimaLib_TobyW

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I also had the great pleasure of engaging with authors from previous festivals.  I seem to run into Festival regular Luis Alberto Urrea every year and have many TFOB bookmarks that he’s signed for me. I also saw Gregory McNamee, editor and selector for Southwest Books of the Year, sportswriter Joe Posnanski and cultural critic Fredrik DeBoer.

When I met author Steven Rowley, I told him that I read The Guncle for our Pride Team’s Rainbow Reads discussion last year.  He introduced me to his husband, Byron Lane. I heard about Byron from the acknowledgements in their books. Bryan had proposed to Steven in the acknowledgments of his book A Star is Bored, and Steven accepted in the acknowledgements of The Guncle! 

Check out some of the books from these interesting authors and panelists in this book list:

Growing My Bookmark Collection at TFOB List created by PimaLib_TobyW

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