Over the last several years collecting bookmarks signed by authors and illustrators whom I have met at the Tucson Festival of books has become my passion. I also have had the privilege to moderate author panels, which offers me many opportunities to add to my collection. This year I snagged more than 30 signatures!
My first autograph was from legendary Goosebumps author R. L. Stine! I told him that I wished his books had been around when I was a kid, since there was not much out there at the time for young readers of horror. I also told him that during our teen author interview training, we used a clip from his interview of a few years ago. He revealed that his son would charge his classmates a fee to have his father use their name as a character in a book, one who was assuredly going to have an untimely death!
Throughout the weekend, I had the opportunity to meet many other authors and get signatures - Luis Alberto Urrea, J. A. Jance, Jacqueline Woodson, Bob Staake, Sam Sykes, Elizabeth Gunn, Peter Reynolds, and Tucson's very own Adam Rex to name a few. I also was delighted to see Sarah Cortez, who was on my very first author panel. We reminisced about how nervous I was, and how it all went so well.
I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing four amazing authors and illustrators this year: Margarita Engle, Maya Christina Gonzales, Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford, and Rafael López. Their work has been recognized with the prestigious Pura Belpré award. In addition to bookmarks they all personally signed books for my home library.
Signed bookmarks in the photo include: R. L. Stine, David Fitzsimmons, Paulo Bacigalupi, Luis Alberto Urrea, Daniel José Older, J. A. Jance, Jacqueline Woodson, Billy Collins, Rafael López, Mark Greaney, Walt Gragg, Jacob Devlin, Zoraida Córdova, Bob Staake, Alan Grantz, Michel Stone, Edgardo Mirand-Rodrigo, Sam Sykes, Scottie Jones, Sarah Cortez, Elizabeth Gunn, Marina Martindale, Jonathan Eig, Michael Perry, Margarita Engle, Kristine Kollasch, Peter Reynolds, Maya Christina Gonzalez, Leta Judge, Adam Rex, and Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford.