by Davida Siwisa James
Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. October 1st will be here before you know it! Our nonprofit, Victor Valley Arts and Education Center, is really thrilled to bring this inaugural book festival to our community. We wanted to cel-ebrate our third year in operation, and so I thought, “Why not a book festival?” Our plan was to showcase our own talented High Desert writers, invite incredible authors at the top of their game to be presenters, and encourage writers from other cities to showcase their offerings.
And guess what? It worked. We have over 35 exhibitors. The City of Victorville graciously welcomed us to become part of their Victorville Fall Festival, now in its 15th year.
We want to encourage you to come out to the festival at 14343 Civic Drive, on the same street as Victorville City Hall. This giant street fair attracts over 15,000 people annually, according to the city. We are right next to the food court.
I know you love books because we are all members of the oldest writing club in the state. So come explore new authors, including many of our own.
Book festivals are a wonderful place. It is my love of the L.A. Times Festival of Books that encouraged me to try to replicate a small version of that here in our hometown. A book festival is one of the rare places where authors of all levels gather to talk about and share their books. It is a unique experience to have a conversation with the author, make a connection, and purchase a signed copy of their book.
Anne Perry is scheduled as our keynote speaker, an international bestselling mystery au-thor with over 27 million books in print. Many of you missed seeing her when she spoke at the club last year. Here’s your chance! In a nearby booth will be Ron Lazenby, a self-published au-thor from Lucerne Valley who writes Westerns. And a couple of booths down will be our own Marilyn King who writes historical romance novels. I loved her book The Winds of Grace. Fred Anderson, the author of Lily Torrence is traveling from Phoenix, Arizona to share his books with us. We have a group from Cal State San Bernardino, “Written by Veterans” that will be exhibit-ing. And, of course, our club will have a booth.
Our noon presenter, Anne Biggs from Clovis, California, just returned from Ireland. She con-tinues her research on the scandalous conditions of the mother-baby homes once run by the Catholic Church in Ireland. Anne is the author of The Swan Garden.
With the help of Barnes & Noble, we have our final presenter–Gini Koch, author of the fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series. And Barnes & Noble will also have a mini store at our festival with lots of books, and over a half dozen children’s authors who will keep the little ones entertained with storytelling.