Wednesday, April 13, 2016

LA Times Festival of Books

Last weekend I attended the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books held on the campus of my alma mater, the University of Southern California. According to the Times, over 150,000 people attended the two day event. I’m not sure where they got their figures since no ticket is required to enter the festival grounds. I assume there’s some sort of estimating going on.

Tommy Trojan

The event is free. Tickets are required for the indoor panels, or conversations as I heard them called, but there’s no charge. You can get tickets on campus, but I recommend reserving your space ahead of time since some panels sell out fast. If you reserve online, there’s a nominal $1 per ticket processing fee. Quite a bargain IMO.

You never know what the weather’s going to be like. Last year it was in the 90s and sunny. As you can tell by these pictures, this year it was rainy with the threat of lightning. Unusual for this time of year. Still, I think everyone had a good time.

There are all kinds of things to do for all ages. Doesn’t matter what kind of books you like, the festival has it all. Booths and stages are sprinkled throughout campus. There are areas for children’s books, mystery, poetry, cook books. Pretty much everything you can think of. When I was going by one stage, Padma Lakshmi was talking about her book, “Love, Loss and What We Ate: A Memoir”. Even though I'm not that into poetry, one of my favorite things to do is watch the poetry slams.

The Times also posts crossword puzzles throughout the area that people can contribute to. The white boards this year got a little wet, which was a bit of a challenge to write on, but people still had fun.
I’ve been attending for quite a few years. This is my second as a published author. Scores of authors sign at booths from the famous to others, like me, the not so famous. It’s a good opportunity to let people know you have a book out. Here I am signing at the Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles booth.

You never know who you’re going to see at the festival. Henry Winkler was talking about his children’s books one day. T Jefferson Parker, Patt Morrison, Michael Connelly...the list goes on and on. I couldn’t resist getting my picture taken with the LMU mascot, ’cause that’s how I roll.

That’s my report on LATFOB. Hope you enjoyed it. If you’re in the LA area next April 22-23, check out the festival. It’s a lot of fun even when it’s raining.

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