YA Author Rendezvous at the Tucson Festival of Books
by Patrick Hodges
On March 12 and 13, five authors journeyed down south for the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books. We were representing my Facebook group of Young Adult and kids’ book authors, Young Adult Author Rendezvous, which consists of several dozen authors from all over the world.
Our booth was blessed with a superb location, a corner booth at the juncture of a main walkway and another walkway leading to the library, right near the entrance to the festival. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we were visited by hundreds of young (and less young) readers.
Of the roughly fifty books that were sent in by YAAR authors who could not attend, we succeeded in selling about half of them. We also had hundreds of bookmarks, postcards and other swag to give away, and some of those went like hotcakes!
The five authors who attended in person had a wonderful time. I myself sold nine books.
Linda Smock and her husband Gene, along with their adorable rat terrier Norbie (the star of some of her Ringo series books) were a big hit. Norbie was a kid-magnet, and Linda was able to sell many copies of her impressive library of kids’ books.
Michael Ajax (Anderson) came with his family to promote his first book, Tomb of the Triceratops. With his cool dino-props and his vast knowledge of all things dinosaur, he was able to pull in many teen and preteen boys to the booth, selling many copies and T-shirts.
Rita Goldner, promoting her beautiful kids’ book Orangutan: A Day in the Rainforest Canopy, as well as her brand new book, Jackson’s Aviation Adventure. She’s a natural with kids and parents, and she was a fixture in the booth.
Our final author in attendance, Sarah Wathen, flew all the way in from Florida just for us. This was her first appearance at a festival, and she was promoting her four-part YA Romance serial, Catchpenny. Her bright and sunny disposition matched the weather. An artist as well as an author, she designed our group’s logo as well as the beautiful banner that hung above us for the duration.
And, last but not least, my awesome wife Vaneza, who served as our group’s official photog, who was an absolute ray of sunshine in her first trip to Tucson.
In all, we sold over $700 worth of merchandise, and had a wonderful time. Can’t wait to go back next year!
Patrick Hodges lives in Arizona with his wife of 15 years, Vaneza. After doing weekly columns for entertainment-related websites, he has turned his attention to writing fiction. He is passionate about sending positive messages to young people. Joshua’s Island is his first novel. A sequel is in the works. You may reach him at email@example.com or “like” him on Facebook.