Virginia Festival of the Book: What a Menu!

VaBookFestival2012Voting is vital, but eating is, too, so I’m going to venture down a cul-de-sac.  Have you ever looked at a restaurant menu and wanted to try everything because all the dishes were so tantalizing?  I’m having a similar experience and the menu is not culinary, but literary.

Having been chosen as a panelist for the Virginia Festival of the Book, I have been offered a plethora of literary delights!

You can see the schedule for the week day by day.  (You can also see by topic.)  Let me give you a little flavor by sharing my picks out of twenty-seven possibilities:

  • The Charlottesville Aviation Luncheon Club presents Dr. Daniel Haulman, who co-authored The Tuskegee Airmen: A Pictorial History. Dr. Haulman will discuss the Airmen, illustrated with images.
  • Stories of Appalachia
  • Why We Write, What We Write – Four authors share their adventures in writing, publishing and selling books.  (Hope it is heavy on SELLING!)
  • Memoirs and Oral Histories: Race and TimeI’m a panelist for this one.
  • Music from the True Vine: A Tribute to Mike Seeger

THAT’S DAY ONE.  We figure we may have to miss the Stories of Appalachia because the Tuskegee Airmen session is located out of town and we may not get back in time.

I am blessed.  My editor, Lynn Pribus, lives in Charlottesville.  She has offered me a place to stay for the festival and she knows the area.  I would have signed up for one session each period during the day, if she hadn’t saved me with information like the location of the Tuskegee luncheon.

These are the headliners for the festival

Lou Ayers is the co-editor with Carolyn R. Martin of “America on the Eve of the Civil War.” A nationally known expert on the Civil War and Virginia history, he is one of the “History Guys” on the popular show “BackStory,” heard on public radio outlets, and is on the advisory committee of “Encyclopedia Virginia.”

Currently president of the University of Richmond, he previously was a history professor and held the post of dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at U.Va.  I will be going to this luncheon.

Jeffery Deaver was chosen by Ian Fleming Publications to write the most recent James Bond book, “Carte Blanche.” Bond joins other favorite Deaver characters such as Lincoln Rymes and Kathryn Dance.

Deaver has been awarded the Steel Dagger and Short Story Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association and the Nero Wolfe Award. He is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader’s Award for Best Short Story of the Year and a winner of the British Thumping Good Read Award.  His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages.

Jerry West grew up in West Virginia and played basketball at West Virginia University, followed by a stellar career with the Los Angeles Lakers as a player, coach and general manager. After stints as general manager with the Memphis Grizzlies and as a television color commentator, he is now a consultant for the Golden State Warriors. His was well known as “Mr. Clutch” and as the model for the NBA logo, a silhouette of West in his playing days. “West by West” chronicles a life of triumph and adversity, celebrations and disappointments and being a leader and a team player.

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