I was a bit hesitant about going to the festival this year because the list of authors was not drawing me. My mother and I have attended this event for the past three years, so it was a fun tradition that I didn't want to see end. Finally, we decided to go. My sister and daughter decided to join us, which made it even more fun. Once in Salt Lake another daughter and a niece joined us. The company was great.
Friday night there was only one presentation - Ken Jennings of Jeopardy fame. We were all lukewarm about attending, but enjoyed Jennings very much. He's a Utahn who has recently had his first book published, Brainiac, Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs. Here's a couple of excerpts from the inside flap of the jacket: "Whisking us from the coffeehouses of seventeenth-century London to the Internet age, Jennings chronicles the ups and downs of the trivia fad." "Jennings also investigates the shadowy demimonde of today's trivia subculture, guiding us on a tour of trivia hotspots across America." All the chapter headings are written as questions. He signed my book, "Who is Ken Jennings?" Cute, huh?
Saturday I attended the following sessions:
Peter Brown, author and illustrator of children's books. I bought and had him sign Chowder and Flight of the Dodo. Both books are fabulous.
Lawrence Yep, author of nearly 60 YA books. I bought Dragon's Gate for my daughter. Yep signed it and etched a little picture on the title page.
Tracie Morris, poet. This session was interesting. Morris read a few poems and also performed some of her sound poems. I wasn't extremely fond of her stuff, but I was happy to be exposed to something so innovative as sound poetry.
Janet Tashijan, author of YA fiction. She is a high-energy person, who talked fast and fidgeted a lot while sitting. She wrote True Confessions which was later made into a Disney TV movie.
Karl & Anne Taylor Fleming, journalists. Karl covered stories such as the Watts riots and Martin Luther King. Anne told a little about her first interview which was with Truman Capote.
Shannon Hale, author of Princess Academy, Goose Girl, Enna Burning, and River Secrets. This was the one person I really wanted to hear. We got seats on the front row and were also first in line for book signings. She was delightful and very funny. She told about her adult novel coming out in the spring. It's about a woman who can't get passed her infatuation with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth. I can't remember the title. Good grief! But it sounds funny.
In addition to the Festival, we ate at delectable restaurants and were joined by family members who lived in or close to Salt Lake. Lots of good times and memories.