Look Who I Saw at the Tucson Book Festival

The third annual Tucson Festival of Books took place on the University of Arizona Mall last weekend, March 10 and 11. This annual event draws enormous crowds to its overwhelming number of programs, but people are as much fun as the books on sale.

Dedicated reader

Great people watching at the Tucson Festival of Books, all ages and types of people.

Fountain Fun
Balloons and water to play in. Doesn't get better than that
It takes 1500 volunteers
It takes 1500 volunteers at the TFOB. These are relaxing at the Volunteer lounge.
TFOB Headgear
TFOB Headgear, Tucson, Arizona
TFOB seating
TFOB seating


AUTHORS! I was so delighted to find many authors we have discussed here at A Traveler’s Library. With 400 plus authors and 100,000 attendees, I did not have an opportunity to photograph all of them, (We’ve talked about Larry McMurtry, but his speaking site was totally mobbed.) Here are a few of our favorites, with links to ATL reviews.

Author Denise Chavez
Denise Chavez, author of A Taco Testimony

I was in the process of reading A Taco Testimony and really kicked myself when I realized AFTER her appearance, that Denise Chavez was talking about the meaning of culture. I missed it! But I followed her down to the book signing tent and she told me about the Border Book Festival she heads in Mesilla, New Mexico, and let me take her picture. I hope I’ll get a 2nd chance some time to hear her talk.

Author Brenda Novak
Brenda Novak, author of White Heat

I chatted with Brenda  Novak  in the underground patio of classroom where she was going to speak. She told me that she writes a 3-book series every year. While the books in the Arizona-based series that included White Heat was both romance and mystery, she is separating her mystery series from the romances. Next up–a protagonist who is a psychiatrist working with serial murderers.

Author Holly Tucker
Holly Tucker, author of Blood Work

When I caught up with Holly Tucker at the signing tent after her panel, she said she had just returned from London where she is researching her next book.  All I could get out of her is that it will be another true-life medical history mystery. I’m sure it will be excellent, because Blood Work certainly was.


Jan Cleere
Jan Cleere, author of Levis and Lace and other Arizona History

Jan Cleere is a personal friend and a Tucson writer. She had completed her panel focusing on Arizona historical figures, like the women in Levis and Lace, and was visiting with other writing and publishing friends.

Jennifer Carrell
Jennifer Carrell, author of Shakespeare mystery series

Until I interrupted her, Tucson author Jennifer Carrell was trying to eat a sandwich in the author’s lounge between appearances on various programs.You have not read about Jennifer Carrell’s work here yet, but I realized that was a mistake when she told me that she had just done a panel on using her Shakespeare mysteries as a guide to visiting England!  I promptly bought Interred With Their Bones, the first of her series of Shakespeare mysteries, and you’ll be hearing about it soon. I did read her first work, a best selling non fiction book called The Speckled Monster, about the plague of Smallpox and the discovery of vaccination, and know that she is a skillful and entertaining writer.

So plan your trip to Tucson for next year’s Festival of Books. You never know who you’ll run in to.

I hope that you’ll click back to see the reviews we have done of these authors’ books.

What favorite author have you met in person?

All photos belong to me and I appreciate you respecting my copyright.



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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

9 thoughts on “Look Who I Saw at the Tucson Book Festival

    1. Hi Jennifer: Glad you found A Traveler’s Library and hope you’ll come back often. I’ll let you know when I discuss Interred With Their Bones. It was riveting.

  1. It was such a pleasure to chat with you at the festival. What an amazing event. And we had such beautiful weather (I’m missing it since it’s been raining in Sacramento since I got home!).

  2. I admire the way the various auhtors support these festivals. While I am sure they make some sales it must be very tiring too.

  3. thanks for taking us along to the festival through your photos — it looks as though you had a great time.

    as to your question, I’ve met more famous songwriters than writers of books — that is interesting too, though. does the Tucson Book Festival have a music component? I know the Texas one does. but maybe the Texas Book Festival has that because it is in Austin!

  4. Great post. Wish I lived close enough to have been there this year. . .what a wonderful lineup of authors! And I couldn’t help but note the blue sky. . .sigh. . .

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