Sunday, March 14, 2010

Virginia Festival of the Book

The Commonwealth of Virginia hosts a great literary event every year: the Virginia Festival of the Book. (Great but stealthy -- although I've lived in Virginia for the run of the festival, I managed to be unaware of it for its first fourteen years.)

Charlottesville (charming home of UVa and Monticello -- I had more nice things to say in this post) hosts the festival, in venues around the downtown pedestrian mall and across town. The festival offers five days (March 17-21 this year) of mostly free activities centered on literature. For the past six years running, the festival has drawn 20,000-plus attendees.

And this is of more than academic (groan) interest.

Last year I participated in the festival's very well-attended SF panel.  I suggested to the organizers that they consider adding a technothriller panel.

For this year's festival, they did. Crime fiction is always a large part of the festival (Virginia claiming Edgar Allan Poe, who lived and wrote in Richmond for many years), so they made the punishment fit the crime. That is, I'll be a panelist on the upcoming (Saturday, March 20th) midday technothriller panel. I'll doubtless have a few things to say there about Small Miracles, my latest solo novel -- and very much a technothriller.

(There will be a book signing after the panel. I'm happy to sign books you bring, and -- the panel being hosted by a bookstore -- in theory they'll have my newer works for purchase.)

In a time of financial crisis for state government, the future of the festival hangs in the balance. A big turnout helps make the case for the state to continue its modest annual investment. If you're in or near Virginia during the festival, do consider visiting.

And if you do drop by the technothriller panel, come up and say "Hi."

No comments: