Friday, March 18, 2016

Book Review: The Children's Crusade

After reading Ann Packer's third novel, I admitted to my boyfriend that I definitely have a type . . . when it comes to books. The major drama in The Children's Crusade revolves around four adult children deciding whether it's time to sell their childhood home. Each sibling tells their own story in first-person narratives and these chapters are interwoven with omniscient narratives that describe their earrlier lives.

I love books like this - explorations if dysfunctional families - and this is one of the best ones I've read in awhile. Each character is such a fascinating individual and while their adult voices are distinct from each other, they're also completely recognizable in their portrayal as children.

As a writer, this is the kind of book that inspires me. I have read Packer's other novels and this is my favorite.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Tucson Festival of Books

One of my favorite public events in Tucson is the Festival of Books, which is held annually in March. I go every year. For a writer, it's a free resource full of lectures on writing technique and opportunities to connect with agents or listen to successful authors speak about their process. For readers, there are booths where small presses promote their books and you can meet authors and have them sign your purchases. For the entire community, there are political lectures, cooking demonstrations, and - my favorite - the animal show put on by the Desert Museum. This year, they brought Rue, the porcupine.

The event is huge - great for people-watching and the weather is usually fantastic. Popcorn and Thai food and pulled pork sandwiches are available at the food vendors. This year, I attended the "Agent Idol" session where writers submitted their query letters to be judged and voted on by three literary agents and the audience.

Later, I met Stacey Cochran - a fellow KindleScout author and picked up a copy of Eddie & Sunny, his latest novel. I'm excited to start reading!