The 16th Annual West Texas Book Festival is here, and the first program is today at noon. If you read this column last week, you'll know all about our lunch programs during the week, and we hope to see you at one or more of them! However, on Saturday, you can have almost an entire day to celebrate reading, writing, and literacy at the Abilene Civic Center.
The day begins at 8 a.m. with registration for educators seeking Continuing Education credits. The first program begins at 9 a.m. Susan Holt Kralovansky will speak about writing books for children. "There Was a Tall Texan Who Swallowed a Flea" and "Twelve Cowboys Ropin'" are her featured festival books, and she'll share her experiences and belief that writing books, reading books, and going to schools to talk to children about books, is the best job ever!
At 9:30 a.m., Abilene's own Marguerite Gray will talk about her series called Revolutionary Faith. "Hold Me Close: Revolutionary Faith Book One" is a historical fiction title set in pre-revolutionary Charles Town and takes readers into the lives of immigrants, ordinary citizens, and prominent historical figures at a time in which decisions are made that will change the world. Her second book in the series is set to be released this fall, with the third novel in progress.
At 10 a.m., the 2016 A.C. Greene Award winner and New York Time best-selling novelist Leila Meacham will speak. Meacham is no stranger to the festival, having been a featured author a couple of years ago. After her teaching career, to stave off boredom in retirement, Meacham wrote what became her first best-selling novel, "Roses." Several novels (all set in Texas) later, her most recent book is "Titans" released earlier this year.
The Festival will debut the newly released "West Texas Stories," with several contributing authors speaking about the process at 10:30 a.m.
The Boots & Books Luncheon is a never-to-be-missed event, beginning at 10:45 a.m. During this event, an update on the new South Branch of the Abilene Public Library will be presented, as will the A.C. Greene and Ricki Brown Abilene Librarian of the Year Awards. Tickets for the delicious barbecue lunch are $25, and tickets are still available through tomorrow, Tuesday. For reservations, call 325-672-9696 or stop by the Texas Star Trading Company, 174 Cypress St. in Downtown Abilene.
After lunch, get a chance to visit with and have books signed by the featured authors before you head home, full of good food, good fellowship and good books.
For information about all Festival events, go to www.abilenetx.com/apl and click on the Boots & Books logo, or call your library at 325-676-6025.