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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


The Tucson Festival of Books is back

Gracie Kayko
Hundreds of people gathered to attend the Tucson Festival of Books on the UA Mall on March 4, 2023. The festival attracted people of all kinds with food, speakers and book releases.

The Tucson Festival of Books returns to the University of Arizona campus on March 9 and 10. Authors from every genre will be in attendance this year.

The Tucson Festival of Books is an expanse of vendors, authors and organizations lined up along the UA Mall. There will be big presenting authors conducting panel discussions in surrounding classrooms, ballrooms and tents. Everything is free for visitors. The festival co-chair of the steering committee, Trisa Schorr, described the festival as “Disneyland for book lovers.”

Not only are there book vendors, but there is also Science City. There will be booths and tents with science experiments and information for all ages and scientific interests.

Before the festival weekend, guests have the opportunity to get advance tickets to select panels to ensure they have a spot in the room. The earliest time to get these tickets for the general public is March 4 at noon until March 8 at noon. If you are a friend of the festival who has donated at least $60, you get access to the advance tickets on Feb. 28 at noon

If you are someone who is interested in the festival but is nervous about what to expect or what to look forward to take a look at the website, the paper or download their app Tucson Festival of Books

“See some of the authors and then pick a panel and get excited about it and go hang out on the UA Mall and go to the panel, and if that one doesn’t work out, find something else,” said Kim Rosborough, festival co-chair of the steering committee

Rosborough also described it as being in a candy store where, “you can just walk along and go in and hear a great lecture.”  

“If you like to cook, there’s a culinary tent, if you like science, there’s Science City. If you have children, there’s a children’s area, if you like young adult, there’s a teen area. There’s a sports area. There’s really something for just about every interest, and it’s special,” Schorr said. 

There will be authors like Olivie Blake, who wrote “The Atlas Six,” and Tracy Wolff, who wrote the “Crave” series. There will also be a lot of indie authors who are experiencing the Tucson Festival of Books for the first time. Authors like Shirley Newson, Tesha Geddes and Cherie Dimaline

Geddes writes teen/young adult fantasy and fantasy romance novels. She currently has two series out that take place in different worlds. The first series, “The Pocket Dragon,” is about a dragon shifter who, instead of shifting into a giant dragon, shifts into a pocket-size dragon. 

“It’s about her figuring out her place in the world and how she doesn’t have to be this big terrifying dragon,” Geddes said. 

Her second series, “Magus Revealed,” is about “an ancient rediscovered magic that’s been gone for five centuries” and the main character figuring out her magic and the new world she discovers. 

Geddes has been writing for as long as she can remember, but as for her published books, there wasn’t a whole lot of inspiration. 

“Sometimes ideas just pop into my head, and they just won’t go away until I write them down,” Geddes said. 

This is Geddes’ first author event since she published her first book in 2021

If you are interested in teen/young adult fantasy, stop by the festival and see her. She has a posted time on Sunday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Another notable indie author in attendance is Newson. She is bringing a unique experience to the festival this year as she wrote her book, “The Little Dark One,” about her experience with discovering that she was switched at birth. She writes about the day she found out she was switched and all the emotions that followed. 

“I think it’s a story of a lot of rejection,” Newson said.

Newson is a retired accountant, and her memoir is the first thing like it that she has ever written. Newson pointed out that there isn’t a lot of mention of being switched at birth in literature, which is why her son urged her to write and share her story. 

“I really wanted to write the book to help other people know that you can survive, and that’s what my son kept telling me,” Newson said. “I would never get up in public spaces before, and now I can do it. God has worked all these miracles and wonders in my life, and I’ve been blessed and I need to share my story.” 

Newson has a set time at the festival on Sunday, March 10, from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

For more information on the festival, visit the Tucson Festival of Books website.  

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