Good times at the Brooklyn Book Festival

On Sunday I spent the beautiful day in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Book Festival and what a terrific day to support the local book trade. I arrived early with my friend Nancy and her colleagues who work at DK Books [part of Penguin] and helped set up their terrific booth, just as other publishers, book stores, and authors were setting up shop all around us. There is Nancy setting up the DK booth. [If any of my new friends at DK read this, thanks for letting me set up and be part of the action - I had a great time meeting you!]

I walked around a lot which was was just fine with me as earlier on in the day it was cool and overcast, but later on when the sun came out - wham - it was hot, over 80 I think. But the show pleasantly filled up with all kinds of Brooklyn's bookish best - and we all enjoyed the show. Here's a photo of the book mobile, open for passersby to enter and check out.

Several book publishers, such as Brooklyn's own Akashic books set up great stands [this photo below is of Johnny Temple, publisher of Akashic books being interviewed by New York 1]. I was more than happy to pick up one of the fantastic books in Akashic's Noir series [proudly for me it was Queens Noir edited by Robert Knightly - review to come soon.

Also many indy bookstores such as Brooklyn's Freebird books, who had what I thought was the most cleverly themed t-shirts of the event [and where I spent my good money], with their novel-t shirts. I grabbed the Ahab one, gotta love the "literary" team captain!

I also had the pleasure of meeting actor Wallace Shawn, a veteran of stage and screen, who has appeared in everything from The Princess Bride to recent episodes of Gossip Girl. I picked up his new book, Essays, which he kindly signed [to my wife] for me. So far the essays are interesting, and quite personal about his viewpoint on just about everything. Not finished yet.

Seriously, how does one look at a photo of this lovable actor and not just giggle. He's a riot, and has had such a long and interesting career, I was more than happy to support his book.

Another real treat for this comic book guy, was the fact that New York Comic Con sponsored panels all day long. I attended the panel entitled: Sci-Fi and Fantasy in NYC which comprised of authors living in and sometimes writing SF and fantasy in New York. The panel consisted of my good friend and fantasy writer Peter Brett, also fantasy writer S.C. Butler [with the quote of the day about genre writers and in essence genre lovers, "we're the orcs of the literary world"], urban fantasy author Anton Strout who helped us flashback to sortid RPG-playing days, and Dave Roman. This was all moderated ably by Brian Slattery. All gave good examples of how New York life influences their writing whether or not they actually write fiction based in a New York setting. The boys in action in photo below, probably talking about D&D.

It was a good day, full of an active scene of bookish people [something that always makes me happy]. I only see this festival growing every year. And it was great to see everyone embrace everything from comics to literary magazines. In a perfect world it all mixes together, and on Sunday, that perfect world was Brooklyn.


Kerry said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures! I couldn't make it to the festival this year, sadly, but it's good to hear what I missed. Love Wallace Shawn, too - caught him on NPR last week. He was good on there, bet the essays are entertaining too.

Jayf said...

Thanks for the comment. Yes, his book is interesting, I hope to review once finished [famous last words...]

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