I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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2009-09-29 7:24 PM
National Book Festival report
It was a blast.
Best organized, cheeriest, most welcoming book event I've ever been invited to.
Friday night, a couple of speeches and a party at the Library of Congress. Been there? What a spectacular building! Lee Child pointed out that it was built to impress the diplomats of European nations, to show them that America, that primitive upstart, had the stuff. As I looked at the gorgeous marble mosaic tile floors, it occurred to me that there weren't nearly enough mosaic artisans in the US in those days to do work like that. It might have been built to impress Europeans, but it was also to a large extent built BY Europeans.
Anyway, the food was excellent (in tiny buffet-sized portions: roast beef, peking duck, reuben sandwiches, salsa and chips, pasta salad, corn fritters... you know, American food) and the booze was free flowing. I saw Thomas Jefferson's library, reconstructed, with books in half a dozen languages and dictionaries for them all, because Jefferson had at least a reading acquintance with them all. And I saw a Gutenberg bible. Not only impressive, but physically very beautiful, those rows of type.
Saturday, a breakfast at the Washington Post, and then we were taken to the Mall on trolleys. I went to the authors' pavilion for a cup of coffee, kept repairing there all day for more caffeine and snacks. The food all day was as good as, though different from, the food the night before. Each author was assigned an escort, whose job it was to get us where we were going and generally look after us. (Thanks, Fred!) After coffee I wandered out on the Mall to see what was happening. Tents everywhere, and people everywhere, listening to writers speak! Sonuvagun! I spoke in the afternoon, and I was really lucky, because I was the ham in a James Patterson-Lee Child sandwich, so no one got up and left. Maureen Corrigan gave me a very generous intro, too.
When I wasn't speaking, signing, or replenishing, I went to hear other writers. Walter Mosley; Mark Kurlansky; Haynes Johnson; Lisa Scottoline; Katherine Neville; and Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, who were pushing their National Park book that goes with the PBS show I hope you're all watching.
The whole thing was most excellent. The only bummer was, though the Obamas were Honorary Co-chairs, neither of them was there. But hell. Maybe I'll be invited back sometime, I hope, and maybe they'll be there then. Anyway, you lucky DC'ers, don't miss it next year!
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