September 4, 2009
2009 Texas Book Festival
Yesterday, former First Lady Laura Bush announced the author lineup for the 2009 Texas Book Festival, and lo and behold, I was on the list. I've actually known about this for a while, but was sworn to secrecy until yesterday's announcement. I wouldn't want to steal Mrs. Bush's thunder anyway. Her life can't be a picnic on the best of days.
(Because my narcissism is as vast as the sea, I actually spent yesterday evening looking for video of the announcement, just to see if she actually read my name off a list. I have Issues.)
Anyway, it's official now, and I'm happy as a clam (clams being notoriously jolly and well-adjusted mollusks). From the moment I found out that Schuyler's Monster was going to be published, I wanted to be a part of the Texas Book Festival. Back in my Austin days when I was employed at the big fancy Barnes & Noble Arboretum, I actually worked at one of the festivals, selling books. Coming back as an author feels like a real homecoming, and I'm thrilled that my book was selected this year.
(Congrats also to my friend, the very cool Gwen Zepeda, who will be presenting as both a children's author and novelist. Nobody likes a showoff.)
The schedule of events hasn't been released yet, and I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a secret, too. (I hope not, because here I go.) Apparently I am to appear on a panel with Rupert Isaacson, author of The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son (about his efforts to reach his autistic son through equine therapy and Mongolian spiritualism) and Michael Greenberg, author of Hurry Down Sunshine: A Father's Story of Love and Madness (about his experience as a father with his teenage daughter's sudden manifestation of bipolar disorder). I've read Greenberg's book, which is really exceptional, and I'm working on the Isaacson now.
Both of their books have received a tremendous amount of critical acclaim and media attention, and I'm really honored and pleased to be able to join them as we talk about… whatever we talk about. As I said, the panel information is still being put together, but I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that we'll be discussing fatherhood and our relationships with the "different" child. Because otherwise, I might need to learn about horses in a hurry.
If you're in Austin at the end of October, I hope you'll attend. Schuyler will be there, and she's as jazzed as ever about her participation in all the book madness. Yesterday she was showing me a new book she'd gotten. She pointed to the cover of Judy Moody Gets Famous! and then pointed to herself.
"Like me!" she said.
Princess Protagonista. I've created a monster.