The San Antonio Book Festival returns in April for a seventh time and with a new executive director: Lilly Gonzalez succeeds festival founder Katy Flato.
"Our purpose is to unite readers and writers in a celebration of ideas, imagination, libraries and literary culture," she said.
IF YOU GO
WHERE: San Antonio Public Library downtown
WHEN: 9 a.m., Saturday, April 6
They do that by inviting about a hundred Texas and national authors to discuss their books and the ideas behind them, and venue they selected is ideal.
"We take place at the Central Library and the Southwest School of Art,” she said. “We take over that campus. We close down some streets, and we have venues in both locations."
An author selection committee and Literary Director Clay Smith decide which writers can attend and make presentations. Gonzalez said Smith is the perfect person to make the selection.
"He's so plugged into the publishing industry. He's really got his finger on what the trends are,” Gonzalez said. “And what he has said about the industry right now is that there is a real thirst for fact, and that people really want to have the important conversations about what's happening in our society. And so you see that reflected in the lineup."
2019's author lineup excites Gonzalez.
"I'm especially proud that we have Meg Medina, who is fresh off her Newbery Medal announcement last week,” she said, referring to the novelist.
The Newbery is a highly prized children's literary award.
“We have another Newbery Medalist, Christopher Paul Curtis. And then our local lineup -- we have Lila Cockrell, we have Judge Nelson Wolff,” she said. “We also have this debut writer, Raymond Villareal. He is an attorney here in the city, and he's written his first book. It's about a vampire uprising, and the film rights have been optioned.”
Some authors appear in book booths where visitors can speak with them one-on-one, while others appear on panels for thematic sessions.
“We also have a ‘Ghosts of the Rio Grande Valley’ session planned, and Rick Bragg, who's very popular for his southern writing,” she said. “Sara Bird, yes, lots of Texas beloved writers.”