This weekend more than one hundred nationally and internationally known authors will be featured as part of the first annual Lone Star Book Festival. Nothing like the Lone Star Book Festival exists in the area and the festival will have something for everyone. We had a chance to interview John Barr, one of the festival’s key organizers and founder, about the exciting weekend ahead and how the festival came into being.
INPRINT: What inspired you to put this festival together?
JOHN BARR: Well, we have always loved reading and books and think it is vital for a healthy society to read. Also, the Kingwood campus is, we believe, a beautiful venue for a book festival. Lastly, we thought that it was time for Houston to have a multi-genre book festival.
INPRINT: What can attendees expect from the two days?
BARR: Attendees can expect to find a diverse group of authors from across the country willing and wanting to discuss their newest books, sign autographs, and chat with audience members. In addition, on the campus quad, attendees will find Brazos Bookstore selling books, music being played, and exhibitors including literary presses, local organizations focused on literacy, publishers, and many local authors.
On Saturday, children’s events will sprawl across campus where children of all ages will be able to take pictures with characters from James and the Giant Peach (courtesy of Center Stage), beat drums in a musical petting zoo (courtesy of Dinky Drums), listen to former Houston Texans player, Wade Smith, read from his first children’s book, and enjoy many other festival activities.
INPRINT: What authors/events in the festival are you most excited about?
BARR: This is a difficult question to answer, as we are thrilled to be hosting the festival and are pleased with all the authors we have coming to Houston. We are certainly excited about our community partnerships and the festival providing a venue for organizations focused on promoting literacy. In addition, we’re especially pleased that Lone Star College professors, and student literary journals, featuring the work of local students, will be featured alongside big name authors like Robin Davidson, Nick Flynn, or Annette Gordon-Reed.
Lone Star College Book Festival
Friday and Saturday, April 8 – 9, 2016
LSC-Kingwood, 20000 Kingwood Drive
For details and a brochure click here
INPRINT: How has the local community responded to the festival, and what is the expected attendance?
BARR: Every person and group we have talked to is happy we’re hosting this event. Simply put, the community response has been wonderful. As for the expected attendance, that is hard to calculate, as we have never hosted something like this. Still, we think we’ll have several thousand people on campus listening and speaking with authors.
INPRINT: Is this festival going to become an annual event, and how do you anticipate it changing in the future?
BARR: We hope so, yes. As for future changes, we’ll learn from this year’s event, listen to suggestions for improvement from attendees, and make it even better in future years.