So it’s here. The Easton Book Festival begins today. The weather? Partly sunny, temps in the mid-60s. There’s no excuse not to go! (Well, actually, there are plenty of reasons, but if you’re in the area please consider it!) I have to admit that my involvement with it was opportunistic. I contacted the organizer because I was looking to promote my autumnally themed book, Holy Horror, in the season for which it was written. I understand delayed gratification. What author isn’t delighted when her or his book arrives? Thing is, mine came around Christmas time, and, while a wonderful gift, nobody was thinking about scary movies during the joyful winter season. My observation is this: books are lenses to focus thoughts. I enjoy Halloween, but I also enjoy Christmas. One follows the other. The Easton Book Festival just happens to be during the former rather than the latter.
My own involvement with the festival doesn’t start until tomorrow. Today’s a work day, after all. Employers don’t give days off for self-promotion (or even for writing books) so festivals are extra-curricular activities. I’ll be on a panel discussion tomorrow at the Sigal Museum and on Sunday afternoon I’ll be doing a presentation on my book, same venue. Maybe I’ve got this backwards (nobody tells you these things), but I’m not doing this primarily to sell books. I’m doing it to promote dialogue. During my less-than-stellar book signing last week at the Morvarian Book Shop I had only one brief conversation of substance. It was with a scientist who pointed out that science and religion had nothing to do with one another. I guess my hopes for the events of the next two days are that folks might want to discuss the ideas in the book. Or at least think about them.
Sunday morning I’ll be giving a church presentation on the book as well. Being in the publishing biz I’ve learned the importance of authors getting out there to talk about their books. Hands up, who’s read a McFarland catalogue lately? Case in point. The only problem with all of this is that I still have to get my weekend errands done. My daily schedule doesn’t allow for trips to the grocery store or even putting gas in the car. And no matter how much time I put into work, there’s always more to do. Festivals, of course, are intended to be time set apart from regular pursuits. So I’m going to put on respectable clothes and I’m going to speak about what’s on my mind this time of year. If the Lehigh Valley’s in your orbit, I’d be glad to see you there.