Novel, poem and literary enthusiasts will barely be able to contain their excitement as 85 local authors, poets and publishers will be showcasing and selling their works at the Mesa Book Festival this Saturday, Dec. 9, in downtown Mesa.
The festival is free to the public and will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. on Macdonald Street between Main Street and 1st Avenue.
One of the vendors is Linda Radke, president of Story Monsters LLC in Chandler and publisher or Story Monsters Ink magazine.
“First off, I am so pleased to be a part of it, it’s just fantastic that Mesa is supporting authors and publishers and illustrators, and offering the gathering for them to get together,” Radke said.
“It’s not only a wonderful opportunity for authors and illustrators, but for the public and families to have a chance to meet with so many great authors and illustrators.”
Books on display will have been reviewed or mentioned in Story Monsters Ink Magazine Radke said, is Story Monsters approved, or it’s a Royal Dragonfly or Purple Dragonfly award-winning book.
“Our Story Monsters Mascot who loves to devour great books is scheduled to be there, and I’ve encouraged people to bring their cameras for photo opportunities,” Radke said, and coloring sheets will be at the booth for kids to color.
“For the first 100 folks who visit our booth, we are giving away 100 free greenie bags,” Radke said, which include a copy of the magazine, bookmarks, fliers, information about books and school library visit information by the Story Monsters mascot.
In addition, Radke said if there is an author or illustrator who visits their booth, and they want help or information about marketing and promoting their books, they have that type of information.
“The reason I did it is because I’ve been reaching a lot of people this year, and I have been really happy with the outreach and what it’s done,” said The Klute, author and ocean activist, and a vendor at the Mesa Book Festival this Saturday.
The Klute’s work combines his experiences as a shark conservationist, and his skills as an author and poet. One of his works, “Chumming the Waters,” is a collection of nine poems, and he described his writing style that has a pop culture perspective and is entertaining while informative.
“I think because when people go to a bookstore, they’re seeing already established authors and writers, when they go to something like the Mesa Book Festival, they’re going to see authors people may not know about because it’s not easily accessible,” he said. “So, if you go to the book festivals, you’re exposing yourself to a brand-new slice of authorship and writers you haven’t even contemplated before, the book festival is going to provide a service to people who don’t know they need it.”
The Klute said he will be selling his works and reading some of his poems, along with an Almanac which includes 15 essays about the ocean, shark-friendly recipes, as well as decorating his booth with tiki mugs and toy sharks.
“One of the things that’s really exciting for me as a publisher and a book marketer, is when I see people of all ages, from several months old up to 90 years old that interact with our Story Monster character…it helps support the love of reading,” Radke said.
“When you get grandparents involved with their grandkids and reading with them…I equate it to love,” Radke said. “There they are, sitting with a grandparent, parent or an educator and reading, and to me, there’s that strong feeling of love mixing it with books.”
The Mesa Book Festival is this Saturday, Dec. 9, from 2 to 8 p.m. in downtown Mesa, Macdonald Street between Main Street and 1st Avenue. Cost: Free. Information: mesabookfestival.com.
– Mesa resident Alyssa Tufts is a freelance writer for MyNewsMesa.com.