First novelists James Braziel and Alan Drew will be grilled by the apparently menacing but actually quite harmless executive director of the Mercantile Library in the event that the hoped-for post-first novelist Brian Groh is unable to lead an eleven o’clock discussion with them, just one of a full (10:00 am to 4:00 pm) day of panels and chats that will take place while the great book souk with its 100 authors behind tables loaded with books is open to the general public. The executive director is reading as fast as he can so he will embarrass neither his employing institution nor his family. He’s nearly through with Alan Drew’s Gardens of Water and should have James Braziel’s Birmingham, 35 Miles under his belt by Tuesday next. Both authors will be among the 100 and will be ready to autograph first editions of their novels.
If we can get the hang of this book fair deal, we want to turn it into a multi-day event complete with gaudy publisher tents. It’s supposed to be by the river. That’s why the name. We’ll see.