Announcing Three New AJC-Decatur Book Festival Events.

February 19th, 2013 by Daren

A Literary Feast InviteThe DBF has three pretty nifty keen events coming up.
February 26th, A Literary Feast at the Iberian Pig with Susan Rebecca White, Kevin Young, Susan Puckett, and Amber Dermont. Each of the four courses will be inspired by one of the author’s works. This is a benefit for the Decatur Education Foundation and will be the first in an ongoing series. Reservations required.

March 1, 5-7pm, An Irish Shindig in Decatur, The Brick Store Pub. As part of the American Conference on Irish Study that’s being held in Decatur that weekend, we are sponsoring a cash-bar gathering at the Brick. Music will be played, poetry will be recited, Jameson’s and Guinness will be consumed. Seamus Heaney will be reading at Emory the next day, so this is your warmup act for the Nobel Laureate. Who knows who will stop by?

March 23, Symphony Hall, Rachel Maddow presented by A Cappella Books and sponsored by the DBF. She’ll be talking about her book “Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power”. Tickets go on sale tomorrow through the Woodruff box office. This has just been announced today.

Conor McCreery Workshop

August 17th, 2012 by Crystal

We’ve all dreamed of being a journalist, writing that piece under a crazy deadline with papers flying everywhere. Or being the voice behind the radio dial announcing the newest top hits. Or making our napkin doodles into an actual comic. And then there’s the man that has experienced all three. This year, Conor McCreery, creator of KILL SHAKESPEARE,  joins the AJC Decatur Book  Festival and shares his experience as a Renaissance man and comic book creator – not only in a presentation with Dame Darcy, but at our Writers Conference at Agnes scott College. As headliner of the 2012 Writers Conference, Conor comes to the Festival to present the trials, tribulations, and rewards that he experienced in the creation of his graphic novel series, KILL SHAKESPEARE – and how to go through the process yourself.

A masterful blend of classic storytelling in a visual form that the Bard himself would have appreciated, KILL SHAKESPEARE takes the characters of Shakespeare’s universe and plunges them into a world all their own. A band of Shakespeare’s most memorable heroes faces off against the Bard’s most dastardly villains in the hunt to find the mysterious and all-powerful William Shakespeare in McCreery’s newest work. McCreery continues in the style of such authors as Neil Gaiman and Bill Willingham in creating an adaptation of classical literature that is both darkly funny and endlessly suspenseful.

On Friday, August 31st, Conor will offer a workshop (free and open to the public) designed to show you how to light up your comic and make those napkin doodles your own personal masterpiece.  Sign up for what is sure to be an exciting experience by emailing natalie@decaturbookfestival.com, and check out Conor’s page at www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Nuts and Bolts

August 18th, 2011 by Jenny

We’re almost two weeks away from the festival, and the question we here at the DBF offices still get asked most often is: “When is the book festival?”, to which we reply: It’s Labor Day Weekend! And I’m going to tell you all the fun stuff jam packed into those 3 days before you get freaked out by my maniacal excitement and run for the hills!!”. 

Lucky for you, dear reader, you’re safe behind your computer screen and can get all the necessary information to make your DBF experience a great one..

  • On Friday afternoon, AJC-DBF hosts a special series for local elementary school kids. This Friday field trip sparks imaginations and sets an exciting tone for the weekend.
  • Also on Friday afternoon, the AJC-DBF hosts a series of workshops at Agnes Scott College called the Writers Conference. Nora McFarland will be giving a keynote address at 3PM. Followed by the keynote are 10 concurrent workshops.
  • On Friday night, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis officially kick off the weekend with a keynote address at Agnes Scott College. The AJC-Decatur Book Festival is the official launch of Wildwood, their  illustrated children’s book about exploring a mysterious world.
  • All day and into the evening Saturday and Sunday expect over 300 authors giving talks, panel discussions, and book signings at a few key locations around downtown Decatur.
  • During the day, both Saturday and Sunday, you’ll find a vibrant street festival full vendors dishing out delicious delicacies to booths for independent book stores and shops from all around the city.

Whew! Aren’t you glad you’re not talking to us in person? Is there anything else I need to know?


What are the hours?
Saturday from 10AM-6:30PM
Sunday from 11AM-6PM

Does the festival still go on if it rains?
Yes, just prepare yourself for inclement weather.

Do I have to buy a ticket?
No, festival attendance is free. The only ticketed event is the keynote, and the tickets are available for free from the Agnes Scott College box office.

Where exactly is Decatur?
6 miles east of downtown Atlanta

Is there a Marta Station nearby?
The historic Decatur Square is located directly on MARTA’s East–West transit line.

Where do I park?
If you decide to drive, parking is plentiful in decks, metered spaces, and paid private lots. Do not park in lots posted as ‘no parking.’ Your car will be booted or towed.

Is there handicap parking?
Yes

Once I am at the festival how do I find out what is going on?
We have a ton of volunteers who can help you get where you need to go. We have a printed program with a full schedule of events and a map. If you have a smart-phone, you can always go on the AJC-DBF website for more information about speakers and venues.

Where can I eat?
Decatur has many great restaurants, and there will be many vendors selling delicious food and drinks to keep you cool.

Are there bathrooms?
There are strategically placed portable bathrooms units, and many of the venues have restrooms.

Are events easy walking distance from each other?
Yes, all the venues are within a 5-10 minute walk of each other.

Can I buy books at the festival? Can I use a credit card?
Yes and yes. You can also get the books you’ve bought signed by the author probably.

Is the festival stroller friendly?
Yes.

Is the festival wheel chair friendly?
Yes.

What are the children’s activities?
We have an entire Children’s Stage featuring popular children’s book authors. The festival starts off each day with a parade, which you can participate in, themed around children’s books. We’ve got a clowns, puppets, and music – plenty of children-friendly events.

I’m sure we covered anything you might need to know, but leave us a comment if you have any lingering questions!
-Maddye Mitchell

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Maddye Mitchell is an intern with the Decatur Book Festival, and in her junior year at Agnes Scott College

Slick Science

August 9th, 2011 by Bhumika

We’ve talked about our new sports track, but we have another exciting track we’re really pumped about. The Science Track sponsored by the Atlanta Science Tavern.

There’s going to be a panel called “From Page to Pub to Podcast: Science Writers Address New Venues and New Media.” Science writers will be tackling such questions as “What are the challenges that they have had to face – as science educators – in these new teaching environments?” and  ”How have they had to adapt to take advantage of emerging digital technologies?” Holly Tucker, Maryn McKenna, and Anthony Martin with Marc Merlin from the Atlanta Science Tavern moderating the discussion.

David Eagleman, called the Carl Sagan of neuroscience, will be discussing his latest book, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, and he’ll answer some questions about the quirks of the brain. Holly Tucker, teacher of medicine and French studies at Vanderbilt University, will give a talk about her book, Bloodwork: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution, about the first blood transfusion experiments in 17th century Paris and London. Sidney Perkowitz, writer and physicist, will present on his book, Slow Light: Invisibility, Transportation, and Other Mysteries of Light, about breakthroughs in the science of light as they relate to things non-scientists wonder about everyday, like the reality of invisibility cloaks.

Check out the full schedule of events on the AJC Decatur Book Festival website.

Keep the Ball Rollling

August 2nd, 2011 by Bhumika

What does this year’s AJC Decatur Book Festival have that it’s never had before? A Sports Track catering to sports fans of all sorts.

We have football legend, Tim Green, on the Children’s Stage reading from his latest book, The Deep Zone. The Deep Zone brings together Troy White from Football Genius and Ty Lewis from Football Hero in this story about football, rivalry, and friendship. Georgia Bulldogs fans should definitely come hear Sonny Seiler and Kent Hannon discuss their book Damn Good Dogs: The Real Story of Uga, the University of Georgia’s Bulldog Mascots.

Jack Wilkinson, official scores for the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field and writer of may other books about baseball, is back at the festival this year to his discuss his latest book, 100 Things Braves Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Fans of the Yankees should check out Robert Weintraub’s presentation about his latest book, The House that Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923.

If football and baseball aren’t your thing, Mischa Merz’s memoir might be right up your alley. Her book, The Sweetest Thing: A Boxer’s Memoir, is about her journey competing in amateur women’s boxing tournaments all across the country. Hear her speak about the amazing people she met and her discovery of the good, the bad, and the ugly of this subculture.

Check out the full line up of authors and events on the AJC Decatur Book Festival website.

Exciting Performances

July 26th, 2011 by Bhumika

We have several very exciting musical and theatrical performances lined up for the festival this year.

Singer and songwriter, Caroline Herring, will be sharing her songs inspired by everyone’s favorite children’s books on the Children’s Stage on Saturday, September 3rd. Some of the books she takes inspiration from include The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak.

Also on Saturday, but in the evening 9PM taking place in Eddie’s Attic, is the first ever workshop by Theatrical Outfit of Tom Key’s stage adaptation of Eudora Welty’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Optimist’s Daughter. Caroline Herring and Kate Campbell will perform the music they composed for this performance.

Theatrical Outfit will also do a full-cast performance of selected scenes from Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s world premiere drama The Green Book. The Green Book takes its name from  the The Negro Motorist Green Book – a nationally published manual that guided African American tourists to safe accommodations during the country’s tumultuous Jim Crow era.

Other performances include Theodore Boone & the Thrill of Rights (an adaptation of John Grisham’s middle grade thrillers, starring The Story Pirates), The Center for Puppetry Arts will present The Ugly Duckling, and a special Carapace event entitled “Persistence of Memory: Stories of Renewal from 9/11.” For more details about all of these events and more, check out the festival schedule.

AJC Author Meet and Greet on Saturday and Sunday afternoon

September 2nd, 2010 by Stephanie

Stop by the AJC tent on Saturday and Sunday afternoon to chat with some of your favorite authors in a more informal setting.

Saturday afternoon
1:00- 2:00 Diana Gabaldon
2:00 – 3:00 Hollis Gillespie
3:00 – 4:00 Emily Giffin

Sunday afternoon
12:00-1:00 Brian Jordan
1:00 – 2:00 Joshilyn Jackson
2:00 – 3:00 Marshall Chapman

DBF 101 – FAQs

August 26th, 2010 by Samantha

Finally it’s here! We’re only one week out from the 5th annual AJC-Decatur Book Festival. This will be the last DBF 101 entry, so let’s review some FAQs. Instead of a final exam, we want you to feel prepped for an awesome weekend at the festival! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here or email info@decaturbookfestival.com .

Planning?

  • Take the time to make a personal schedule. Find a few events that you want to attend on the schedule
  • Having trouble choosing an event? On the authors page you can search for your favorite authors by name or book title. Or, you can search for different authors that would possibly pique your interest by browsing the list of genres.

How do I get to and around the festival?

  • MARTA! The Decatur MARTA station is right in the middle of the festival grounds – it couldn’t be any more convenient. Plan your route at itsmarta.com
  • All events are within walking distance from each other. Keep a copy of the AJC-DBF printed program on hand for quick map reference.

What should I expect once I’m there?

  • Expect a relaxed, happy atmosphere with people of all ages. Everyone’s welcome – all events are free and open to the public.

Interview with Cassandra Clare

August 24th, 2010 by Daren

This week we got a fantastic opportunity to chat on Twitter with bestselling author Cassandra Clare, about her new Infernal Devices series, London, and naked men cooking eggs. Check it out here, but remember to start from the bottom and work your way up!

DBF: Sunday 1:15 PM at the Decatur Presbyterian Church–we will see you there!

CC: I’m really looking forward to going. Decatur Book Festival, Sunday Sep 5, 1:15pm, right?

DBF: Thanks for spending time with us this afternoon. We will be seeing you in a couple of weeks! Watch those window peepers!

DBF: Ha! Pants! Well, there are a lot of people here eager to meet you, and good coffeehouses too.

CC: I like to write in coffee shops when the alternative is writing at home alone b/c it reminds me that there are other people alive out there! Also is an incentive to put on pants.

DBF: Speaking of breakfast: you like to write in coffee shops from time to time. Any qualities you like best in those places?

CC: Warlocks on the loose. Actually, not so much on the loose as naked, making eggs in their houses.

DBF: If that naked egg-making guy has a spiral-eyed cat, and a rack of spices that look more like crushed skulls, something is up!

CC: There was a naked man in there, making eggs.

DBF: Fewer people peeking through the blinds, I suppose, in an urban environment. Or so we think! :)

CC: There are definitely urban fantasy books set in the suburbs – like @hollyblack ‘s Tithe – but a city offers much more opportunities for magic in some ways because cities are so *anonymous.* No one in NYC takes a second look at something weird

DBF: Right–Urban Fantasy is way more . . . interesting? But way more kids live in suburban areas. Just a curious observation . . .

CC: I guess that’s why they don’t call it Suburban Fantasy :) I don’t know, it might be an interesting experiment.

DBF: I am curious how your all books wd be different if the characters lived in more suburban areas . . .

CC: Highgate Cemetary – so eerie and beautiful.

DBF: Any spots in Historic London that have made an impression on you?

CC: Favorite places in London . . . Borough Market. The view from Blackfriars Bridge. Best restaurant: the Anchor & Hope.

DBF: Care to share some favorite places in London & other areas around it?

CC : So many! I started visiting 2ice a year in 2008. I just got back from a trip to Yorkshire to research for Clockwork Prince.

DBF: So, for ID, any trips to London to do research?

CC: I always wanted to write a steampunk Victorian fantasy – I actually had that idea b/4 the idea for TMI, but I didn’t get the idea for making them prequels to the TMI books till after City of Bones. Then it fell into place.

DBF: When did you know you were going to take off in this new series direction? While working on Mortal Instruments? Before?

CC: Promotional stuff aside from just having massive NERVES. But I am really excited 4 people to read the new book.

DBF: So, new experience for you, plus a new (well, prequel) series! How does that feel right now?

CC: I’ve been to Atlanta — went to Dragoncon – just never signed there

DBF: Any reason you have not been to Atlanta yet?

CC: I’m looking forward to signing in Atlanta! I’ve never done that before. And there are some great authors coming.

DBF: Hi Cassie! We’re glad you’re coming to the festival! Anything you’re looking forward to?

Interview with the Esteemed Dr. Cuthbert Soup

August 23rd, 2010 by Bhumika

Bhumika here, a not so lowly, down-trodden, or put upon intern for the AJC Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical. I was recently given the spectacular opportunity of emailing Dr. Cuthbert Soup’s publicist with questions I wanted to ask Dr. Soup. Dr. Soup, in case you didn’t already know, is the writer of A Whole Nother Story. A Whole Nother Story is about the Cheeseman family who are on the run from super secret agents.

After a long semester of heavy historical treatises, I wanted something light, and A Whole Nother Story is light, funny, and adorable. The mother of the Cheesemen children was killed by secret agents trying to steal Mr. Cheeseman’s mysterious invention. Their psychic dog, Pinky, warms them when these agents are close. The family moves from place to place and changes identities frequently in order to stay a step ahead of these murderous enemies. Along the way, the Cheesemens help a few people out who later come in handy when they’re in trouble.

Dr. Soup, in his extraordinary story about the Cheesemans, addresses many concerns children sometimes face, like the difficulties of making a new friend, the struggles which come from moving, and the sadness of the loss of a close family member. As I read, I found myself asking a few questions,and thankfully, I was able to get my questions answered. They range from inquiries into his education, into his eating habits as well as about his book and his writing habits. Here are the responses to my questions.

  • Dr. Soup, what are you a doctor of?

I am a doctor of the utmost importance as I hold a Ph.D. in Unsolicited Advice.

  • Where did you get your doctorate?

My doctorate was issued by the highly esteemed Southwestern North Dakota State University, where I also played quarterback for the SWNDSU Fighting Paperclips. Go Clips!

  • What is your favorite recipe?

My favorite recipe is, without a doubt, the one for my mother’s famous Spam chowder. Unfortunately, because it is a closely guarded family secret, I am unable at this time to reveal the secret ingredient that gives this dish its special ham-like flavor.

  • What do you think of breakfast? What did you eat for breakfast?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or so it would have you believe. Therefore, you should always eat something that makes you happy.

Unfortunately, because I have a severe allergy to all circular foods, I am unable to eat many of the things that most people enjoy for breakfast. These would include: Cheerios, Fruit Loops, bagels, doughnuts, English muffins, pizza and most types of cookies.

This morning, my breakfast consisted of two slices of rectangular wheat toast and two rather shapeless scrambled eggs.

  • What books are on your reading list?

I am currently reading a very fascinating book called “How to Catch Up on Your Reading.” It’s six hundred pages long so I have had to put the rest of my reading list on hold for now.

  • What is your favorite book from your childhood?

I have many favorite books from my childhood but I cannot think one that captured my imagination quite like Treasure Island.

  • Where do you get your inspiration? Why did you write A Whole Nother Story?

Inspiration is a funny thing, like dogs wearing sweaters or Jell-O with fruit floating in it.

My inspiration for A Whole Nother Story was the result of a trip to my friendly neighborhood bookstore. And when I say friendly, I mean a little too friendly. They hug you on the way in. Creepy, to say the least.

Anyway, while perusing the bookstore aisles (and dodging the overly familiar sales staff) I spotted, high upon one of the shelves, a very conspicuous empty slot. Needless to say I was appalled and I decided right there and then that someone needed to write something immediately in order to fill that awful black hole of booklessness. That person, I decided, should be Nathaniel Hawthorne. Then I remembered that Nathaniel Hawthorne is dead. I realized then that it would be up to me to plug up that awful void between War and Peace and Wig Making for Dummies. The result is A Whole Nother Story. Perhaps I’ll tell it to you sometime.

  • You play with names in A Whole Nother Story. Why? Do you have multiple names?

I suppose it could be said that I have multiple names being that my full name is Cuthbert Hubert Egbert Soup and my real last name is Schoupenstein, which was shortened when my family immigrated to America from Vienna at the height of the Great Sausage Famine. I don’t mind the fact that they chose to shorten my family name but to be honest it makes my cousin, Minestrone, absolutely livid.

  • Is A Whole Nother Story based on true events?

I’m glad you asked me that question because if I had asked you, it might have resulted in some serious confusion. Yes, the story is based on actual events. In fact, if I had to estimate, I’d say that 95% of the story is absolutely 37% true. The rest is based on my interpretation of certain Beatles lyrics.

  • What events from the story mirror your life? Did you move much as a child? Did super secret agents ever chase you?

Though I was never chased by secret agents, my father was in the army so we were constantly having to move because he was a deserter.

Also, like the Cheesemans, I have a psychic dog. Mine growls at bad guys on TV. He also growls at horses, whether they are bad or not. Trying to watch a Western with bad guys riding horses can make for a very long evening.

  • Where is your favorite place to work?

Unlike most writers today I do not use a computer. I write the old fashioned way: on the walls of caves. Unlike computers, caves rarely crash. The lighting may not always be ideal and the air can get a bit stuffy but, still, it is my favorite place to work.

  • What advice would you offer to aspiring writers? What writing rules do you live by?

To young writers I will say this. I truly believe that everyone could become a better writer and would have a lot more fun doing it if they began to look at words as they would a lump of clay. When working a shapeless blob of clay into a vase, a bowl, a bust of Beethoven, an exact replica of Michelangelo’s David, a dog, a cat or the always reliable snake, the process involves adding, taking away, rearranging and shaping until the clay conforms to the vision you had for it in your mind.

Remember, working with words is like working with clay, not marble. If you make a mistake working with marble, you could end up with a headless dog or a one-eyed Beethoven. (By the way, both excellent names for rock bands.) But with clay there are no mistakes, only the ongoing process toward your vision. Having a firm grasp of the English language is like having a limitless supply of clay and with it you can sculpt anything.

  • Are you excited about the AJC Decatur Book Festival ?

Of course I’m excited about the festival. If it’s anything at all like the Renaissance festival I attended a couple of weeks ago, I can’t wait to see authors jousting.