I went to the LA Times Festival of Books today. Partly to scope the thing out because I’ve wanted to attend for the past few years and just never managed to get my act together. But, mostly, I went for the Scalzi.
John Scalzi, to be precise. It’s no secret I adore his writing, and he’s not touring that much this year. So I figured that combining these two impetus(es?) (attending the festival & seeing Scalzi) made a pretty good case for me to get my butt over to USC today.
Thoughts on the Festival: Very crowded and busy, but not total gridlock. My friend Chelsea and I moved around with relative ease. I was able to hit the restrooms, eat, and leave at the end of the day with very minimal inconvenience or wait. Things seemed to be managed well. There was never a moment where I became annoyed with the wait or the services. Well done on the coordination, USC. A+
Thoughts on Scalzi: Brilliant and charming as always at his talk. But also a very funny, sweet guy talking to him one on one. I asked him to sign a book for me and one for my sister and he very kindly did both, on the fly, with a smile on his face. He was gracious and generous, exactly the way you hope an author will be when you meet him in person. He even took a photo with me. *SQUEE* This made me all kinds of happy. ^_^
His talk (which was a conversation with Sandman Slim author Richard Kadrey) was quite excellent. I dragged my friend Chelsea along and she had no idea who Scalzi was but she thought he was very good, full of really useful insights and also just an engaging speaker in general. He discussed the importance of craft for an author but also how luck comes into play. And how the two can work together. ie Yes, he’s had some lucky breaks in his career, but he was also ready with good work when those breaks came along. Chance favors the prepared.
He also hammered home something I already know but need to be reminded of from time to time which is that tenacity is really important. The people who make it don’t make it because they are more talented or lucky or whatever than other authors. They make it because they work harder for it. You can’t get where you want to go slacking off.
So, all in all, a really fun day. I’m glad I went. 🙂
How’d you spend your weekend? Did anyone else hit up the festival?