This coming Sunday the 29th is the Orange County Children’s Book Festival and I will be attending in the Author’s Booth section dressed in my pirate gear. This festival holds a special place for me because years ago when we attended with my (then) three year old daughter – Penelope the Purple Pirate was just a dream and I was at the very early stages of writing the story and had yet to meet Paul Johnson, our Illustrator. I still remember walking through the book festival looking at the authors selling their books and thought to myself that one day I will be here too, selling my book. I didn’t know when (or how) this would happen, but I was determined to make it a reality. Fast forward four years and this is my third festival where I will showcase Penelope and now Gerry the Giraffe. My daughter has been there with me the past few years which made it even more special as I was able to share this with her. Here we are last year inside my pirate booth!
It is such a wonderful festival to bring the kids to as it encourages a love of reading and writing. Plus, there are many local authors who are there happy to personalize their books for you! I had a chance to speak to the founders, Pat Burns and Barry Ackerman who created the Orange County Children’s Book Festival ten years ago. Here is what they have to say about the inspiration behind creating it and why they feel it has grown into one of the largest children’s book festivals in the country.