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Lubbock Book Festival 2017

October 28, 2017


LUBBOCK — The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the first-ever Lubbock Book Festival, scheduled for Sat., Oct. 28, 2017. With an impressive lineup featuring New York Times best-selling authors, award-winning Texas Tech writers and other regional and local favorites, and entertainment throughout the day on the LHUCA campus, with Thursday and Friday related, off-site events leading up to it.
“We’re very excited to strengthen LHUCA’s connection to the literary arts,” said LHUCA executive director Jean Caslin. “The Lubbock Book Festival adds a rich new dimension to the activity that goes on here week in, week out.”
Kay Ellington, publisher of Lone Star Literary Life and the Festival’s chair, observed, “Texas has some amazing books and authors, and Lubbock has some amazing readers. This Festival will bring them together.”
WHEN    Saturday, October 28, 2017, 9:30 AM–8:30 PM, with related events preceding and following
WHERE   Campus of the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, 511 Ave. K in downtown Lubbock
WHY       To integrate the literary arts (reading, writing, book arts, literacy) into the robust creative life of Lubbock and the South Plains—a large region of West Texas that currently has no dedicated book festival for the general public—with the first-ever Lubbock Book Festival. Programming will also tap into art, music, and food.
WHO       A balance of popular and literary authors and programs have been carefully selected to appeal to and involve readers and fans of all ages and groups, including young children, middle readers, teen and young adult readers, and adults. We’re tapping into a wide range of local organizations: libraries, schools, colleges and universities, literacy, youth, arts, and performers.
HOW       Thanks to generous grant support from the CH Foundation, all Festival events are free and open to the public (except a few ticketed meals and performances); no ticket is required for these sessions. Parking is free around the LHUCA campus.
Featured presenters with new and/or relevant books have been invited by the Festival committee. Other local authors with qualifying books may apply for a limited number of hosted book signing slots. We also anticipate scheduling an Open Mic evening for brief readings with book signings.
Barnes & Noble’s Lubbock store, as the official festival bookstore, will handle on-site book sales. Texas Tech University Press, as the official festival publisher, will sponsor a TTUP authors’ session on Saturday as well as the Literary Lubbock fund-raiser on Friday evening, Oct. 27.
The schedule is subject to change.


Headline authors

John R. Erickson (Hank the Cowdog series)

A generation of children have grown up reading and listening to John Erickson’s Hank the Cowdog books. Erickson grew up in Perryton, in the Texas Panhandle. After graduating in 1966 from the University of Texas he spent two years at Harvard Divinity School, but returned to the Panhandle. While still working as a cowboy and ranch manager, he began publishing short stories in 1967. Hank and Drover are both dogs he’d worked with at the ranch. In 1982, after receiving numerous rejection slips from large publishers, Erickson borrowed $2,000 and began his own publishing company, Maverick Books. Hank the Cowdog debuted in The Cattleman. Fifty years and seventy books later, Erickson’s iconic pup and his lackluster sidekick have sold 8.5 million books worldwide.



 C. Gwynne (The Perfect Pass; Empire of the Summer Moon)

In 2010 S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spent four months as a New York Times top 10 Bestseller. Overall, Gwynne’s title spent eighty-two weeks on the prestigious list. The book was later a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and won the Texas Book Award and the Oklahoma Book Award. In his most recent book, The Perfect Pass, Gwynne tells the incredible story of how Hal Mumme and Mike Leach—two unknown coaches who revolutionized American football in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s—changed the way the game is played at every level, from high school to the NFL.


Karin McCay

Karin McCay co-anchors the 6 pm and 10 pm news for Lubbock’s KCBD-TV, where she and co-anchor Abner Euresti are the longest-running anchor team in the nation and have been featured many times in stories about friendship and longevity. As a news anchor, Karin regularly emcees events, judges science fairs, speaks at luncheons, and reads to classes in elementary schools. She is also an Ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network, having co-hosted that Telethon for 34 years. Now, she’s the author of the forthcoming Magic Mommy children’s book series, Marvin ad the Giant Bubble and Marvin and the Surprise Package (Waldorf Publishing, 2017).  A 17-time Anson Jones Award winner, selected by the Texas Medical Association. McCay has won the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award four times and earned a Lone Star Emmy for her documentary on the first South Plains Honor Flight and has received the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Tech School of Medicine. Karin is married to Lubbock County Commissioner Bill McCay and they have two children, Jacob and Morgan.

Adán Medrano
“Medrano’s tome is well-researched and well-illustrated with maps and appetite-stirring photographs of dishes like grilled clams in tequila broth; watermelon canapés with avocado, serrano, and grapes; and a red jalapeño champagne cocktail…It is truly a delight.” —Cowboys and Indians Magazine. Praise for Adan Medrano’s cookbook Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes (Texas Tech University Press, 2014) came from chefs and reviewers in such well-regarded publications as Garden and Gun, and restaurateurs. Houston-based chef and food writer Medrano and will be featured in a lunchtime cooking demonstration, with lunch served. (Paid admission ticket required.)

Jodi Thomas

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 45 novels and 13 short story collections. In 2006, Thomas became the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITAs to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas, a Lubbock native, a Texas Tech alumna, serves as writer in residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Her Ransom Canyon series of West Texas romance novels launched in 2015; more highly anticipated new books in the series are forthcoming in fall 2017.

Other featured authors to date

Linda Castillo of Amarillo has published thirty books for three New York publishing houses and won numerous industry awards, including a nomination by the International Thriller Writers for Best Hardcover, the Golden Heart, the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and a nomination for the prestigious RITA.
Her debut thriller, Sworn to Silence, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist and spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Subsequent books in the series also hit the NYT and USA Today lists and became international bestsellers. Sworn to Silence was adapted into a two-hour original movie retitled An Amish Murder, starring Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder. 

Novelist Rachel Caine writes the internationally bestselling Morganville Vampires series, as well as the bestselling Weather Warden and Outcast Season series. The Morganville Vampires series has been translated into 22 languages and was optioned for TV and film, although the production didn’t work out. In 2013 crowdfunding provided the financial backing for a digital online TV series of The Morganville Vampires. A graduate of Texas Tech, Caine has been listed in science fiction fan sites as one of the Top 100 bestselling science fiction authors of all time, with more than 3 million copies sold.

The Adventures of Wilder Good series of novels for young readers by Lubbock’s S. J. Dahlstrom has been recognized with a Will Rogers Award and a Western Heritage Association Wrangler Award. In Texas Grit, The Green Colt, The Elk Hunt, and Wilder and Sunny, Dahlstrom draws on his experiences as a cowboy, husband, father, and founder of the Whetstone Boys Ranch in Mountain View, Missouri.

For writers of Westerns, the Spur, awarded by the Western Writers of America, is a literary Oscar. Patrick Dearen of Midland won the Spur award in 2015 for his novel The Big Drift, which has since been optioned for a movie. His most recent novel is Dead Man’s Boot (Five Star Publishing, 2016). An author of 23 books, Dearen wears two hats: as historian and folklorist, he produces books that appeal to both scholars and general readers; as a novelist, he tells stories about the West—both past and present—that capture readers’ imaginations.

International and New York Times bestselling author of gothic/fantasy tales A.G. Howard of Amarillo combines the mystical and the romantic with a side of horror. Her writing appeals to young adults and new adults. Her Splintered, was nominated for a Goodreads Choice award for best debut novel in 2013. Her latest book, Roseblood, charted #1 on the New York Times Young Adult Hardcover list in January of this year.

Terry Jennings is CEO and founder of Korban Music Group LLC, a full-service management, consulting, and publishing company. Jennings was introduced to the business at an early age through his work as production manager for his father, West Texas legend Waylon Jennings. He has also worked for booking agencies, publishing companies, and as a talent scout for major label companies, including RCA Records. His combination biography and memoir, Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad (Hachette, 2016), was praised by Willie Nelson as “a terrific tribute, from a son to his father.”

Rosa Walston Latimer of Post is the author of The Harvey Houses of Texas, The Harvey Houses of New Mexico, and The Harvey Houses of Kansas (Arcadia/History Press), all inspired by the true-life story of her grandmother, who was a Harvey Girl in New Mexico. According to a review in New Mexico Magazine, Latimer “pays devoted attention to the vibrant inner lives and daily work life of Harvey Girls, transforming what could have been a prim volume into an intimate page-turner.”

Author and playwright Tim Lewis has written more than twenty plays/musicals. In addition, he teaches a beginning novel writing class at West Texas A&M University and co-directs a summer writing academy. He is also a professional speaker, cowboy poet, actor, and songwriter. He drew inspiration for his best-selling novel Forever Friday published by the Random House Christian imprint, WaterBrook, from the postcards sent between his great-aunt and great-uncle over a period of sixty years.

Singer, songwriter, and storyteller Tim A. McKenzie of Lubbock is author of the Baxter Barret Brown’s Bass Fiddle series of children’s books, winsomely illustrated by Elaine Atkinson.

Michelle Pantoya has co-authored several illustrated books for young readers on engineering; the latest is Designing Dandelions, with Emily Hunt and illustrated by Irma Sizer. A professor of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University, she lives in Lubbock with her husband and four sons.

Frank Sikes, a third-generation West Texan, grew up in Plainview, where LaVern Roach and Jimmy Dean were hometown heroes. West Texas Middleweight: The Story of LaVern Roach (Texas Tech University Press, 2016) is his first book.

Winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House. Witemeyer has been recognized with secular awards as well and is a 2017 RITA award finalist.

One Saturday panel will feature authors with recent nonfiction books by Texas Tech University Press, who will also be showcased at Friday evening’s Literary Lubbock fundraiser: Nancy Draves, A Promise Fulfilled: The Kitty Anderson Diary and Civil War Texas, 1861; Bob Horton, Of Bulletins and Booze: A Newsman’s Story of Recovery; Janet M. Neugebauer, A Witness to History: George H. Mahon, West Texas Congressman; Ruben Molina, Chicano Soul: Recordings and History of an American Culture, 10th Anniversary Edition.

Other sessions will feature readings and discussions by Texas Tech University faculty and graduate students, and poetry readings and discussions with award-winning poets.

Lead partners in the 2017 Lubbock Book Festival include LHUCA, Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Press, TTU Libraries, Texas Tech Friends of the Libraries, Lone Star Literary Life, the Lubbock Arts Alliance, Literacy Lubbock, Barnes & Noble, and Visit Lubbock. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Although space limitations won’t allow for author exhibitors at this year’s Festival, local authors with recent, relevant books in print are invited to apply for a limited number of book signing slots for Sat., Oct. 28. Email LubbockBookFestival@gmail.com for an application and further information.


October 28, 2017


Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts
Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts
Lubbock, TX 79401 United States
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Jean Caslin, Executive Director
Private: Kay Ellington, Festival Chair
Private: Barbara Brannon