Saturday, April 12, 2014

In Case You Missed It: Literary Orange 2014, Part 1

What: Literary Orange
Where: Marriott, Irvine
When: Friday, April 5, 2014

Please Note: The quotes are approximate.


"This is a gift to you, so you can connect with the authors you love and discover new authors and new genres."

Literary Orange is a luncheon gathering of authors, readers, and librarians that takes place in Irvine once a year.  It cost $60 if you sign up in advance, $70
at the door.  A continental breakfast, a nice lunch, and a bookbag is included in the price.

It is my first time here, and I don't know what to expect.  I've come as a writer in hopes, I suppose, of gleaning information about the craft and business of writing and, more vaguely, of networking.  Beyond that, I have no plan.  But I do come bearing a fresh green spiral bound notebook and some lead pencils.  Whatever else I will do, I will listen and record.

Inside the Marriott, tables bearing glass squares brimming with little mandarin oranges (or perhaps tangerines) tell me I'm at the right place.  I register, clip my magnetic name tag on my sweater, and head into the ballroom.  It is nice in a generic sort of way: red-patterned carpets, round tables with white cloth, bulbous golden light fixtures in the place of chandeliers.  My party is early.  We take one of the non-reserved tables near the stage and head over to get breakfast.

I help myself to coffee, a scone, and three bright red strawberries.

The bookstore, hosted by Mysterious Galaxy, sits adjacent to the ballroom.  The books lie in rectangular stacks on three long tables, all arranged in alphabetical order, author last name first.  A few wise people purchase books in advance, before the mad rush begins. I'm not so wise.  I run my hand along the books, skimming through the title names, taking it all in.
The room begins to crowd.  A woman asks if the seat is taken.  Another woman sits down to my right.  Most of the people in the room are middle-aged and older women.  Some are readers, some are writers, and I bump into one of the librarians from the Brea Library.  I begin to think about how the event will appeal to all these demographics.  Is my original assumption correct?  Will it just be information pertaining to writing?  Or will it be something else?

As I wonder, a woman steps up to the stage.  She is a librarian.  She welcomes us to Literary Orange.  "This is a gift to you," she says.  "So you can connect with the authors you love and discover new authors and new genres."

And so it begins.

* * *

In the coming days, I will post each section, one day at a time

Sunday: Morning Keynote Speaker (Marlo Thomas)
Monday: Panel #1 Agents: The Business of Writing
Tuesday: Panel # 2 YA: The Awesome Age
Wednesday: Lunch
Thursday: Panel # 3 Travel: Journeys in Writing
Friday: Afternoon Keynote Speaker (Ann Hood)
Sunday: Final Thoughts

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