Commerce Loves Reading Book Festival -- March 18, 2017

Meet the Creative Minds Behind Your Favorite Books!

(Check out information from last year's event!)

Bring your books to get them autographed, or buy a copy at the festival, courtesy of Once Upon a Time Books!

Check out the schedule:

10am Keynote: John ‘Corey’ Whaley (Council Chambers)

10:30-11:20 Session I
A. Peace of Mind: Mental and emotional well-being in YA Lit. (Council Chambers)
Corey Whaley, Julie Buxbaum, Kerry Kletter, Marisa Reichardt 
Moderators: Adriana Ochoa, Jasmine Valencia, Kelly Ramirez

C. Frans Vischer (Children’s Program Room)

D. Story Structure: The Harry Potter Way (Teen Room)
Jeff Garvin

11:25-12:15 Session II
A. #WakeUpAmerica: Realistic Fiction (Council Chambers)
Charlotte Huang, Kasie West, Kerry Kletter, Lilliam Rivera 
Moderators: Gretchen McNeil, Adriana Ochoa, Kelly Ramirez

B. They Live: Fake news and alternative facts (Senior Center)
Corey Whaley, Julie Buxbaum, Kathy Kotarras 
Moderators: Erik Jackiw, Hector Bautista, Diana Parra

C. Chris Robertson (Children’s Program Room)

12:15-12:45 Lunch (Lobby / Literacy Center)

12:45-1:05 Literary Costume Contest (Council Chambers)

1:10 – 2:00 Session III
A. In a Genre, Far, Far Away: Different genres and reading outside your comfort zone (Council Chambers)
Ann Stampler, Gretchen McNeil, Kasie West
Moderators: Scott Gurrola, Hector Bautista 

B. Identity Crisis: To thine own self be true? (Senior Center)
Charlotte Huang, Jeff Garvin, Kathy Kotarras, Lilliam Rivera 
Moderators: Marisa Reichardt, Diana Parra, Jasmine Valencia

C. Bethany Barton (Children’s Program Room)

D. Leslie Margolis (Teen Room)

2pm Book Signings (Senior Center)

bethany bARTon is an artist, author and illustrator.  Bethany's art and writing capture the thoughts and feelings we all share: equal parts whimsy and reality; humor & heartbreak, whiskey & robots. Bethany makes art about being human and being honest. Her creations are an attempt to "say what everyone is thinking" - and in doing so help break down barriers... allowing people of every age to find commonalities; to connect; to identify with each other.

Julie Buxbaum is the New York Times best selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, and the critically acclaimed novels The Opposite of Love and After You. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. She is a former lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children, and an immortal goldfish.     @juliebux on Twitter
Jeff Garvin:  “While studying at Chapman University, Jeff won awards for classical guitar and visual storytelling before graduating with a BFA in Film. As the front man of his rock band, 7k, Garvin released three albums and toured the United States. When the band dissolved in 2011, Jeff, who had always written short stories and lyrics, found his passion in full-length fiction.”
Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte is the author of For the Record  and Going Geek.     @charlottexhuang
Kerry Kletter has had a lifelong passion for story. She holds a degree in literature and has an extensive background in theater, having appeared in film, television, and onstage.  When not writing, Kerry can be found surfing, running, working with animals, or singing loudly in her car while stuck in LA traffic.     @kkletter on Twitter
E. Katherine Kottaras holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is an active member of NCTE and SCBWI, as well as a proud board member of the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California. Katherine is interested in the stories we tell, the stories we are given, and the ways we can redefine our worlds by discovering which stories are true. 
Leslie Margolis is the author of numerous books for young readers, including the Annabelle Unleashed books Boys Are Dogs, Girls Acting Catty, Everybody Bugs Out, and One Tough Chick, as well as the Maggie Brooklyn mystery series. The Disney Channel movie Zapped!, starring Zendaya, was inspired by the first book in the Annabelle Unleashed series, Boys are Dogs.
Gretchen McNeil has been an opera singer and a clown, perhaps an ideal mix for a writer of teen horror and suspense.  Her first book, Possess, is about a teen exorcist and her second book, Ten, is about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer.  The horror continues in her Don’t Get Mad series, pitched as “John Hughes with a body count.”  You’ll want to read these, just not in the dark!
Marisa Reichardt is a SoCal native who has paid the bills by shucking oysters, waiting tables, peddling swimwear, tutoring, and writing. She can usually be found huddled over her laptop in coffeehouses or swimming in the ocean.  Her debut novel, Underwater, was an Indies Introduce New Voices pick for winter/spring 2016 and an Indie Next Top 10 pick for winter 2016. 
Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of The Education of Margot Sanchez.  Lilliam's work has appeared in Tin House, Tahoma Literary Review, Los Angeles Times, Latina, USA Today, Cosmo for Latinas, Sundog Lit, Midnight Breakfast, Bellevue Literary Review, The, and Los Angeles Review of Books.  She hosts a monthly literary radio show, Literary Soundtrack, on
Chris Robertson is an author/illustrator of Children's Picture Books.  While in elementary school, Chris was introduced to "Curious George", "Madeline", and "Harry the Dirty Dog" by way of the Bookmobile. The introduction left such a strong impression, that even at an early age, Chris knew children's books were going to be an important part of his life.
Ann Redisch Stampler says "I have always wanted to be a writer, and have always, ever since I was first able to write, had notebooks and file folders and bankers’ boxes full of stories, and pieces of stories, and fragments of novels, and random paragraphs. As a teenager, I saw myself as smart and socially hopeless. Now I see myself as less smart and less hopeless, but I’m still basically the same person I’ve always been; I’m just a lot happier about it."
Frans Vischer visited the Disney Studio when he was thirteen, where he was encouraged to make his own animated films. With a used super-eight camera and a light-box built by his father, Frans got straight to work. High school evenings were spent making short films. Despite his passion for cartoons, Frans is forever indebted to his high school art teacher, Fran Coleman, who taught him that there is more to art than Mickey Mouse. He explored other forms of drawing, painting and sculpture, but animation remained his favorite genre.
Kasie West says, "I love to write--too much. It's a sickness really. My novels out and available now are: Pivot Point, Split Second, The Distance Between Us, On The Fence, and The Fill-In Boyfriend...  I graduated from Fresno State University with a BA degree that has nothing to do with writing.  I earned my masters in Junior Mint eating (which is awarded after eating your millionth King Size box....I'm now working on my PhD).  I love sappy alternative rock ballads and reading way past my bedtime."  
John 'Corey' Whaley grew up in the small town of Springhill, Louisiana, where he learned to be sarcastic and to tell stories...  He started writing stories about aliens and underwater civilizations when he was around ten or eleven, but now writes realistic YA fiction (which sometimes includes zombies...) He is terrible at most sports, but is an occasional kayaker and bongo player.  His favorite word is defenestration. His favorite color is green.  @corey_whaley
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