The Big Read

Published October 10, 2010 by LS Murphy

On Saturday, October 9th, book lovers from all over the St. Louis area descended upon downtown Clayton for The Big Read book festival to meet and hear from notable authors.

After years of dedicating myself to going, and never quite making it, I held firm to my resolve. Not even flu-like symptoms and 85 degree heat would keep me from meeting Cecily von Ziegesar.

As I wandered the event, I stopped to listen to James Thach read from The Seal Pup. He was thoroughly engaging his audience. It was clear that he is a master storyteller. I enjoyed his presentation.

There was so much to see. And so many books to purchase. I lugged about quite a heavy bag.

But The Big Read wasn’t just for book lovers, or fangirls like myself. There were writing workshops about publishing and writing science fiction or historical novels. There were booths for the kids for crafts as well as books.

I settled into a comfy seat out of the sun and waited to hear Cecily von Ziegesar. Melanie Moon, a local television anchor, interviewed Ms. von Ziegesar. She shared the story of how she started in publishing and ended up writing the Gossip Girl books. Most of the conversation centered around her recent release Cum Laude, which is an “adult” novel about college freshmen.

After the short hour that when far too quickly, Ms. von Ziegesar signed books at the conveniently located Borders tent which had numerous copies of Cum Laude.

I chatted with some other fangirls and got my copy of Cum Laude autographed. It was a great day.

Sadly, my flu-like symptoms took control and I couldn’t make it much longer without lying down. Hard to do that in the middle of Clayton. So I left without meeting Jonathan Dee or Scott Phillips or Heather Brewer. But I also left with a firm resolve to return next year. And the year after that.

Who knows, maybe one year I’ll be there as an author and not just a fangirl.


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