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Author Festival draws the cream of NM’s literary crop

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A pride of New Mexico writers – about 25 of them – will take part in the Albuquerque Museum’s second annual Author Festival on Saturday, Nov. 11.

A 1 p.m. panel discussion stars authors Joseph Badal, Steve Brewer, Don Bullis and Steve Havill. The writers will discuss “Your Path from Writer to Author.”

Four authors will give solo presentations.

At 10 a.m., Nasario García will talk about his roots in the rural Río Puerco Valley as a source of literary inspiration. García is a memoirist, oral historian and children’s book author.

At 11 a.m., Nancy Owen Lewis will discuss the role of canines in the defense industry during World War II. She’s working on a manuscript on that topic. Here most recent book is “Chasing the Cure in New Mexico: Tuberculosis and the Quest for Health.” Lewis is Scholar-in-Residence at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe.

At noon, David Morrell will discuss his motivation for setting four best-selling mysteries in Victorian England, known as the Thomas DeQuincy Series. Morrell also wrote the Rambo series.

And at 2 p.m., Albuquerque’s Paula Paul will chat about the “rules” of becoming a successful author. Paul has written mysteries, historical fiction, literary fiction and young adult novels.

Throughout the festival, “the public gets to meet the authors, talks to them, and can have books inscribed by them,” said Denise Crouse, the museum’s communications director.

There will be a 3 p.m. Writing Contest Awards ceremony. The awards will go to the best unpublished work of fiction and of nonfiction. The fiction prize is named for Morrell and the nonfiction prize for New Mexico author Lesley Poling-Kempes.

The festival is partly a fundraiser for the Albuquerque Museum Foundation. Badal, of Sandia Park, said he suggested the idea for the event to the museum. “I said, ‘Here’s a great way to spotlight New Mexico authors and maybe raise money for the museum’s education programs,’ ” he recalled.

Emily Blaugrund Fox, the foundation’s executive director, said that for each book sold at the event, the foundation receives 40 percent of the proceeds, with 60 percent for the authors. The foundation uses its share to support the educational programs at the museum and at Casa San Ysidro in Corrales.

In addition, Fox said, the foundation will receive a $5,000 donation from festival sponsor the Garcia Automotive Group. That donation will also be applied to the educational programs.

The additional listed authors include Sue Boggio, Janet Brennan, Rani Divine, Ashley Gallegos, Melody Groves, Betsy James, Robert Kidera, Jane Lindskold, Rory McClanahan, Ana Pacheco, Mare Pearl, Gail Rubin, Margaret Tessler, James Tritten, Neecy Twinem, Ross Van Dusen, Robert E. Vardaman and Patricia Wood.