In the shade of the Big Enchilada - the Central Library building.

In the shade of the Big Enchilada – the Central Library building.

This is only the second year running for the San Antonio Book Festival, sponsored by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, which seems to have modeled itself on the Texas Book Festival – at least, the principles and requirements for books to be considered for it are identical. This means that independently-published books, like my own, and subsidy-published books like … well, Watercress Press authors are not eligible for consideration as part of the festival, only as exhibitors. In the eyes of strict book trade professionals, indy and subsidy-press books have literary cooties or something. (Insert Bette Davis-sized eye-roll here and a heavily sarcastic sigh of “What-ever!) This is ironic in the extreme, as Watercress publishes John Igo’s poetry collections, and he has a public library branch named for him.

So, off to the festival, where the exhibitor booths were set up in three or four rows of pop-up pavilions in the parking lot of the South West School for Art and Craft. The School, by the way – used to house the convent and boarding school run by the Ursuline sisters. This was the first girl’s school in San Antonio, and was considered to be a very fine one in the 19th century. (In the Trilogy, this is the school that Hannah and Lottie attend.)
It was chilly and overcast all day Saturday, which may have discouraged some participation – as well as some of the exhibitors – but on the other hand, better that then too hot, or too cold, as it was in December at Christmas on the Square at Goliad last December. Yes, it would have been more pleasant if the sun had come out … but outdoor events in Texas are a challenging thing, most times of the year, whatever that time is.

So – I sold some books, made some connections, plan to join the Texas Association of Authors, so as to be able to have my books appear at more book events, and maybe gained a few more clients for Watercress. All in all, a good day – but at the end of the day, a couple of classes of Chablis, a frozen pizza warming in the oven, and a couple of episodes of the old Upstairs, Downstairs show on TV were a well-earned reward.


  1. Mike Weatherford

    Glad you had a good time, Celia. Here’s to many more successes in the future!


  2. Hope so, Mike – and by getting in on the ground floor, hope that I can do something about the “indies-have-cooties” attitude, too!