15. July 2015 · Comments Off on After Action Report: San Antonio Indie Book Festival · Categories: Book Event

Yes, I meant to write this up almost at once, but the event on Sunday afternoon took up all of my energy for the day – and on Monday I had other work to do, and by Tuesday I had a touch of the crud that seems to hit people who otherwise don’t go to crowded events in events and conference centers very often. So – there were a fair number of other others and venders whom we had seen before. My table was next to Allan Kimball, who lives in Wimberley and writes travel guides – Texas Redneck Road Trips is one — and a series of historical fiction novels. I don’t think that we sold all that many copies of our books between us, but the conversations with Mr. Kimball and other authors were interesting. If the event was not all that great from a sales point of view, the networking might prove interesting in the long run. We both agreed enthusiastically that the awful miniseries Texas Rising which was inflicted upon the poor, long-suffering audience last month was a perfect horror, beginning with the location shooting, the costuming, and the flagrant abuse of historical fact. No, the Alamo does not and never did have a crypt. Even Pee Wee Herman knows that. (I would have done a full review of that turkey, but I only had stamina to watch more than the first episode, and Mr. Kimball thought even that was too generous – he bailed after the first fifteen minutes.)

The venue was a former large retail space in the Wonderland of America Mall, at Fredericksburg and 410 – which was nice in one way, being indoors, and in a retail location anyway. But perhaps a Saturday might have been better. Malls are not quite the going thing any more; of two of the half-dozen big ones in San Antonio, one has been repurposed by Rackspace, and the other torn down and replaced by free-standing shops. Another near us has been staggering on for years, as a half-empty retail zombie … you’d think that since open air destination shopping centers seem to be doing very well, thank you, that malls ought to be as well, but not so. No idea why, save that perhaps the rent is too high for all but well-established chains, or high-end merchandise. Wonderland has gotten around that by renting to doctor’s offices and schools of this and that on the lower floor, and having a super-Target and a Burlington Coat Factory outlet on the upper level, but still … there was a miasma of mall glories past, lurking about. That, and dust or mold in the AC vents, which gave me stuffy sinuses the next day. And that’s the way it was, last Sunday in the Alamo City.

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