By Mic Porte
Friday evening, February 1, 2013, the San Diego Library hosted its 47th annual Local Authors exhibit and reception, one of the last events to be held at the “old” downtown library on E and 9th St.
Four hundred new titles published by San Diego County residents in 2012, both hard copy and e-books, were on display, as proud authors, new and confirmed, accepted their medals and stood for photo ops. They shared a delicious buffet and networked. Many were nostalgic about these old library walls and the changing era of reading and books, many are excited about the future of digital publishing.
Cindy Schutler, assistant head librarian, welcomed the guest authors while reflecting, “This is the largest group of authors to date. Computer possibilities have enlarged the scope of publication and everyone can tell their story now. A few years back we were a bit skeptical about the criteria of all the self-published books, but not anymore; the quality and diversity is wonderful. We are proud to host San Diego’s growing literary society. The exhibit of local authors’ books will be featured until March 3.”
David Brin, modern master of science fiction, sharing his latest book, Existence, chatted with fellow author and friend, Arthur Salm. Salm, a longtime Union Tribune book reviewer is now publishing novels for young adults, one of the best selling genres, and his latest work, Anyway, is an e-book.
Regarding self-publishing, Brin acknowledges that, “keeping the rights to your work is a good thing and that his unpublished ‘backlist’ of novels might be more lucrative now than ever before. ‘Fan fiction,’ a growing genre of online material by fans of authors that is enlarging upon their favorite authors’ stories, is also surprisingly creative and of quality, although unremunerated. These days, the possibilities for self-expression are endless.”
Zohreh Ghahremani, author of Sky of Red Poppies, is accumulating honors, being chosen a San Diego One Book selection. She is excited about the release of her next novel in a month, The Moon Daughter. Now living in La Jolla, she is happy to share the stories of her native land, Iran, and the paths, by way of London University and across the world, which have enriched her writing. Also a painter, the beautiful covers of her books are of her own creation.
Phil Shafer, honored attendee 8 years in a row, admits that this next year, 2013, will conclude the 9 novel fictional adventure series, Empire and Resistance, in which he often features San Diego scenes amidst tales of international war and intrigue.
New author, Michael Monahan, is as irreverent as his book. College Boy, a hilarious revisit of the 80’s era of surfers, sex, drugs and rock and roll, from a “closet reader” and college experimentalist.
The youngest of the authors, nine year old John Woodworth wrote Pat a cake pata cake We made a Mistake for his little brother and is already working on his second book. 14 year old Melody Sadrin-Naini wrote her “fractured fairy tale” Cinderloha, as a Hawaiian version of the classic tale.
Accompanied by the sounds of San Diego’s renowned Zymmzzy Quartet, the 47th local authors celebration filled the downtown library with dreams crafted into prose, poetry and life lessons.
“From cookbooks to self-help manuals to local archaeology and history, from personal journeys to fantasy fiction to politics to children’s stories, in Spanish, in English, in pictures… With the continued support of Friends of the Library, and the San Diego Library Foundation, rendez-vous next year at the new San Diego main library, opening July 2013, that has been the dream and effort of so many… Writers: you fill our libraries with books, books that people want, books that people need, thank you.”