LitFest to focus on Internet, science fiction, self-publishing Tuesday, Thursday

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldMay 12, 2014 

Science fiction, Internet publishing and children's poetry will be the focus of the final two public events at the Richland Public Library for this year's Mid-Columbia LitFest.

Authors Edward W. Robertson and Jason Andrew Bond will be at the library at 7 p.m. today to read from their books and talk about Internet- and self-publishing, which play crucial roles in their writing careers.

Children's poet laureate Kenn Nesbitt will read from his works and take questions at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The events are further attempts by festival organizers to reach out to different groups of readers and nonreaders in the community, said Bill McKay, an organizer and dean of arts, humanities and physical education at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.

Robertson, a Tri-City native who now lives in Los Angeles, is best known for the post-apocalyptic novels of the Breakers series. Bond's first novel, Hammerhead, was a bestseller, and he's working on its sequel.

Both men sell their books primarily as digital editions for e-readers. Bond has been publishing his story Burning Sky as a series on his website, and Robertson blogs extensively about self-publishing.

McKay said the growth of the self-publishing industry, largely done via the internet and e-books, prompted him and other festival organizers to find a way to incorporate the topic into this year's LitFest.

"The world is changing and we're going to try and address that," he said.

While most other LitFest events have focused on readers no younger than teens, Nesbitt's readings Thursday will appeal to families with very young children, McKay said.

Nesbitt, who lives in Spokane, has written a lot of humorous poems for children, earning him recognition from the Poetry Foundation.

Both events are free of charge.

-- Ty Beaver: 582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver; Google+: +TyBeaverTCHerald

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