Pflugerville Book Pfestival

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Join us on April 29th, 2017  from 1:00-5:30 pm for author interviews, book signings, crafts, story times and more.


1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Story Time and book signing with Diane Gonzales Bertrand (Story Time Room)

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Historical Fiction panel with Anna Castle and Judith Austin Mills (Cosmos room)

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Sidekicks in Crime Fiction with authors Joe Lansdale & Minerva Koenig, Scout Montgomery & Molly Odintz of Book People, and Hopeton Hay

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Skip Hollandsworth presents: Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America's First Serial Killer (Cosmos room)

2:30 - 3:00 p.m. Skype interview with Patrick Carman (Poppy room)

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Presentation and book signing with author Donna Janell Bowman (Story Time Room)

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Diversity in Texas Literature with authors John Moran Gonzalez, Chaitali Sen, Jacob Grovey, & Luke Ortega Luper. Moderated by Hopeton Hay

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Creating Interesting Characters with Anna Castle (Poppy room)

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Taco Talk with Mando Rayo, Jarod Neece, Molly Frisinger and Stephanie Bogdanich (Lantana room)

4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Young adult author panel with Mari Mancusi, Rene S. Perez and Joe Shine  (Cosmos room)

5:00 - 5:30 p.m. Pf Poetry Society Poetry Reading (Poppy room)

Plus, enjoy book-related crafts and activities throughout the Library from 2:00-4:00 pm!

Authors in attendance (in order of appearance):


Diane Gonzales Bertrand

Diane Gonzales Bertrand is a life-long resident of San Antonio, Texas. She has been Writer-in-Residence for the English-Communication Studies Department at St. Mary’s University since 1997.

San Antonio is the setting for many of her award winning picture books like Family, familia, The Empanadas that Abuela Made/Los empanadas que hacía la abuela, Adelita and the Veggie Cousins/ Adelita y Las Primas Verduritas, and her bilingual novelThe Ruiz Street Kid/Los Muchachos de la calle Ruiz.  Recent titles include Cecilia and Miguel are best Friends/Cecilia y Miguel son mejores amigos, A Bean and Cheese Taco Birthday/ Un cumpleaños con tacos de frijoles con queso, and The Story Circle/El Círculo de cuentos. Her books for teens include Trino’s Choice and its sequel Trino’s Time; The F Factor, and her first bilingual collection of short fiction for young adults, There’s a Name for this Feeling/Hay un nombre para lo que siento. Bertrand’s poetry has been published in The Texas Poetry Calendar, Poetry on the Move, and Pecan Grove Review. She is a popular author who visits schools and libraries, encouraging others to write down their family stories, to read more books, and to become part of the next generation of authors and artists.



Anna Castle

Award-winning author Anna Castle writes two historical series: Francis Bacon mysteries and the Professor & Mrs. Moriarty mysteries. She’s earned a series of degrees -- BA Classics, MS Computer Science, and PhD Linguistics -- and has had a corresponding series of careers -- waitressing, software engineering, assistant professor, and archivist. Writing fiction combines her lifelong love of stories and learning. Find out more at Anna's website.



Judith Austin Mills

Judith Austin Mills is a central Texas writer and instructor, who's resided in Pflugerville since 1992. Her MA from UT concentrated in Creative Writing, but only in the last decade has historical fiction been her focus. While taking students on a French Legation tour long ago, she began imagining what life was like for residents of Austin during its first years as a capital. She also began recalling more clearly her grandfather's visit to the Goliad monument to see ancestors listed. Her quest to spotlight some of Texas history's more forgotten episodes grew into a trilogy centered on the Revolution's unsung participants. Readers often comment that her fictional and her historical characters come across as equally vivid. In her research, she encountered Captain Gilleland, namesake for the main creek running the length of Pflugerville! Her third novel, Where Freedom Abides, will be out in 2018. Visit her website at      



Joe Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over 45 novels and 400 shorter works, screenplays and teleplays and comic scripts. His work has been filmed several times, including Bubba Hotep, Cold In July, Incident On and Off a Mountain Road, and is the basis for the Hap and Leonard series on Sundance TV. He wrote for Batman the Animated Series as well as Superman the Animated Series. He scripted the animated movie Son of Batman. He has one numerous awards for his work, including an Edgar, ten Bram Stokers, The Spur, The British Fantasy Award and others.



Minerva Koenig

Minerva was born in Berkeley, California, but moved to Texas at an early age and considers Galveston her home town. She began writing as a pre-teen, and became addicted to mystery and suspense novels in her early twenties. Many years later, Minerva decided to try her hand at writing them, and Julia Kalas was born.
Her Day Job is licensed Texas architect, running her own one-woman practice in the Live Music Capital of
the World. When not architecting or writing, she like to read, play chess, do yoga, wrangle cats, and fight the patriarchy.



Skip Hollandsworth:

Skip Hollandsworth grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas, attended TCU in Fort Worth and after graduation worked as a reporter and columnist for newspapers in Dallas. He also has worked as a television producer and documentary filmmaker. Since 1989, he has been a staff writer at Texas Monthly magazine, where he has received several journalism awards, including a National Headliners Award, the national John Hancock Award for Excellence in Business and Financial Journalism, the City and Regional Magazine gold award for feature writing, and the Texas Institute of Letters O. Henry award for magazine writing. He has been a finalist four times for a National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, and in 2010 he won the National Magazine Award in feature writing for “Still Life,” his story about a young man who, after suffering a crippling football injury in high school, spent the next 33 years in his bedroom, unable to move. The movie "Bernie," which Hollandsworth co-wrote with Richard Linklater, was released in May 2012. It is based on a story he wrote in the January 1998 Texas Monthly titled "Midnight in the Garden of East Texas." His book, The Midnight Assassin, a true historical thriller, was published in April 2016 and became a New York Times bestseller.  The Midnight Assassin is a history of Austin, Texas in the year 1885 when a brutal but brilliant serial killer went on a rampage, ritualistically slaughtering seven women over the course of twelve months, and setting off a citywide panic. Three years later, when a man nicknamed Jack the Ripper carried out a similar series of killings in the Whitechapel district of London, England, Scotland Yard detectives speculated that he was the Austin killer who had traveled overseas to continue to carry out his "diabolical work." In its review, The New York Times described the The Midnight Assassin as "true crime of high quality," "smart and restrained" and "chilling." The Wall Street Journal called the book a "thoroughly researched, excitingly written history" and an “absorbing work."




Donna Janell Bowman

Donna Janell Bowman is the Texas author of books for trade and education publishers as well as articles and short stories in nationally acclaimed children’s magazines. Her newly-released picture book biography, STEP RIGHT UP: HOW DOC AND JIM KEY TAUGHT THE WORLD ABOUT KINDNESS (Lee and Low, October 2016), illustrated by Daniel Minter, has been named a Junior Library Guild Selection, an ALA Notable book, an NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book, and it earned starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. Two additional picture book biographies are forthcoming: En garde! Abraham Lincoln's Dueling Words (Peachtree, spring 2018), and King of the Tightrope: The Great Great Blondin (Peachtree, spring 2019). Other fiction and nonfiction projects are in process. Donna has an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. 



Chaitali Sen

Chaitali Sen is the author of The Pathless Sky (Europa Editions, 2015). Her fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in New England Review, New Ohio Review, Colorado Review, Catapult, Los Angeles Review of Books, Chicago Quarterly Review, and other journals. She holds an MFA from Hunter College and currently lives in Austin, Texas.



Luke Orgega Luper

Luke Ortega Luper is the author of "Otto and Raquel; a True Texana/Tejana Love Story," the story of his parents meeting, running away from their spouses, marrying and producing a son together.   Luke finished this family memoir back in 2007, but after 6 years of trying to get it published he decided to go with self publishing via Amazon's Create-a-Space, where it is available now.  Luke works for the City of Austin, lives in Pflugerville today, spent the previous 20 years in San Antonio, but he was raised in Houston, and is a proud University of Houston graduate.   Luke's favorite authors are Gore Vidal and Barrack Obama.  


Jacob Grovey

Jacob Grovey is an author who spent most of his upbringing in Dallas, TX. Growing up, he always enjoyed writing, but even as he was presented with multiple writing opportunities, he never really understood the possibility of writing as a career. His family always supported him chasing any dream he had, but not seeing a lot of writers who looked like him made it difficult for him to believe in his own abilities as a writer. 
    After spending some time away from writing, Jacob realized writing was more than just something he enjoyed. He started to believe in his heart, mind and spirit he was destined to help and encourage people through his words. Jacob once said, "I get no credit for the things I am able to create and people who are helped by any words I have written. My life is simply a testimony to my faith and the belief of those who God has put in my life." Jacob truly believes we all have been blessed with gifts and talents. If nothing else, Jacob hopes pursuing his dreams will show others it is not only okay to dream, but it is a necessity to actually chase those dreams.  



John Morán González

John Morán González is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He attended Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude with an A.B. in English literature. He earned an M.A. degree and a Ph.D. in American literature, both from Stanford University. He is author of Border Renaissance: The Texas Centennial and the Emergence of Mexican American Literature and The Troubled Union: Expansionist Imperatives in Post-Reconstruction American Novels. He is editor of The Cambridge Companion to Latina/o American Literature, published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.



Patrick Carman (via Skype)

Patrick Carman is the award-winning author of many books for young adults and children. He grew up in Salem, Oregon, and graduated from Willamette University. His birthday is February 27th, 1966. He spent a decade living in Portland, where he worked in advertising, game design, and technology.

 Patrick Carman writes books for young adults and children for Scholastic, Harper Collins, and Little Brown Books For Young Readers. His bestselling books and series includes The Land of Elyon, Atherton, Elliot’s Park, 39 Clues, Floors, Trackers, Thirteen Days to Midnight, Dark Eden, Pulse, 3:15, and Skeleton Creek. Mr. Carman’s books have been translated into approximately two dozen languages.



Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece

MANDO RAYO and JAROD NEECE are the authors of the best-selling book Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day and founders of the blog Rayo is the CEO and engagement strategist at Mando Rayo + Collective, a multicultural advertising agency; Neece is the producer and senior programmer of the SXSW Film Festival and Conference.

Rooted in tradición mexicana and infused with Texas food culture, tacos are some of Texans’ all-time favorite foods. In The Tacos of Texas, the taco journalists Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece take us on a muy sabroso taco tour around the state as they discover the traditions, recipes, stories, and personalities behind puffy tacos in San Antonio, trompo tacos in Dallas, breakfast tacos in Austin, carnitas tacos in El Paso, fish tacos in Corpus Christi, barbacoa in the Rio Grande Valley, and much more.



Molly Frisinger and Stephanie Bogdanich

Co-authors STEPHANIE BOGDANICH and MOLLY R. FRISINGER, along with co-authors WES ALLISON and JESSICA MORRIS, live in Tacotopia (Austin, TX). They introduced the Taco Cleanse at the 2013 Vegan Month of Food by eating tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 30 days. said, “It should come as no surprise that the newsworthy, tortilla-stockpiling Taco Cleanse . . . not only tops my own list of memories, but everyone else’s.”

Their book is a hilarious send-up of cleanse fads is guaranteed to prevent or reverse taco deficiency with 75 seriously tasty vegan recipes. Whereas most cleanses deprive you of your favorite foods, The Taco Cleanse rewards your body with what it naturally craves—tacos al Pastor, refried beans, guacamole, and margaritas. Taco Cleansers report brightened mood after just 24 hours, improved outlook after one week, and lasting benefits after 30 days.




Rene S. Perez

Rene S Perez II is the author of two books: Along These Highways, a short story collection, and Seeing off the Johns. Both books were awarded the National Association of Chicana/Chicano Scholars Tejas FOCO awards for fiction and YA fiction, respectively. Perez teaches high school in Austin, TX. 

Visit Rene's author page on Facebook.




Mari Mancusi

Mari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small--so she chose to write about them instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she has won two Emmys.

Visit Mari on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.




Joe Shine

Joe Shine grew up in Austin, TX (the greatest city ever), and is a graduate of Texas A&M University. He has an MFA from the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California, and after brief stints in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, Joe returned home to Austin (repeat: the greatest city ever). Joe has a normal human job like most everyone else but hopes to become a full-time writer one day, and this is where you, the reader, must do him a really big solid and love I Become Shadow, his first novel.

Schedule is subject to change. Check back for more details.