Leading novelists, non-fiction writers, poets and more on tap for Big Orange Book Festival


Chapman University has announced the schedule for its inaugural Big Orange Book Festival on the Chapman campus on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21 and 22.

The large-scale event will feature free talks and panels by acclaimed authors and literary figures from Orange County, Southern California and around the world, as well as festival booths throughout the campus showcasing new and classic books and book-related merchandise.  (A full schedule is listed at end of this post.)

Among the scores of writers appearing at the festival, the headliners include best-selling authors Mark Levin (conservative radio host and author of the No. 1 bestseller
Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America
), Alice Sebold (the No. 1 bestsellers
The Lovely Bones
The Almost Moon
) and Sapphire (
, the novel that became the acclaimed film
).  Actress Mary Badham
who at age 10 starred alongside Gregory Peck in the classic movie
To Kill a Mockingbird,
will host a special 50
-anniversary screening of the film in Memorial Hall on the Friday night of the festival.

The festival and all of its events are free and open to the public.
Parking on the campus will be free during the festival.   For more information, updates and a complete schedule, visit the
Big Orange Book Festival
website or check out the festival’s
Facebook page

Other noted authors appearing at the festival include the world’s top Sherlock Holmes expert, Leslie S. Klinger;

Daily Show
co-founder Lizz Winstead; veteran journalist and editor Martin Smith, whose latest book examines the wacky world of the Federal Duck Stamp Contest; historical novelist DeAnna Cameron; film writer and James Bond movie expert Bill Desowitz; Los Angeles poet Wanda Coleman; “Ask a Mexican” columnist and author Gustavo Arellano; local Orange historian Phil Brigandi and many, many more.

Chapman University President James L. Doti, Ph.D., said, “Chapman University is delighted to present this new book festival to Orange County, showcasing some of the best writing in the nation and the world – including authors who are creating great works right here in Orange County. Storytelling and creativity are at the heart of almost everything that happens at a university.  We feel that this book festival is a natural fit for Chapman, and if this inaugural version is a success, we hope to continue it for many years to come.”

Levin, Sapphire and Sebold will present one-hour talks with audience Q&As, followed by book-signings.  Badham will appear at a free screening of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in Memorial Hall, to speak of her experiences filming the movie and to answer audience questions.

The festival will feature author talks and panels in six main focus areas: “California Voices” will spotlight authors from Southern California or who write about California; “Outside the Box” will focus on authors writing in the science fiction, steampunk and fantasy genres; “Based on the Book” highlights books turned into movies or TV series, as well as books about screenwriting, movies and TV; “Mystery, Mayhem and Romance” will feature authors in the mystery, action and romance genres; and “Chapters and Verse” focuses on poetry and creative nonfiction

“Ten at the Top,” the sixth focus area, will showcase selected Chapman students’ works, including fiction, poetry and screenplays, in ten-minute segments at the top of each hour.


Friday, September 21, 2012

1 pm              Father Rafael Luevano

Author of
Woman-Killing in Juarez,
which takes readers on a spiritual and theoretical journey along both sides of the American/Mexican border, moving through a variety of Latino and feminist issues to arrive at the universality of the problem of suffering. (Fish Interfaith Ctr.)

1 pm                Mark Axelrod

Chapman English faculty member; screenwriter and author of
Borges Travel, Hemingway’s Garage
; will speak on screenwriting (Argyros Forum 209).  He has written more than 20 produced screenplays and teleplays.

1 pm                Martin Smith

Veteran journalist and magazine editor; author of
The Wild Duck Chase
, a wildly entertaining look at the Federal Duck Stamp Contest and the strange and wonderful world of duck painting.  (Beckman Hall 404)

1 pm                Ryan Gattis

Chapman alumnus and English faculty member; author of
Kung Fu High School
(Irvine Lecture Hall)

1 pm                DeAnna Cameron

OC-based historical novelist:
The Belly Dancer
Dancing at the Chance
(Argyros Forum 201)

2:30 pm      Mark Levin

Keynote Speaker – Levin’s latest book,
Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America
, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.  In it, he explores the psychology, motivations and history of the utopian movement – and how the individual and American society are being devoured by it.  As one of America’s prominent conservative commentators, Levin has his own nationally syndicated talk radio show, “The Mark Levin Show.” (Memorial Hall)


Readings from local poets Allison Benis White, Charles Jensen and Karen An-hwei Lee (Beckman Hall 103)

4 pm                Wanda Coleman

Los Angeles poet Wanda Coleman writes powerful verses about life and love in the American underclass (Beckman Hall 404)


Panel discussion with Dodge College faculty Ross Brown, Barbara Doyle, Paul Seydor and moderator Emily Carman (Argyros Forum 209)

4 pm                Tom Zoellner

Chapman English faculty member; author of four nonfiction books including 
A Safeway in Arizona: What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America
(Argyros Forum 201)

4 pm                Phil Brigandi

Orange-based author

and local historian

will speak on 
Around Our Town: Glimpses of Old Orange
(City of Orange Public Library) (talk will repeat on Saturday at 4 pm)

5:30 pm           Tony Barnstone

Poet and author (
The Golem of Los Angeles
Sad Jazz Sonnets
) Barnstone has won many top literary prizes, including the Pushcart Prize and the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry.  (Salmon Recital Hall)

5:30 pm            Lindy Hudis

Actress, filmmaker and author of the romantic murder mystery 
(Irvine Lecture Hall)


Panel discussion with published alumni from the Chapman University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.  Featuring authors Garrett Calcaterra, Melinda Combs, Josh Wood, Paul Hughes and moderator James Blaylock (Argyros Forum 209)

 7 pm           50th ANNIVERSARY SCREENING OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Hosted by actress Mary Badham (“Scout”)

Keynote Speaker – on the 50th anniversary of the release of the film
To Kill a Mockingbird
, the actress who played Scout, Mary Badham, will talk about her experience filming the movie. This will be followed by a screening of the film (Memorial Hall)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

9 am                      Nancy Holder

New York Times
 best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of
Teen Wolf: On Fire
 will discuss writing TV spinoff novels. She has written tie-in material for “universes” such as 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville
and many others (Beckman Hall 404)


A panel discussion with contemporary authors Syrie James, Sharon Lathan and Lynda Hall on how to make classic authors relevant to the 21
-century reader (Argyros Forum 209)

9 am                            Ed Humes

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of
 Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash
(Argyros Forum Ballroom)

10:30 am             Sapphire

Keynote Speaker – Author of
The Kid
, the novel that inspired the Oscar-nominated movie
(Memorial Hall)

12 noon                       Leslie S. Klinger

World-renowned expert on Sherlock Holmes, Dracula and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman; author
of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes
; technical advisor on the Robert Downey Jr.
Sherlock Holmes
movies; author of
The Annotated Sandman
(Fish Interfaith Center)

12 noon                       Jess Haines

Author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance; best known for the H&W Investigations series, starting with
Hunted by The Others
. (Salmon Recital Hall)

12 noon                       DEBUT NOVELISTS PANEL

Panel discussion featuring Lugene Rosen, Peggy Hesketh, Dana Johnson and Nina Berry. (Argyros Forum 209)

1:30 pm                      Gustavo Arellano

Author of
Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America
Orange County: A Personal History
, “Ask a Mexican!” columnist, editor of
OC Weekly
. (Agyros Forum Ballroom)

1:30 pm                      Bill Desowitz

Noted writer and commentator on movies; author of
James Bond Unmasked
, chronicling the 50-year+ evolution of 007 onscreen. (Argyros Forum 201)

1:30 pm                      RICHARD BAUSCH AND FRIENDS PANEL

Acclaimed American novelist and short-story master Richard Bausch, who joined the Chapman creative writing faculty this year, heads a panel that includes his twin brother Robert Bausch, also a noted novelist/short-story writer, and Allen Wier, novelist, short-story writer and essayist. (Irvine Lecture Hall)

3 pm                            Lizz Winstead

Co-creator and former head writer of
The Daily Show
and one of the founders of Air America Radio, Winstead recently published her memoir,
Lizz Free or Die
. (Beckman Hall 404)

3 pm                            MYSTERY WRITERS PANEL

Noted mystery masters Aileen Barron, Sue Ann Jaffarian, Darrell James and Ken Kuhlken discuss the genre and why it enjoys undying popularity.  (Argyros Forum 209)

4 pm                            Phil Brigandi

Orange-based author and local historian

will speak on 
Around Our Town: Glimpses of Old Orange
(City of Orange Public Library) (repeat of talk presented Friday at 4 pm)

4:30 pm                      ON FILM PANEL 

Author and Chapman faculty member Mark Axelrod discusses filmmaking with Emmy-winning director David Anspaugh (
Hill Street Blues
Miami Vice
) and Johnny E. Jensen, ASC, cinematographer of
Rambling Rose
Lost in Yonkers
and more. (Fish Interfaith Center)

 4 pm                            Smoky Trudeau Zeidel

Author of three novels and two books of nonfiction, Zeidel has also authored numerous short stories and a short biography,
In a Flash
, about her experience of being struck by lightning. (Argyros Forum 201)

4:30 pm                      STEAMPUNK PANEL

Steampunkers unite!  Some of the top names in the genre gather for this panel discussion moderated by Chapman faculty member Jim Blaylock, who is known as the “Godfather of Steampunk.”  Discussing this popular alternate-universe genre will be Nancy Holder (
tie-ins), Suzanne Lazear (
Innocent Darkness
) and Tim Powers (the classic pirate fantasy
On Stranger Tides
– which Disney used as a basis for the movie
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
). (Argyros Forum Ballroom)

7 pm                    Alice Sebold

Keynote Speaker – Author of the international bestseller
The Lovely Bones
, which was made into a feature film directed by Peter Jackson,  Sebold unflinchingly tackles topics that sear at the conscience.  She followed up that success with her memoir
and then
The Almost Moon
, another No. 1 best seller that explored the profound ambivalence of mother-daughter relationships. (Memorial Hall).

Dawn Bonker

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