CEL­E­BRAT­ING READ­ING Great Val­ley Book­fest Saturday

‘Free Rain’ il­lus­tra­tor among pre­sen­ters

Manteca Bulletin - - Front Page - By DEN­NIS WY­ATT

Jose Lu­cio brings words to life. The ver­sa­tile Sa­vanah, Ge­or­gia based artist has il­lus­trated two chil­dren’s books in­clud­ing “Free Rain” au­thored by Daniel Wentzel.

The il­lus­tra­tor and au­thor are ap­pear­ing at the 6th an­nual Great Val­ley Book­fest on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Prom­e­nade Shops at Or­chard Val­ley lo­cated at the 120 By­pass and Union Road. More than 70 au­thors are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the free event that in­cludes not just the op­por­tu­nity to meet au­thors one-on-one but also writer’s work­shops, pan­els and ju­nior cook­ing com­pe­ti­tions.

There are also var­i­ous ven­dors of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing from crafts to food as well as a used book sale and a Barnes & No­bles book booth. New Life Church is pro­vid­ing a free chil­dren’s play area with bounce houses and such.

“Free Rain” is the story of six chick­ens and how they ap­proach new ex­pe­ri­ences going from the chicken coop to be­ing free range chick­ens. The book’s mes­sage stresses the value of work­ing to­gether to tackle new chal­lenges us­ing how the chick­ens learn to cope and rely on each other to suc­ceed.

Lu­cio em­ploys a col­lage tech­nique build­ing on sim­ple dig­i­tal shapes us­ing lay­er­ing, tex­tur­ing and trans­parency.

It is Lu­cio’s sec­ond chil­dren’s book. The other — “Heave Ho!” — touches as well on the team­work theme. Lu­cio was both the au­thor and il­lus­tra­tor for the book that tells the story of a cheer­ful lit­tle worm that pops his head above ground only to be grabbed in the beak of a hun­gry bird. That trig­gers a tug-of-war be­tween the worm that is joined by other worms as well as the bird who has a dog and cat come to its aid.

The con­cept of out- ofthe-box think­ing is in­jected when one worm comes up with an un­likely idea to try and tip the strug­gle in fa­vor of the un­der­dog worms.

Lu­cio who has a wide ar­ray of art in­ter­ests is also a mu­ral­ist and has sev­eral prints for sale as well as his books at joselu­cio.com.

Pro­duc­ing chil­dren’s books and shar­ing then at book­fests and in the class­room has al­lowed Lu­cio to en­joy what he calls “the per­for­mance as­pect” of be­ing an artist.

The in­valu­able in­ter­ac­tion be­tween reader and au­thor — or in this case il­lus­tra­tor — is ex­actly what the or­ga­niz­ers of the Great Val­ley Book­fest had in mind by stag­ing Saturday’s event.

The chil­dren’s pav­il­ion this year is de­signed to al­low for such in­ter­ac­tion in an in­for­mal set­ting that’s suited for kids.

The tra­di­tional Au­thor’s Al­ley where au­thors meet one-on-one with those in­ter­ested in their books, their pro­fes­sional work, and writ­ing in gen­eral is also de­signed to let au­thors and read­ers in­ter­act. Each au­thor also has copies of their books for sale.

There are var­i­ous pan­els on dif­fer­ent gen­res rang­ing from ro­mance and mys­tery to non-fic­tion as well as broad “how-to” com­pact work­shops on writ­ing tech­niques and how to get a man­u­script pub­lished.

The Writ­ers’ Nook pan­els are as fol­lows:

▶From Man­u­script to Pub­li­ca­tion fea­tur­ing au­thors Kristin Miller, Linda Whalen, Linda Joy Sin­gle­ton, and Margie Viera: So you have a man­u­script? Now what do you do with it? What steps are needed be­fore you pub­lish? Pub­lished au­thors will share tips on self-edit­ing, seek­ing feed­back and re­sponse from mul­ti­ple read­ers (in­clud­ing beta read­ers and/or writ­ing groups), and find­ing a ca­pa­ble editor.

▶Craft­ing Con­vinc­ing Char­ac­ters fea­tur­ing au­thors T.E. Wat­son, Lynn Good­win, and Cindy Sam­ple: En­gag­ing char­ac­ters who pro­voke emo­tional re­sponses are the heart of any story. In this ses­sion, sev­eral writ­ers will dis­cuss ways to craft char­ac­ters that read­ers will want to know and re­mem­ber.

▶Get­ting the De­tails Right fea­tur­ing Clau­dia Ha­gen, Jen­nie Chad­wick, Dayanna Knight , Sylvia Sun Min­nick, and Pa­tri­cia New­man. Whether you are writ­ing fic­tion or non­fic­tion, it’s im­por­tant to get the de­tails right. Suc­cess­ful au­thors will dis­cuss how they dili­gently re­search char­ac­ters, di­alects, set­tings, his­tory, and sci­ence to cre­ate vivid, be­liev­able worlds that draw in their read­ers.

Il­lus­tra­tor Jose Lu­cio of Sa­van­nah, Ge­or­gia, will ap­pear at Saturday’s Great Val­ley Book­fest. Lu­cio is shown talk­ing about his book to a class of stu­dents.

HIME ROMERO/Bul­letin file photo

The Au­thor’s Al­ley at last year’s Great Val­ley Book­fest.

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