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Book festival highlights wide variety of local authors

CARLSBAD — About 40 people were on hand for the 2011 Festival of Local Authors that spotlighted local writers, giving them the opportunity to promote their books and the spectators the chance to ask them questions and pick their brains.
The event, hosted by the Carlsbad Library and Arts Foundation Robert H. Gartner Cultural Endowment Fund, was held on Feb. 12, at the Dove branch in Carlsbad. Seven authors served on a panel, each introducing their work and telling how the idea for a book came about.
Each is worth a read and as moderator of the day Eva Shaw said: “If we love reading and we love books, we need to raise our voices and open our pocketbooks to support these writers.”
Journalist Joe Tash explained where he got the idea for the title of his book, “Dear Guests, Beware of Wild Monkeys.”
“It was a sign on a ladies room door in India on the way to the Taj Mahal,” he said.
The book describes an around-the-world adventure with his wife and then 9-year-old daughter and offers tips for such a family trip.
“It was an amazing experience and a chance to explore as a family,” he said.
Joseph Dale Bacarti wrote “Tinera of Viesti,” which is part of a fictional series based on his own family tree beginning in 1510 in Italy.
“I’ve been writing since my father died 33 years ago,” he said. “I write to maintain balance in my life.”
“Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and its Effect on a Woman’s Life,” has been written from two perspectives of the author, Elin Stebbins Waldal, both as the young girl and the woman she has become.
It started as a journal she kept as a young woman that was put away for a number of years. Years later she was inspired to begin her book.
“I became the mom on a laptop at the kitchen table,” she said.
Physician Lee Cohen offers “Nature’s Food For Life,” outlining how healthy and natural food can cure what ails and help prevent further illness.
“We really are what we eat,” he said.
He said when he was in medical school, doctors were taught very little about proper nutrition, but he has learned that the more we learn about our bodies, the more we can use nutrition
to prevent illness, which gives a better quality and longer life.
A handy guide for anyone wishing to visit Legoland is Bridget Smith’s, “The Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook.”
“It tells how to navigate this exciting, educational park with multiple children,” which she had done while having a yearlong pass to the park. Now she is working on a similar project at the San Diego Zoo.
Woody Wilson, author of “The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook,” said people are reading it like a novel, but it is a group of practical recipes for people who want to present good meals, but not break the bank.
“I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food,” he said, quoting W.C. Fields.
And finally at the Carlsbad event, author Laura Johnston Kohl, a former member of the People’s Temple, talked about her life as a member and in her book, “Jonestown Survivor: An Insider’s Look,” describes how on the day of the Jonestown Massacre, she was off site buying supplies for the compound. She tells about her life in the wake of the deaths.
Advice to aspiring writers, many of whom asked for it during the question period for the panel, was to join a writers group and write about a passion.
Lenore Bouras, an 81-year-old retired librarian, took up writing years ago, but when life got in the way, she packed up everything and put the box in a closet. Recently, some 30 years later, she opened the box and realized what she had written was quite good.
“I wasn’t a bad writer,” she said.
Others besides Bouras left the event inspired to start writing their own books.
“If you love to write — write,” Waldal said.