June 2012 Australia: Authors gathered on the glorious beachfront of the Strand earlier this month for the First ever Townsville Literary Festival. Sunshine and blue skies filled the tropical air with the sweet scent of blooms on shady trees and the songs of birds. Max Overton, author of twenty books, was one of the authors who attended with the release of Book 5 in the Scarab Series of Egyptian stories published by Writers Exchange. Literary tents were set up with displays of books and a large section of the Literary Festival set aside for a library and children’s activities. The laughter of children mingled with the chatter of adults wandering around reading the blurbs of books and delving into the pages of fiction created from the realms of all genres.
Max Overton spoke about his life as a published author, “At the literary festival questions were asked about the writing process that goes into producing a novel, and where my ideas originate. The answer to both questions is as diverse as the creativity that goes into any book. Inspiration can arise from everyday events, from a chance encounter, or a consideration of a ‘What If’ moment, as well as the deliberate plotting of a storyline. One thing is certain, it is all too easy for a writer to lock themselves away and commune just with the characters of their books. As an author I welcome the opportunity to get out into the real world to talk to readers and find out what it is they are searching for in a story as well as telling them about my latest creation.”
Book Cover designer Julie Napier also attended, displaying artwork depicting the storytelling within Max Overton’s compelling novels. Julie said of book cover designing, “ A book’s cover is the first thing a reader sees so it’s important the cover design conveys an accurate portrayal of the story within and invites avid book readers to embrace the adventure. Rather than me just being the reader and critic of Max’s books we confer on what best describes the story then I set about designing the cover for him. A book cover has to satisfy the creator of the story as well as the designer, and ultimately market that book to its full potential.”
Coffee table books on the Outback, fantasy novels, thrillers, historical fiction and a myriad of children’s picture books were on display at the 2012 Townsville Literary Festival. The only thing that appeared to be missing were picnic baskets and blankets for people to sit in the shade and enjoy Sunday’s relaxation with a great story. On the day ABC interviewed Saffron Bryant who wrote her first novel, a fantasy titled the “Lost Child Saga”, while recuperating from a brain tumour operation. The Australian author is studying for her Masters degree in Biomedical science at the acclaimed James Cook University.
Max Overton reflected on the success of the First Literary Festival in Townsville, “The Council plans on repeating the Literary Festival next year, by then I will have five Scarab books in the Amarnan Kings Series in print, plus Sequestered, Rakshasa and Djinn. My USA publisher Mundania Press is expected to rerelease in print my earlier books from the “Glass House” and "Lion of Scythia" trilogies. At the 2013 Literary Festival I will have copies of 'Glass House', 'A Glass Darkly', 'Looking Glass', 'Lion of Scythia', 'The Golden King', 'Funeral in Babylon', and 'A Cry of Shadows' to add to the display of books presented. For authors, this literary festival was a celebration of books where we enjoyed speaking with readers and discussing the creative art that goes into producing fiction.”
After the success of the First Townsville Literary Festival it is expected to become a regular event for authors to showcase their books and speak with the public about the life of a writer. Writing emerges from pure inspiration when living in the tropics. The Townsville Literary Festival will be a gala event for both authors and readers alike to embrace in future.