Maspeth Book Festival to host panel discussions
by Benjamin Fang
May 14, 2019 | 5361 views | 0 0 comments | 272 272 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The first annual Maspeth Book Festival, set for this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Martin Luther School, will feature six panel discussions with published authors.

The panels will cover a variety of topics, ranging from how to write your first novel to injecting humor in your work.

For those who are inspired by the success of superhero comics and films, there will be a panel on writing and illustrating graphic novels. Participants interested in writing for the big screen can sit in on a discussion about structuring a screenplay.

Even those eager to learn about writing for a news organization can receive insights on how to break into journalism.

Carl Paolino, director of the book festival, said there will be 12 different authors on the panels. Collectively, they have published works in science fiction, fantasy, horror, graphic novels and young adult genres.

“We’re trying to cover the full range,” he said.

In addition to being informative, the panels offer authors the chance to connect with readers, said Paolino, who collaborated with the authors to come up with a list of topics.

The panels will allow the writers to share their experiences, discuss how they structure their schedules, and answer questions from participants.

Each panel be allotted 50 minutes. Participants can choose between two panel discussions each hour from noon to 3 p.m.

“That leaves people time to shop and talk to authors,” Paolino said.

The longtime Maspeth author said he hopes attendees will take away that there are a lot of people interested in writing, whether it’s comic books, sports or editing.

“I hope it would interest them in reading more,” Paolino said, “or pursue a career in writing.”

The Maspeth Book Festival will also feature a book sale and signing, free coloring books for the first 40 children in attendance, and more.

Among the authors in attendance will be Bob Mladinich, who, along with police detective Bernard Whalen and crime reporter Philip Messing, co-wrote the book “Case Files of the NYPD: More than 175 Years of Solved and Unsolved Crimes.”

The book chronicles 90 cases from the NYPD dating back to the 1830s. The co-authors break down the book into three eras, and delve into unique cases.

Mladinich, who has published five books, including one last year, said he has attended many book festivals around the country.

“It’s always fun to go to these book festivals because it’s filled with book enthusiasts,” he said. “It’s an author’s dream come true.”

He said events like this are extremely important, especially for young people.

“There’s a lot of excitement at these things, especially hearing writers talk,” he said. “It’s exciting for a young person who might not know how to express themselves.

“Hopefully that will rub off on them,” Mladinich added. “Hopefully they can see how cool it is.”

Another author who will be at the Maspeth Book Festival is Peter Wood. A former champion prize fighter, Wood became an English teacher and author who penned the novel “The Boy Who Hit Back: A Coming of Age Story.”

The teen and young-adult novel takes readers through the journey of Matthew, a suburban teen whose parents’ marriage collapses and life seems to crumble around him, causing him to act out.

When he runs away to Greenwich Village, he meets a 17-year-old girl who is “also going through the same throes of adolescence,” Wood said. They get together to create a “wonderful relationship.”

“What unfolds is another mystery,” he said. “It’s an urban adventure, a love story. Everyone can identify with it.”

Wood, who will be selling and autographing his book at the festival, said these kinds of events are a “wonderful outlet” for young people.

“You’re meeting people of like minds,” he said. “I’m excited about this.

“I hope it goes really well,” Wood added. “We all have a book within us.”
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