Boston Book Festival: Author Arlene Kay Weighs In

The Boston Book Festival, a virtual paradise for readers, writers, and the intellectually curious celebrates the power of the written word to entertain, educate and transform lives. Copley Square comes alive as throngs of book lovers attend seminars, sample different literary genres, and chat with authors and fans about their work. Last year over 30,000 people attended the festival.

Our chapter of Sisters in Crime (New England) enthusiastically supports this event, which is now in its seventh year. In 2014, SINC-NE members displayed unexpected talent for improvisation in a widely praised interactive session on “The Whydunnit in Crime Fiction.” A capacity crowd gained new insight into the creative process and the febrile minds of mystery writers. For some audience members it was an eye-opening experience, for others it was a bit daunting but for everyone, it was a lot of fun.

Although there are many activities to enjoy, my favorite is the street fair itself, which organizers describe as a “literary market place.” Circulating among the rows of publishers, non-profit organizations, and vendors reinvigorates one’s creative juices. Many passers-by are passionate readers very well versed in our craft and eager to discuss crime novels. Our members staff the SINC booth, answer inquiries about the organization; introduce (and often sell!) their own works. It’s a terrific way to connect with readers and other writers too.

The BBF’s objective is “To promote a culture of reading and ideas.” That worthy goal is one that all of us can celebrate. This year’s event takes place October 23rd and 24th.

Arlene Kay is the author of INTRUSION; DIE LAUGHING; THE ABACUS PRIZE; & the SWANN SERIES (SWANN DIVE; MANTRAP; GILT TRIP & coming soon: SWANN SONGS. Visit her online at

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