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Festival a success

Avid readers will travel a long way for a chance to meet and greet their favorite author and get their signature in a favorite book, hear from them in a forum in an intimate environment, get advice on writing their own novel and maybe even discover some new authors to whom they hadn’t yet been exposed.

All of that is the basis of the Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival, which had a successful sixth rendition last weekend.

Book and author festivals are a very specific genre of tourism events, but the well organized and well planned ones do not lack for participation, either from authors or from attendees. Hundreds of people flocked to the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts last Saturday to attend what authors ranked as one of the best such festivals they have been to.

“It’s such a great set-up, beautifully organized,” said Julie Hyzy, the New York Times bestseller who headlined the festival. “They treat us so well, and I’m really enjoying myself. It’s just very warm, very welcoming, very comfortable. Everything’s beautiful.”

Visitors to the festival that our reporter talked to came from Suffolk, of course, but also from Virginia Beach, Poquoson and even Grand Blanc, Mich. The Michigan folks stopped by after hearing about it while in town for a family event, but hey, it counts.

The effusive praise given to this event from all sides is due to the work of Katie Kelley of Suffolk Tourism and the rest of the staff there. We appreciate their hard work to come up with unique events improving Suffolk’s tourism scene and make those events worth attending for everybody.