“Oh my God, what a great group of people,” Joanna Funaro says about the book fair. “The fans are the best, warm and friendly. The authors, I cannot say enough about them. Who would have ever known what a success this event would become. My wish is coming true, as this event is growing bigger each year.”
Joanna is one of the owners of Palm Springs’ world-class Casitas Laquita Resort
, one of the best lesbian resorts in the world. Funaro, a former software sales manager, opened up the women’s resort in 1998 with her partner Denise Roberson, who used to run the food and beverage divisions of the Westin and Marriott hotels. They were instrumental in beginning the Bold Strokes Books Palm Springs LGBTQ Book Festival
, now celebrating its 7th year from Feb. 28th to Mar. 3rd.
The festival began in 2006 as a lesbian book event at Casitas Laquita, with author readings by the poolside. Now dozens of LGBT authors from around the world will be in town representing many genres of writing, including sci-fi, poetry, and erotica with GLBT themes and characters.
The whole grass-roots four-day event happens in a casual, affirming atmosphere where everyone gets involved. Fans can easily meet and chat with their favorite authors between events. In addition to readings and panels, fun events are planned like an informal breakfast with the authors on Saturday morning, a board game night, skits, and book signings. Casitas Laquita will host all the events of the fair, and the Palm Springs Public Library will also a host a panel on gay male fiction on Saturday at 3 PM.
All the festival’s authors and books are from New York-state based gay and lesbian book publishers Bold Stroke Books
, and the festival’s sponsors include the Palm Springs Public Library, Q Trading, and the Palm Springs Tourism Board.
Best of all, the festival is totally free and open to the public – and of course men are welcome at this women’s resort for the festival. Casitas Laquita is a private, walled resort with 15 Spanish-style bungalows on 1.2 acres. The grounds and rooms are all in a Southwest motif, right down to the Indian blankets and stucco fireplaces, and many of the rooms are decorated with the owners’ artwork. Their hidden basement “Wine Cellar” bar space is a charming and Bohemian, frequently hosting female singers.
For more info on the festival, go to the festival's home page and schedule of events.