Media contact:  Carol Baxter, or 928-978-5376.


Payson Book Festival Flyer


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Download printable flyer – 2023 Payson Book Festival Flyer

Download the 2022 Payson Book Festival Fact Sheet

Payson Book Festival
Join us at the seventh annual PAYSON BOOK FESTIVAL where reading takes you to amazing places. 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM Saturday, July 23, 2022, at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino – a free, community-wide celebration of books and literacy. This family-friendly event offers book-lovers of all ages a chance to meet more than 80 Arizona authors. Enjoy writer workshops, entertainment, children’s storytime, and auction items for everyone. For more information go to: Contact Carol Baxter or call 928-978-5376 for photos and more information.

Mazatzal Hotel & Casino is located at Mile Marker 251, State Road 87, Payson, AZ 85541 Map

KRIM RADIO Interviews 96.3 FM – 1 p.m. with Pam Neuman

Tuesday, July 12 – Dito Abbott
Dito (rhymes with “Cheetoh”) was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Saudi Arabia, and sailed around the world with his family by the age of twenty-seven. His debut YA Fantasy novel, Debunked, draws on his love for adventure, googly-eyed slime beasts, and sarcastic swords of legend. Dito lives in Phoenix with his wife, two daughters, and an invisible dragon named Clyde. Learn more at

Thursday, July 14 – Bryan Lee
Bryan Lee (aka Bullseye The Clown) has been a performer for over 30 years. Not only as a clown and a stand-up comedian, he even had a stint teaching drama to prison inmates. His career began as an actor touring in the one-man show “Mr. Wizard’s Supermarket Science.” As an actor he also appeared in the movies Seabiscuit and Jason Bourne. Bryan and Bullseye continue to write for Jest For Clowns Magazine, create Bully-Proof Blueprints for various companies and organizations, and tours the world as a humanitarian clown and professional speaker. Learn more at

Tuesday, July19 – TJ Boyer
TJ was born in Allegan, MI, in 1955. He has been telling stories his whole life, but writing since he was 17 years old. His Mirror Gate Chronicles series, begun in 2005, took off and turned into a romping adventure spanning eleven completed novels. Married to Elizabeth, TJ has two children, and three grandchildren, and they all live in Phoenix, AZ. Find out more about the series at

Thursday, July 21 – Jenifer Tull-Gauger
Jenifer knows what it’s like to be an “old soul” and a painfully quiet kid struggling to fit in. Her journey to 7th degree black belt is a testament of how she found inner strength through traditional karate training. Now in leadership for an international martial arts alliance, she heads up a private dojo with her husband. Jenifer combined her passions for illustrating and writing, with what she’s learned from 22-plus years of teaching kids karate, to create a children’s character-building picture book series. The Dojo Kun Character Books encourage children to find their own power in their lives. Learn more at

KRIM RADIO Interviews 96.3 FM – 10 a.m.

Monday, June 27 – Kathleen Kelly
Kathleen Kelly worked as a Registered Nurse specializing in Critical Care and Emergency Medicine for more than thirty years. Trained as a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner, she worked with victims of violence. Kathleen is the Coordinator of Gila County Child Fatality Review for the Arizona Health Dept. She has studied extensively in alternative healing, embracing the richness of a holistic approach in her work as a medical intuitive. She believes her work lends the illuminating voice of each child after death. Her short stories, penned in her journals over the years, is the basis of her book, Voices of the ER. Find out more at

Tuesday, June 28 – RL Nelson
Randee Lee Nelson, professionally known as R.L. Nelson, has been writing stories as long as she could hold a pencil. What started as a childhood passion for storytelling, has become her lifelong passion. There is nothing Randee enjoys more than writing (and reading) stories that are heart wrenching, along with some humor and a hint of romance. When she’s not dreaming up new stories to tell, you can find Randee spending her time with family, playing video games, and painting, or binge-watching true crime dramas. For more information visit her website;

Wednesday, June 29 – Robert Hershberger
Robert Hershberger, Ph.D., FAIA is a retired architect and educator living in Payson, Arizona. He received degrees from Stanford, U. of Utah and U. of Pennsylvania. He served as professor of architecture at ASU from 1969 – 88 and dean at UA from 1988 – 2022. He published many articles and two academic books: Architectural Programming by McGraw-Hill, 1999, and Predesign Planning by NCARB, 2019. His architectural work received over a dozen design awards. His paintings are exhibited online and at galleries and resorts in Arizona. He cared for his wife as she battled Alzheimer’s disease from 2010 to 2015. Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver is the result. Learn more at or;

Thursday, June 30 – Susan Starr
Susan moved to Payson from Phoenix in 2007 to take a job as a Certified Veterinary Technician at Star Valley Veterinary Clinic, where she is still employed. She joined Tonto Rim Search and Rescue in 2009 and became Dog Team Leader the following year. At this time she is on the board as Secretary. She taught accounting for seven years at Gila Community College. Susan has her MBA and also an Associates in Veterinary Technology from Mesa Community College. She has four dogs, three that are SAR, two cats and three birds. Her book is Ringo Starr Search and Rescue Dog.

KRIM 96.3 Marshal Trimble’s performance at the 2021 Payson Book Festival

KRIM 96.3 Buckshot Dot’s performance at the 2021 Payson Book Festival

Photos (Larger resolution photos available upon request.)

See Photos from 2021

Link to Publicity

In 2017, an Advisory Board was formed to assist the Payson Book Festival Committee. Current members are: Christine Royer and Chris Walsh.

View archived press releases and publicity here.