Book Festival featured speaker

Richard Draude is a speaker at the Payson Book Festival July 20.

A unique roster of featured speakers takes part in the 2019 Payson Book Festival July 20 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

Many are familiar to frequent book festival guests. One of these is Richard Draude, who brings the perspective of both author and publisher.

Draude, wearing his publisher’s hat, was a presenter at the 2018 festival. He is one of the founders of Mystic Publishers based in Henderson, Nev. It has two traditional imprints: Ink & Quill Publishers that focuses on general fiction, romance and mysteries, as well as historical fiction and non-fiction; and NewLink Publishing that focuses on science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and horror. Additionally, Mystic Publishers has a self-publishing aid site, Vision Novels. It offers guidance to authors seeking to put the work into print themselves.

Draude found reading and early TV shows great ways to pass the time as a young boy in New Jersey. From the Hardy Boys to more serious mysteries and thrillers, he loved the excitement and adventure of the written word. Inheriting a love of old movies from his parents, he enjoys a wide range of TV and movie genres, and loves quoting lines and scenes from his favorite films.

He has completed two novels in a five-book series, “The MacKenna Saga,” published under NewLink Publishing. He recently took time out to author a romance novel, “Almost A Whisper.”

At the 2018 festival, Draude gave a seminar on pitching a book to a publishing company.

“You want to give me the word count and the genre, whether it’s romance or fiction,” he said. “You want to (say) it’s nearly completed. You want to give me a tagline in nine seconds or less.”

Draude used his friend as an example. “Dick has some fascinating stories,” said Draude.

“He would always describe his book as, ‘It’s about my 50 years of serving entertainers, celebrities — and the mob.’”

Draude told them getting that emotional response or piquing curiosity will inspire a person to pick up and read the book.

“That’s going to make the person look at the book and say, ‘Ooo!’ and then read the blurb on the back,” he said.

Draude said a good working group makes all the difference.

“Find a critique group where they really want to talk,” he said. “After a few months I got my skin thickened up and — don’t fall in love with your words. I could scratch out paragraphs and that works.”

About the festival

The Rim Country Chapter of Arizona Professional Writers (APW) and Majestic Rim Retirement Living present the Payson Book Festival.

It features authors from Rim Country and around Arizona. The book festival also features book signings and booksellers, projects for the kids, presentations, live music and food.

The Rim Country Chapter of APW was established in Payson in 2003. In addition to sponsoring the Payson Book Festival, it holds monthly meetings at Majestic Rim Retirement Living.

It also offers a college scholarship to a high school senior who is planning to major in communications at an Arizona university or college, and funds a scholarship for a student at the Payson campus of Gila Community College.

Contact the reporter at

Contact the reporter

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Avoid obscene, hateful, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful.
Be Nice. No name-calling, racism, sexism or any sort of -ism degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. Real names only!