Variety will truly be the thing that spices up the first-ever High Desert Book Festival, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 1. The event, presented by Victor Valley Arts and Education Center, will be part of the City of Victorville’s 15th annual Fall Festival, held at 14343 Civic Drive, Victorville.

According to Davida James, executive director for Victor Valley Arts, the Book Festival will feature free lectures by a variety of best-selling authors from just about every genre one might imagine.

“We are honored that the City of Victorville became our first sponsor in this historic cultural event,” said James. “They immediately shared in our excitement and vision of this becoming an important addition to their Fall Festival.”

“Victor Valley Arts conducts a free adult literacy program at our city library,” said Glenn Salas, recreation services manager for the Victorville Fall Festival. “When Davida approached us about creating a High Desert Book Festival within our Fall Festival, we considered it a wonderful new feature that will add even more value for the thousands of visitors we welcome each year.”

James said among the guest authors at the Book Festival will be best-selling murder mystery writer Anne Perry. Perry, who has over 27 million books in print, is best known for her Victorian-themed crime novels, including “The Cater Street Hangman” and “Murder on the Serpentine.”

Acclaimed author/playwright Victoria Zackheim also will speak. Zackheim’s screenplay “Maidstone” is currently in development with film company, James said.

“We are truly fortunate that Perry and Zackheim were so excited about presenting at our High Desert Book Festival,” said James. “These two esteemed literary figures actually adjusted their schedules so they could close out our festival. It has been gratifying to see the positive response so far.”

Local authors scheduled to be on hand at the Book Festival include Ron Lazenby of Lucerne Valley and Marilyn Ramirez of Apple Valley, who writes historical romance novels.

“There is something truly magical about being around thousands of people who are all at a book festival because of their love of the written word,” said James. “Our nonprofit wants to add to the cultural life of our community. We hope to create a book festival that will become a destination event.

“The success of this first festival, and whether it becomes an annual event, is dependent on our ability to attract more sponsors, volunteers, community attendance and support of our exhibitors.”

All panel sessions at the Book Festival are free and lectures are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. For ongoing updates,visit highdesertbookfest.org.

James said those interested in volunteer opportunities should send an email to hdbookfest@gmail.com.