Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bookfests & Authors, Oh My!

Two Bookfests loom on the horizon. Well, actually they don’t loom—they’re in Mechanicsville and Rocky Mount, which aren’t exactly on the horizon unless you’re standing in a particular place.

The Hanover Bookfest is this coming Saturday at the VFW Hall in Mechanicsville. I’m conducting a workshop on “publishing options.” Having self-published once (albeit with help from the Smith Mountain Arts Council) and vanity-published four times, I suppose I qualify to discuss the pros and cons of both methods, neither of which is the route to being a big-time author. I’ve had work rejected by some very well-known commercial publishers, so I can also talk about being rejected.

The 2006 Hanover Bookfest was great fun—especially the band. I hope 2007 can measure up. Last year’s was mainly a gathering of the great under-published (self, vanity, subsidy, and all the variants thereof)—although there were some small-press-pubbed authors in attendance, too; and it was fun to network with all the others who are trying to get work “out there.” Several of us wrote for local magazines; some had written for such small niches that the big publishers wouldn’t be interested. But it was inspiring to see so many of us who are actively trying to make our mark on the literary world. Attendance by the general public was good, too. Maybe they turned out to get books by the next big author.

On August 10-11, the third annual Franklin County Bookfest happens. I’ll be a part of the Friday evening (6:30 p.m.) Coffeehouse Reading at the Edible Vibe in exciting downtown Rocky Mount. The EV is just down the street from the library and sort of across the street from the hardware store. You can't miss it.

Most of us Friday night readers are self-pubbed. Linda Hamlett Childress will read from her memoir, Tobacco Farmer’s Daughter. Marion Higgins will read from When Men Move to the Basement. Fred First, who has one of the best regional blogs out there, will read from Slow Road Home, which actually began as blog postings and is now in its second printing. Dan Smith, editor of the Blue Ridge Business Journal, will read from his memoir, Burning the Furniture. Fellow Valley Writer (and author of Blue and Gray Ballads), Dick Raymond, will play his ukelele and recite some of his more risque poems. I’ll debut my essay (that’s actually commercially published!) in A Cup of Comfort for Writers, which officially comes out of August 14. (And it’s commercially published! Did I mention that?) The folks at F & W Publications assure me that I would have copies on hand to sign that night.

On Saturday, August 11, starting at 10 a.m. at the library, Bob Slaughter will read from his D-Day memoir, Omaha Beach and Beyond: The Long March of Sergeant Bob Slaughter. At 11, Franklin County native Alyson Hagy (Keeneland and Snow, Ashes) will read from her works. After the two authors speak (and read) they’ll sign copies of their books.

I’ll be there. Ask me about my latest book.

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Blogger House on the Glade Hill said...

What a nice August is turning into (and it's still July)! I know my friend and author, Pamela Kinney will be at the Hanover Book Festival promoting her Haunted Richmond book. Say "Hi" to her from me (if you see her).

My family reunion will be wrapping up that night and morning. I will do my best.

5:01 PM  

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