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High Country Festival of the Book: Author Programs

June 4, 2015. Programs, presentations and panels by participating authors enliven the day, 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, June 22nd at the new Watauga County High School for the second annual High Country Festival of the Book, sponsored by the Friends of the Watauga County Library. Join authors, exhibitors and other booklovers for a day in celebration of all things literary.

Buy books, have books signed and chat with the authors and other booklovers.  All events on Saturday, June 22 are free and open to the public.  Special children’s programming will include story time with authors, face painting, book crafts, and every child who attends will receive a free book.  Nonprofit youth group, Mountain Alliance will be on hand with breakfast and lunch items for sale. 

HCFB Author PictureSharyn McCrumb, NY Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Ballad Series, featured speaker for the Biscuits, Books and Ballads banquet the evening of June 21 will be signing books from 11 am to 2 pm. 

Michael Morris, award-winning author, continues the Southern Literature theme of the event with a talk about his novels A Place Called Wiregrass, Slow Way Home and his newest book, Man in the Blue Moon. His novels have been named “best books” by publications including the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Publishers Weekly

Kathryn Stripling Byer, a former NC Poet Laureate and literary legend, will share from some of her six published books of poetry, and the seventh due from the LSU Press this fall. Byer has been honored for her work by organizations from Southeast Independent Booksellers to the Fellowship of Southern Writers and was inducted into the NC Literary Hall of Fame in October 2012.  

Ann Hite’s novel, Ghost on Black Mountain was a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction in 2012 finalist and Georgia’s Novel of the Year.  She will present from her new novel The Story Catcher and her novella Lowcountry Spirit, both to be released in fall 2013.  

Mystery Fans can revel in two panels: “To Die in Dixie: Why Southerners Make Great Corpses,” with Larissa Reinhart, author of Cherry Tucker Mysteries Portrait of a Dead Guy and Still Life in Brunswick Stew; Phillip Depoy,  author of fourteen novels and thirty-seven produced plays, best known for his Fever Devilin Mysteries; Gayle Trent , “cozy mystery” author with two fun series featuring a cake baking sleuth that include recipes and an embroidery mystery series with creative designs; and moderatorMaggie Bishop, author of the series Appalachian Adventure Mysteries.  “Murder Goes South: Why Murders set in the South Sizzle,” with Cathy Pickens, author of Southern FriedDone Gone WrongHog Wild, and Hush My Mouth; Jane Tesh, author of two mystery series, the Grace Street Mysteries and Madeline Maclin Mysteries; Glenn Bruce, author of seven books and over 80 screenplays and teleplays; and moderator, Wendy Dingwall,  author of the Yvonne Suarez Mysteries; Hera’s Revenge and Celtic Curse.

 Other programs and panels will feature Edward Southern,  author of short stories and nonfiction and  Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network; Alan Gratz, award-winning author for young people; Patty Digh, author of six inspirational works including Design Your Own Life Camp; readings by members of High Country Writers and an “Emerging Authors Panel” with moderator Amy Clark, author of Talking Appalachian and Success in Hill Country; Erika Marks, modern fiction author of  Little Gale Gumbo,  The Mermaid Collector and The Guest House; Jamie Mason,  author of the mystery thriller Three Graves Full; Susan Tekulve, author of short story collections My Mother’s War Stories and Rooms People Live In and novel In the Garden of Stone.

There will be two ticketed events on Friday, June 21: An all-day Writer’s Workshop,  from 8:30 am  to 4 pm at the Watauga County Public Library will cover a variety of topics from screen writing to authoring a children’s book. Tickets are $40 ($30 of which is tax deductible) and will include a light breakfast and lunch.  Friday evening NY Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb and Appalachian folk musician Mary Greene headline Biscuits, Books and Ballads, the buffet dinner that kicks off the celebration, 6 to 9 pm at historic Tweetsie Railroad.  

Exhibitors provide significant support for the goals of the festival and enrich the experience for readers. Visit our exhibitors including: Amy Allen; Mary Ball; Kaye Wilkinson Barley; C. Clayton Thompson, Bookseller; Canterbury House Publishing, Ltd.; Daniel Boone Footsteps, Randell Jones; William Eleazer; Regina Jeffers; Jelly Bean & Company; L’Edge Press; George G. McClellan; McFarland Publishing; Celia Miles; Jerry Pope; Jack Pyle & Taylor Reece and Stratford Oaks Tales.

Friends of the Watauga County Public Library is a wholly volunteer organization to promote the Watauga County Public Library and its goals, while inspiring a love of literature. For more information, visit the website of the High Country Festival of the Book,  www.highcountryfestivalofthebook.com or our display at the Watauga County Library. Tickets for events may be purchased through PayPal on our website or cash/check at the Watauga County Public Library.