1000 x 90

High Country Writers to Meet Aug. 11, Discuss Recent History of Independent Publishing

High Country Writers’ program for the Aug. 11 meeting will focus on the history of Independent publishing during the past 25 years. This revolutionary time has seen the transition from print runs of thousands to print on demand and the dominance of a few New York publishing houses to free access to any author. Panel members are; Rao Aluri, founder of Parkway Publishers; Julia Ebel, an author whose publishing history spans this revolution, and Judith Geary, former senior editor for Ingalls Publishing Group. The meeting will be held 10 a.m. to noon at the Watauga County Public Library. The public is invited.

Rao Aluri settled in Boone in 1992 when his wife Mary Reichel was hired by the ASU Library. As a second job for a PhD in Library Science seemed unlikely, they decided it was time for Rao to fulfill a long-time dream and open a publishing company. Since his background was in science—Aluri immigrated to Canada to do graduate work in physics before shifting to Library Science—Parkway Publishers’ early books were academic publications and scientific monographs. His first popular publication was Juanita Tobin’s Ransom Street Quartet. In 20 years of publishing, Aluri’s company published over 60 books, most nonfiction and fiction focusing on the Appalachian region.HCW Program Composite

Julia Taylor Ebel’s books and poems draw from North Carolina’s people, cultural heritage, and places. Through her writing, presentations, and workshops, she offers a quiet voice of affirmation and inspires both young students and adults to let their voices share the stories that only they can tell. Julia’s nine books include biography, historical fiction, folklore, poetry, and picture books. Her home is in Jamestown, North Carolina; but she often spends time in the hills near Boone, where the mountains and their people have inspired much of her writing. Among her regional books are Jack Tales and Mountain Yarns as Told by Orville Hicks, Mama’s Wreaths, and Addie Clawson, Appalachian Mail Carrier.

Judith Geary joined Bob and Barbara Ingalls in establishing High Country Publishers in 2001 and continued to edit and design for its successor Ingalls Publishing Group. The over 60 books of fiction and memoir published before the business closed after Bob Ingalls’ death in 2015 represented the evolution of the publishing process. The novels of Geary’s Getorix series and the accompanying curriculum are recommended for use in over 15 states. Geary continues to freelance in editing and design and teaches an Intro to Media Publishing course at Appalachian State.

High Country Writers has been “energizing writers since 1995!” Regular meetings are at the Watauga County Public Library on the second and fourth Thursdays of most months from ten until noon and speakers’ presentations are co-sponsored with the Library. HCW members present writing skills workshops the first Thursday of the month, and have recently partnered with the Watauga County Arts Council in hosting these workshops. For more information and a current calendar, visit the website: http://highcountrywriters.tripod.com/. Guests are welcome.