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The Second Annual Festival of the Book At Watauga High School to Kick Off June 22 at 9 a.m.

June 21, 2013. The second annual Festival of the Book will kick off on Saturday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Watauga High School. Sponsored by the Friends of the Watauga County Library, the festival will allow participants to join authors, exhibitors and other bibliophiles for a day of literary celebration.

“The festival is a celebration of the written word and its power to enrich the human esperience,” said Suzanne Thompson, president of sponsors at Friends of the Watauga County Library. “Our mission is to foster an interest in reading, writing and literary conversation. 

imgresAuthors, publishers, book sellers and community organizations make up over 40 exhibitors scheduled to be present at the festival. Children’s books, history, romance, mysteries, regional books, inspirational, thrillers, sports, military and even books suitable for home schooling will be available for sale, and for most books the authors will be on hand to sign them. 

The largest exhibitor will be Appalachian State’s book store, Scholar’s Bookshelf that will be selling the books written by the authors who are in the festival program. Local book dealer C. Clayton Thompson will be selling a wide variety of both old and new and collectable books. Local organizations such as the Friends of the Library, Mountain Alliance and the Children’s Playhouse will also be participating. 

Many authors will also be present to do book signings and talk about their work.

Sharyn McCrumb, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Ballad Series, will be the featured speaker for the Biscuits, Books and Ballads banquet the evening of June 21. She will be signing books at the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

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 the 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. 

Anne Hite’s novel, Ghost on Black Mountain, was a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction in 2012 and Georgia’s novel of the year. She will present from her new novel, The Story Catcher and her novella Lowcountry Spirit, both set 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 includes recipes and an embroidery mystery series with creative designs; and moderator Maggie Bishop, author of the series Appalachian Adventure Mysteries. “Murder Goes South: Why Murders Set in the South Sizzle,” with Cathy Pickens, author of Southern Fried, Done Gone Wrong, Hog 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 Writer’s Network; Alan Gratz, award-winning author for young people; Patty Dign, author of six inspirational works including Design Your Own Life Camp; readings by members of the 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 GumboThe 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 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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 includes a light breakfast and lunch. On Friday evening, New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb and Appalachian Folk Musician Mary Greene headline Biscuits, Books and Ballads, the buffet dinner that kicks off the entire celebration, from 6-9 p.m. at historic Tweetsie Railroad.

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

The entire event is funded almost entirely by generous sponsors and supported by the Friends of the Watauga County Public Library. The Friends are a wholly volunteer organization to promote the Watauga County Public Library and its goals, while inspiring a love of literature.

For more information, visit their website here. Tickets for events may be purchased through PayPal on their website or by cash or check at the Watauga County Public Library.  The festival is free to attend and offers free parking to everyone.