Friday, October 19, 2012

Recap of Latest Presentation, and I'm Off to the Parkway

Transylvania County Library, Brevard, NC

On Tuesday I gave a presentation at the Transylvania County Library in my little town of Brevard, North Carolina. Called “The Slanted Truth: When Fiction Meets History,” I talked about the ins and outs of writing historical fiction, Keowee Valley, my own research and writing process, the dangerous 18th century on the Southern Appalachian frontier, and the ethics of writing within the genre.
I peppered the presentation with quotes from some of my favorite writers: Emily Dickinson, Louis L' Amour, Jane Austen, William Faulkner, David McCullough, Alan Bennett, Rudyard Kipling, and more.
I am a quote fanatic. Just ask Lisa, my roommate from my freshman year at Clemson University, who had to live with me in a dorm room the size of Mini Cooper, with my quotes plastered all over the wall.
But my favorite quote regarding history has got to be from the venerable McCullough. He said, in his 2003 Jefferson Lecture for the National Endowment of the Humanities, that "No harm's done to history by making is something someone would want to read."

It was a great turnout, thanks to the wonderful folks at the Library, including the Friends of the Library, who supplied us with coffee and pastries from nearby Blue Ridge Bakery (I've bought a pie from here, every Christmas since my daughter was born, to take to my parents’ house. They are scrumptious). I didn’t do a headcount, but just about all of the seats were filled. I’m no mathematician, but I'm guessing there were about 75+ people in the audience.

The Bag Lunch Arts Series is a wonderful program. Every month, on the second Tuesday of that month, a different author or artist presents a program (sometimes the speaker is local, oftentimes not). Audience members bring their own lunch to eat during, and the program is free. I was honored to take part.

I don’t know if your local library does the same sort of thing, but if it doesn’t, you should encourage the Head Librarian or Director to look into it! TCL has had some wonderful and varied speakers over the years, and always has a great turn out. 

I thought I’d include the presentation here, for those interested. (My sweet husband decided to take video of the entire thing.) But it’s long—40 minutes of presentation, which include me reading from my novel, Keowee Valley—and then about 20 minutes or Q & A at the end.

And I’d shorten it, but my tech-savvy husband’s out of commission today, and I am a Technological Bozo. That’s right, like Bozo the Clown. So look for me to post a few snippets from the presentation next week.

(On a side note, at a recent book event a reader from Brooklyn told me how surprised she was that I did NOT have a Southern accent! I couldn't believe it, because I can't tell you how many of my non-Southern friends have teased me over the years about the thickness of my South Carolina accent. My mom and I decided that I just don't "turn it on" when I speak in public, courtesy of many, many years in theatre.)

In other news, more reviews for KeoweeValley are showing up on book blogs and in places like Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, my favorite local bookstore Highland Books, and more.

I hope all of you have a fabulous October weekend! As for us, my dog and I plan to pick my daughter up from preschool this morning and head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway for a picnic. The mountains are aflame with the colors of the season, and it just doesn’t get any prettier than this.

Happy Friday!

Wahoo Fall!


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