Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Clubs & Literary Festivals: How Sweet it is!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I LOVE book clubs!

Book clubs have the coolest members, the yummiest food, the neatest meeting spots--be it in someone's cozy home or at the "lake house" at Straus Park in Brevard, NC, where I went yesterday--and their readers ask the most interesting questions. Book club folks love books, and are eager for story. And I love that.
At yesterday's meeting with the Straus Park Book Club in my adopted hometown of
Brevard, NC, we dug into my historical novel,
Keowee Valley. Like its feminine, nuanced cover--'cause what woman isn't nuanced?--the book is weightier, more multi-faceted than you'd think. And these readers were interested in all of it: the history, the adventure, the romance, the publishing process, my writing process, and more. Most of all, it was such a joy to be in my town, to meet fellow Brevardians I'll probably get to see again, and to reacquaint myself with others I'd met before.

Talking with book clubs folks--with any reader of my novel, really--is like a kick in the pants to get writing. A boost of inspiration and gratitude always follows. Now, of course, it's up to me to figure out just how to do that in my crazy, busy, small-child-filled life.

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2013 Carolina Mountains Literary Festival ~ "Take Me There" ~ September 12 - 14

At the end of this week I'll head up into the higher mountains to Burnsville, NC, to participate in the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival. This year's theme is "Take Me There," and the festival showcases "authors and works that transport us."

This is a fabulous gathering for writers, READERS, history and mountain lovers, artists and more. And it's in a gorgeous spot: Burnsville sits right at the entrance to Mt. Mitchell, the tallest mountain in the Appalachians and in the eastern U.S.  The festival will feature (along with little ol' me) a host of authors, including Elizabeth Kostova, Katherine Soniat, Susan Woodring, Fred Bahnson, Keith Flynn, Abigail DeWitt, and so many more.

There'll be "sessions" (basically a mix of lecture, Q & A, readings, etc), informal gatherings, readings and more all around town at different locations, in cafes, bookstores, art galleries, antique shops and more. I've never been to Burnsville before, but I can't wait to get there.


Actually, I'm leaving my babies, husband and dog behind to have some grown up girls' time with one of my best friends. (Did you hear that? It's me, woohoo-ing like a Nascar fan at the Indy 500.)

I'm giving two sessions at a bookstore called Off the Beaten Path. Details:

Friday, Sept. 13

2-2:45 Off The Beaten Path KATHERINE SCOTT CRAWFORD Informal Lecture, Reading and Q & A - The Slanted Truth: When Fiction Meets History  The rich history of a place makes great fodder for fiction. But are there ethics to follow when it comes to writing historical fiction?
Saturday, Sept. 14
2-2:45 Off The Beaten Path KATHERINE SCOTT CRAWFORD Brief Lecture, Reading and Q & A – Walking the Story  A writer’s adventure through the Southern Appalachian back country, and the historical novel it inspired. How a novel was birthed by a lifetime outdoors.
For more information about the festival, including other sessions and events, click here.

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