It’s not all nationally known, best-selling authors at the West Virginia Book Festival. Plenty of local and regional authors will be there as well, selling and signing books and talking with readers. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about some authors you might not have heard of, but who deserve your attention.
Among the places you can find them (and if you want to add a name or seven to this list, leave a comment below):
The West Virginia University Press, in addition to the session they’re sponsoring with WVU basketball author John Antonik, will have Marshall University creative writing professor Marie Manilla at their booth from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. She’ll sign copies of her new book “Still Life with Plums.”
Terra Alta-based Headline Books will have 17, count ’em, 17 authors signing at various times at the Book Festival. Featured will be political thriller author Rick Robinson; Melinda Chambers, a repeat winner at the Mom’s Choice Awards; and 2011 West Virginia Teacher of the Year Drema McNeal.
Sarah Martin Byrd, author of “Guardian Spirit,” blogs that she’ll be signing books from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the booth for Lucky Press of Athens, Ohio. She says of her book, “’Guardian Spirit’ was written for women, specifically young adults. It is a journey from abuse to healing with miracles and magic woven throughout. Even though the work is fiction, it was inspired by the true experiences of many I know.”
Other Lucky Press authors at the festival include Huntington native Mary Calhoun Brown, who will sign her young-adult historical novel “There Are No Words” from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Illustrator Janice Phelps Williams (also the publisher at Lucky Press) will sign her latest book, “Still Her Spirit Sings,” from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Mark Van Aken Williams will sign his novel “The Prophet of Sorrow” from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Charleston Gazette Editor James A. Haught will be signing copies of “Fascinating West Virginia,” his collection of odd and intriguing stories and photos from his half-century at the newspaper, throughout the weekend.
UPDATE: From the West Virginia Book Company: The Charleston-based publishing and distribution firm will be hosting more than a dozen Mountain State writers and storytellers at their booth this year. “West Virginia has a long history of storytelling, and we have some of the pre-eminent writers in the state coming to the festival this year,” Bill Clements said. “We’ll also be releasing three brand new titles at the event: “Mountain Magic: Spellbinding Tales of Appalachia,” “Specters In Coal Dust” and “Legends of the Mountain State 4.” The new books are published by Woodland Press, of Chapmanville, WV.
The authors at the West Virginia Book Company booth will include Michael Knost, F. Keith Davis, Dolly Withrow, S. Clayton Rhodes, Geoffrey Cameron Fuller, Karin Fuller, Ellen McCloud, Jessie Grayson, Kyle Lovern, Eric Fritzius and Frank Larnerd.
UPDATED AGAIN: Publishers Place of Huntington will have its own slate of West Virginia authors on Saturday. All will read in Parlor E at the Civic Center. They include:
| 10 a.m.: Tom Norman, author of the memoir “The Green Mountain”
| 11a.m.: Dwight Harshbarger, author of the historical novel “Witness at Hawks Nest”
| 12:30 p.m.: Rosalie Ash, author of “We Fought Back,” a story of the Lesage community’s defeat of attempts by Huntington to take their homes by eminent domain
| 1:30 p.m.: Kit Thornton, author of the novel “Milton’s Child”
| 4:15 p.m.: John Patrick Grace, executive director of Publishers Place, will stage a demonstration Life Writing class.