Come join Heather this Saturday, 24th, 11:00 am, at Ky Soaps and Such in Stanford, KY. Kids and adults welcome! Reading, book signing, cookies, locally made products such as Plainview Farm all natural goat’s milk soaps and lotions! Visit Kentucky Soaps and Such for more info.
Frank X Walker is the current Kentucky Poet Laureate. He also happens to be a Danville native and a DHS grad (just like yours truly.) So some literary types in Danville have organized the first ever literary fest in Frank’s honor. Be sure to come to Danville and check it out. Here’s the schedule:
The Frank X Walker Literary Festival
Thursday, September 18, 2014
“Turn Me Loose…. The Unghosting of Medgar Evers” Convocation
Newlin Hall/Norton Center/7:30 p.m.
Featuring Frank X Walker
Friday, September 19, 2014
- Frank X Walker … School Presentations
- Authors in our Schools (Danville/Boyle)
Writing Workshops/Oral Readings/Student Presentations
- Boyle County Public Library: Heather Henson/Marie Bradby: Reading & Talk 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Picturing Words Smithsonian Exhibit 9:00-5:30 p.m.
- Frank X Walker Community Reception Danville High School 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Danville High School
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Oral Presentations by Frank X Walker and Authors
- Community Readings
- Book Fair 10:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- Frank X Walker “State Historical Marker” Project
- Concessions : Dunn’s BBQ
Boyle County Public Library
- Family Day of Literacy/ Readings/ Workshops 10:30-12:00 p.m.
- Picturing Words Smithsonian Exhibit 9:00-5:00 p.m.
Frank X Walker Rick Lee
Minnie Adkins Maurice Manning
Amy Barkman Marcia Mount Shoop
Wendell Berry David Nahm
Marie Bradby Ricardo Nazario-Colon’
Devine Carama Guerney Norman
Hasan Davis Mike Norris
Mitchell Douglas Yolantha Pace
Carolyn DuPont Katheryn Ragle
Ruth Ann Fogle Octavia Sexton
Thomas Freese C.A. Shelley
Hazel “Sybil” Hall Judy Sizemore
Louis Hatchett Penny Smith
Heather Henson Patsi Trollinger
Shayla Lawson Crystal Wilkinson
I’ll be in beautiful downtown Stanford, Kentucky on Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. along with other Kentucky writers. Please join me! I’ll be reading my books to kids at 11:00 a.m. Here’s more info about the event!
I’m heading up to Northern Kentucky University tomorrow to participate in their annual Bookfest on Friday, May 4. It’s a really incredible day long program in which about 500 middle grade students from around the state come to the NKU campus in Highland Heights to talk about books and reading.
Here is a link to NKU’s webpage about it, with a really terrific video showing highlights of years past:
Last year, Silas House was the featured speaker, so I’m just thrilled and honored to have been asked to follow in his footsteps.
Will post pictures from the event soon! Hope to see you there!
Linda and I met three years ago at Books by the Banks, the annual Book Fair in downtown Cincinnati. We’d been randomly thrown together, as you always are at these events: two — possibly three — authors sitting side by side for a solid eight hours, smiling till your cheeks ache, signing books till your hand hurts, answering questions, pitching your story over and over again, hearing your table mate pitching her story over and over again to parents/grandparents continually strolling by, unsure of what type of book they want to buy for their child/grandchild.
I’ll be honest. You don’t always get along with your table mate at these events. You are always cordial, of course, always polite. But by the end of the day, you are often tired of hearing about the book the other writer is selling, and when you pack up and say, “Oh, let’s keep in touch,” you don’t always mean it.
This was not the case with Linda Sanders-Wells. Over the course of that day, as we began to really talk, to exchange stories and experiences, we just clicked. When we both said, “Let’s keep in touch,” there was no doubt that we would.
In this modern world, it’s easy to keep in touch, but it’s harder to actually spend a lot of quality time together. I’m sad to say that over the past three years I did not see Linda as much as I would have liked. We lived three hours away from one other; we were both busy with work and family and writing. But in that time Linda became somebody I knew I could go to for advice and encouragement. She was smart and funny and self-deprecating and wise. She was a writer, a true writer. She had a way with words. She had a lot of stories inside her; she had a lot of stories left to tell. I was hoping more of her work would be published. I still am. She had/has a voice that needed/needs to be heard.
Here is a picture I took of Linda at my favorite bookstore, The Blue Marble, in northern Kentucky. She’d come in support (of course) of my latest book, Dream of Night. When I went back last week to look at the photos, I couldn’t believe I didn’t have a picture of the two of us together from that day. But I’m so glad I at least have this one: a photo of Linda surrounded by something she loved — books.
I will keep you in my heart, Linda. I will remember you always. Thank you for your friendship.
Here is a cut and paste of the obituary which appeared in Cincinnati newspapers, along with the link:
MADISONVILLE – Linda Sanders-Wells introduced herself on her blog this way: “I’m a writer. Since my first poem at about age six, I’ve been trying to put stories into words in a way that would connect with other people.”
Ms. Sanders-Wells, 54, died Oct. 20 at home after a long struggle with breast cancer.
In her 33 years in the publishing industry, Ms. Sanders-Wells wrote for companies ranging from the Louisville Times to Mademoiselle Magazine to F&W Publications.
Most recently, she was a communications consultant for Cincinnati-based KnowledgeWorks Foundation, devoted to improving results in secondary education. Her friend Carri Schneider called Ms. Sanders-Wells a model of “how to live a life of joy, acceptance and loving kindness.”
Ms. Sanders-Wells’ passion was as a children’s book author and editor. Like the best writers, she drew on her own experiences to tell a larger story.
She had great success in 2009 with her children’s picture book “Maggie’s Monkeys,” about a little girl who believes a family of monkeys has moved into the refrigerator.
Ms. Sanders-Wells told her fans “Maggie’s Monkeys” was inspired years ago by living with her daughter Abigail’s “invisible-to-us friend.”
Ms. Sanders-Wells had her own invisible monkey friend as a child, when her family lived in Central America, “where some children had actual monkeys. And yes, it lived in the refrigerator. Not the family refrigerator, but my toy one.”
“Maggie’s Monkeys,” a Junior Library Guild selection, is included in the Bank Street Best Children’s Books of 2010 and was on the Master List for the Kentucky Bluegrass Awards for 2011. It won raves from teachers, librarians, parents and kids.
The book celebrated what Ms. Sanders-Wells called two powerful forces: love and imagination. She was “thrilled – and humbled” to meet fans at events like Cincinnati’s Books at the Banks.
A devoted member of a local children’s book writing group, her good friend and colleague Sally Derby of Cincinnati called Ms. Sanders-Wells “an old soul,” and said her stories delved deeper than the regular children’s book.
“I still have hopes her other books will be published,” Derby said.
Filmmaker and author Eunice Charlton-Trujillo of Cincinnati has dedicated her next book, which will come out in 2012, to Ms. Sanders-Wells.
“I decided long before she was sick,” Charlton-Trujillo said. “Linda was very inspirational and an incredible motivator for me to keep writing. She had faith. She believed in people.”
Ms. Sanders-Wells wrote: “The special books we encounter as kids go straight to our hearts. That’s why I write for children. In the hope that perhaps something I have to say will register with one other person.”
There are plans under way to publish at least one other of Ms. Sanders-Wells’ manuscripts. “Sometimes Friends,” which explores how friendships are made, will be published by Charlton-Trujillo and Sanders-Wells daughter, Abigail, 17.
It’s a book, Charlton-Trujillo said, that will change young lives.
In addition to her daughter, survivors include her partner of 24 years, Howard Wells; her parents, Robert and Sue Sanders of Indianapolis; two brothers, Neal Sanders and Alan Sanders, both of Chicago; and a sister, Laurie Sanders Squire of Chicago.
A memorial and celebration will begin 5 p.m. Nov. 10 at Grailville, 932 O’Bannonville Road, Loveland. For directions, www.grailville.org or 513-683-2340.
I’ve been participating in the Kentucky Book Fair for almost ten years now, since my first book (YA novel, Making the Run) was published in 2001. It’s always been a lovely event, with local school visits the day before, and a reception for authors the night before, and finally the event itself. I always see it as a time to get to know new writers or become reacquainted with writers I don’t see very often. It’s a great opportunity to talk to Kentucky writers whose work has deeply influenced my own, like Bobbie Ann Mason, Wendell Berry, Gurney Norman, George Ella Lyon.
This year, I met Heather Clay, who grew up in Kentucky and now lives in New York City (we have a lot in common!). Her first novel is called Losing Charlotte (published by Knopf), and I’ve just started reading it, and the writing is lyrical and lovely, and the story is starting to grab me so that I know I’ll have trouble putting it down very soon.
I also got to see my old friend Maurice Manning, a guy I grew up with/made it through those crazy high school years with. It’s interesting that we’ve both become writers, having grown up in a pretty small town. Maurice is an amazing poet, and very prolific. His latest book of poems is The Common Man, published by Houghton Mifflin. I haven’t started to read it yet, but it’s on my bedside table — can’t wait to dive in!
A couple of other writers/books that really grabbed my attention this year: I Wonder as I Wander: The Life of John Jacob Niles by Ron Penn and How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders by MaryJean Wall, who was a turf writer for the Lexington paper for years.
I have a personal connection with John Jacob Niles. He used to come visit my parents and hang out at the Pioneer Playhouse when I was little. He once told my mother that she had one of the purest voices he had ever heard. And he would often bring his dulcimer and sit with my mother and they would sing together, entertaining the dinner guests before the night’s show. For those of you who don’t know, John Jacob Niles is considered one of the most influential songwriters and balladeers of the American folk music tradition. He is particularly known for collecting and documenting songs of Appalachia.
So…I probably ended up buying more books than what I “earned” selling books. But that’s what often happens anyway when I’m surrounded by books and writers. Have to support my fellow artists!
Sadly, it was a smaller turn out than usual. The economy is definitely still hard hit. People aren’t rushing out to buy books, let me tell you. But the people who did come out to the Kentucky Book Fair this year — as is the case every year — were passionate about books and reading. There are always a lot of parents who bring their kids, and that’s always so heartwarming. Every parent I talked to during the fair said that they want to instill a love of books in their kids, and it’s obvious that they have already — and that makes it all worth while!
Here’s a picture of me at my table, taken by photographer James Sullivan. Thanks James, for letting me use this!
And thanks, as always to Connie Crowe, who does SO very much. Thanks to the folks at Joseph-Beth, especially my gals, Brooke and Rachel — you two rock!
I will be at the Kentucky Book Fair on Saturday, November 13 from 9-5, selling and signing books along with 150 other authors — both from KY and from elsewhere around the country. It’s a very cool event, one of the oldest book fairs in the country. Please come to downtown Frankfort on Saturday and check it out.
Here are the facts, from the Kentucky Book Fair website:
The central purpose of the Kentucky Book Fair, Inc. is to bring writers and patrons together in celebration of their mutual interest and to promote awareness of the importance of writing and reading within the general public. The Book Fair supports and encourages writers of all genres and uses proceeds from the Fair to benefit other causes associated with the promotion of reading and writing, especially libraries.
The Book Fair, now in its 29th year, is a one-day event, held this year, on the second Saturday in November (November 13, 2010). The event takes place in Frankfort, the state’s Capitol City. The Book Fair is operated by a non-profit independent board of volunteers, with co-sponsorship from the State Journal, Frankfort’s daily newspaper; the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, a state government entity; the University Press of Kentucky and Joseph Beth Book Sellers, Lexington, Kentucky. Several businesses and organizations in the state provide cash donations which are used for operating expenses. This year’s event will be held at the Frankfort Convention Center. Several symposiums are planned throughout the day as well.
Crazy day last Friday, trying to get to my son’s school for an awards ceremony, and then leave on time to get to Cinci for the author’s reception for Books by the Banks. Had just enough time — if there hadn’t been a Reds game going on downtown, and the traffic was sluggish, and it was impossible to find the entrance to my hotel, and once I did find the entrance, I had to circle downwards through several levels of the earth to finally find a parking space. BUT the reception (when I finally made it) was wonderful. I’d never been in the Mercantile Library before. A gorgeous old room with old books so that I felt like I was in a movie set back in time. Had dinner with my writer friend Linda Sanders after the reception. Her book Maggie’s Monkeys is on the Bluegrass Awards masterlist this year — congrats!
Next day — Saturday — headed over to the Duke Energy Center to find out where I’d be sitting. Lucky for me, they put me next to the one-and-only Sharon Draper, who is kind of like a rock star in the kids book world. Sharon and I share the same editor, and while we’ve met and talked briefly over the past couple of years, we’d never spent all day together. And it was just so much fun. I basked in her rock star glow all day, and we traded stories over the tortures our (beloved) editor puts us both through. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one dearest C tortures! 🙂
Seriously, it was awe-inspiring to get to know Sharon a little better, and to be able to talk to her about her most recent book, Out of My Mind, which is stupendous, and which is sure to be on many a Newbery prediction list.
After Cinci, I rushed back home to see my kiddos, and then it was back to the KY Horse Park for a couple of WEG signings. I will report on that in my next post. But for now, here’s a pic of me and Sharon together at Books by the Banks.
Oh, and one more thing — thanks to all the folks at BBTB, Cinci 2010, for being such terrific hosts. And many thanks to Janice for being my gopher for the day!
Yesterday was WEG, tomorrow is Books by the Banks. I’m headed up to Cinci (one of my fav little cities) for the Books by the Banks book festival, sponsored by one of my fav bookstores, Joseph-Beth. This is my second year attending, and I’m really excited. Love getting a chance to spend some time in Cinci. Love getting the chance to hang out with other writers and be surrounded by books, books, books. If you live anywhere near Cinci, come on down to the Duke Energy Center on Saturday from 10-4. Check out their website: www.booksbythebanks.org for a schedule of events and authors.
Yesterday signing books at the TRF booth at WEG was lots of fun. The proceeds of sales from Dream of Night went directly to the horses at TRF’s Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, to feeding them, keeping them groomed and healthy. It was a GORGEOUS day in Lexington, perfect for strolling around the lovely fair grounds, observing lovely horses. WEG goes for one more week, and I will be back at the TRF booth on Tuesday, October 5 from 11-1 to sign more copies of my book.
Here are a coupla pictures my friend, Fe, snapped at WEG: