2017 Dahlonega Literary Festival – This Weekend!

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DLF Featured Authors 2017

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2016 Dahlonega Literary Festival – March 12-13

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NGAG Lit Fest

Haunted Dahlonega – 2014 Walking Tours Have Begun

The 2014 script, which is full of NEW stories of mysterious encounters and paranormal phenomena, was created by yours truly…and I’ll be hosting most of the tour dates:Haunted Dahlonega Tour PosterThis project is a labor of love. Everyone involved in the tour production is a volunteer and 100% of the ticket sales go to support the Friends of the Dahlonega Gold Museum in their mission to promote, support, improve and preserve the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site.

We had a fantastic group for the first tour. It was so much fun, I can hardly wait for next Saturday to do it all again!

I will be posting about this event, my research in creating the script and maybe even sharing a few ghostly tidbits that didn’t get included in the final cut throughout September and October. Stay tuned!

Coming Soon: Haunted Dahlonega Walking Tours

2014 Dahlonega Ghost Tour Poster

This is the project that has been absorbing all of my time and attention over the past month and I’m very, VERY excited to tell you more. But I can’t share any details right now. The new script I’m working on for this year’s tour is still in the super secret development stage. So, for now, I’m just posting this as a Coming Attraction. Look for more information coming soon!

 

2014 Dahlonega Literary Festival – March 8-9

According to 11Alive news, this weekend is going to be absolutely gorgeous – sunny with highs in the upper 60’s – a glorious Spring day. In fact, Saturday is predicted to be a perfect 10 on the WIZometer.

Woo hoo!!! This will be a FABULOUS weekend for the Dahlonega Literary Festival.

Books

Even though I’m recovering from knee surgery – still unable to drive or walk without crutches or navigate stairs – words cannot fully express how much I’m looking forward to actually getting outside of this house and being around people who love books.

The lineup of authors is absolutely stellar this year! Here’s my own personal highlights:

  • Joshilyn Jackson – Anyone who reads my blog knows that I shamelessly hero-worship Joshilyn, but did you know her most recent novel (Someone Else’s Love Story) and the prequel short story (My Own Miraculous) are set in Dahlonega?? Both works are wonderful and amazing. Read them up!
  • Mark Braught – One of my favorite SCBWI illustrators. This guy is an incredible inspiration….and I should mention his illustrations were used on merchandising for the first Harry Potter movie.
  • George Weinstein – When I bought/read George’s first novel, Hardscrabble Road I was a little nervous to read it; afraid the subject matter might be depressing. The MC’s life seemed so desperate and dreary! Guess what? I fell in love! Completely, hopelessly in love. I can barely wait to dive into his second novel, The Five Destinies of Carlos Moreno.
  • Cassandra King – After listening to an NPR interview with her, I purchased Moonrise and thoroughly enjoyed the story. It’s a modern Southern Gothic with a heavy dose of inspiration from du Maurier’s Rebecca.
  • Deanna Raybourn – She writes a-MAZE-ing novels about romantic, mystical creatures, but I loved her most recent historical novel – A Spear of Summer Grass.

NOTE: The first person who walks up to me during this festival and says, “May the literary Force be with you” will win a FREE copy of my novel (NSLA, NSFA).

Here’s the full DLF Schedule (taken from their website):

Saturday, March 8th 
*All Programming at St. Luke’s unless otherwise noted

9:15-10:00:

  1. Creating Characters That Readers Care About (Rm. 103/105) – Panelists: Raymond Atkins, Michael Bishop, Kim Boykin, Terry Kay, Cassandra King, Erika Marks, George Weinstein
  2. Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books, a mini-workshop with Mark Braught (Rm. 106) (also featuring Patsy Henry and Ed T. Payne)

10:15–11:00:

  1. Dahlonega in the Spotlight: Someone Else’s Love Story, A Book Talk with Joshilyn Jackson (Rm. 103/105)
  2. Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, a mini-workshop with Alex Hughes and James R. Tuck (Rm. 106)

11:15–12:00:

  1. Glimpse of the Past: Incorporating History Into Fiction (Rm. 103/105) Panelists: Delilah S. Dawson, Cassandra King, Charles McNair, Erika Marks, Deanna Raybourn, Denise Weimar
  2. Writing Fiction: Regional Authors Share Their Experiences (Rm. 101) Panelists: Jim Booth, Sue Cass, Alison Reeger Cook, Mitch Doxsee, Mike Herron, C.D. Mitchell, Madelyn Shepard, Bill Stuart
  3. Character Drawing with Mark Braught (Rm. 106)

12:30–1:30 – Lunch with the Author (at area restaurants–attendees responsible for their meals)

2:00–2:45:

  1. Fantasy for Everyone: The Many Realms of Speculative Fiction (Rm. 103/105) Panelists: Michael Bishop, Delilah S. Dawson, Ann Hite, Alex Hughes, James R. Tuck, Jadie Jones
  2. Truth Be Told: Writing Non-Fiction (Rm. 101) Panelists: Susan Lindsley, William Rawlings, Kent Kammermeyer, Dennis McKenna, Carroll McMahan, Fiona Page, Carlotta Russell
  3. Writing Poetry, a mini-workshop with Kathryn Hinds, also featuring Jeff Newberry (Rm. 106)

3:00–3:45:

  1. From Chuckles to Belly Laughs: Hitting the Right Note with Humor (Rm. 103/105) Panelists: Raymond Atkins, Kim Boykin, Jackie Cooper, Joshilyn Jackson, Terry Kay, Charles McNair, James R. Tuck
  2. Stonepile Writers Reading (Rm. 101)
  3. Writing Mysteries, a mini-workshop with Deborah Malone (Rm. 106)

4:00–4:45:

  1. On the Edge of Our Seats: The Element of Suspense in Fiction (Rm. 103/105) Panelists: Alex Hughes, Susan Lindsley, William Rawlings, Deanna Raybourn, George Weinstein, Saundra Kelley. Julia McDermott
  2. Southern Poetry Anthology Presentation and Reading (Rm. 101)
  3. Preparing Your Manuscript, a mini-workshop with April Loebick, Managing Editor, University of North Georgia Press (Rm. 106)

5:15–6:30Author Meet-and-Greet, Open to the Public, Community House

7:00 Saturday Night Live: Dinner at Don Pollo’s
Buffet dinner for $17.99 plus tax, or order from the menu. Six of our featured authors will read short selections.

Sunday, March 9th 
*Programming held at Community House

12:30–1:15 – What is Southern Fiction, Anyway? Panelists: Raymond Atkins, Kim Boykin, Jackie Cooper, Terry Kay, Cassandra King, Charles McNair, George Weinstein

1:30–2:15 – The Role of Setting in Fiction – Panelists: Michael Bishop, Mark Braught, Alex Hughes, Susan Lindsley, Erika Marks, William Rawlings, James R. Tuck

After the Festival Fun for Writers:

3:00–6:00 p.m – Write-In (Starbuck’s next to UNG campus) How would you like to meet with other aspiring writers to discuss issues, offer support, share ideas, and even play a game or two? Word Wars and Word Challenges will be part of the fun.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

Top 10 Reasons You Should Come to Dahlonega Gallery Walk Tomorrow (June 8)

Number 1

My book event and 1977 party! NSLA_event_poster_June-8_web-1 copyFeaturing artwork by my amazing illustrator, J.B. Jones, in addition to many other talented artists at Awakening Fine Art Gallery. I still have free Millennium Falcon gift soaps to give away with purchase. And there will be an outrageously unhealthy array of free 1977 party snacks. After our event, there’s a Spoken Word open mic that’s always a good time!

But there are MANY other reasons to visit my hometown for one of our Gallery Walks (Second Saturday of every month). Here’s nine additional reasons (in no particular order)…

  • There’s my friend Grant Searcey’s gallery. I swear, I can’t walk into that place without spending money. My credit card jumps out of my purse and starts hugging beautiful creations as soon as I walk through the door. The mixed media exhibit that he created with his mother is incredible! Grant kindly gave me permission to post an image of one of his pieces here, but now I can’t pick just one. So click here and fill your eyeballs with love! (PS – Grant also created 3 pieces of licensed Star Wars art.)
  • Naturally Georgia Wine Tasting at Bleu Gallery (I love the Tiger Mountain reds! Can’t remember which one was my favorite…which means I should probably go back and taste them again.)
  • You can also mix your art appreciation with a little wine tasting at the Carriage House Shoppes.
  • But don’t get stuck in one place for too long, because you could win a raffle if you visit every gallery on the walk.
  • In addition to savoring art and wine, you might want to build your own box of chocolates at Paul Thomas Chocolates.
  • If art, wine and chocolate is not your thing (Oy! Who are you?), we also love the beer selection and the cheese slice over at Gustavo’s Pizzeria (and they have live music from 8 – 11).
  • Or there’s the P.E.I. Mussels at Shenanigans (just about everything on their menu is delicious, but we love their mussels above all else!) Oh, and they have live music on Saturday too. Tom and Juli will be playing before the Gallery Walk and Hannah Thomas is playing after. (We went to see Tom & Juli on our first date and we’ve been to their show for many dates since then.)
  • Speaking of live music, there’s nothing quite like a concert at The Crimson Moon. This Saturday, it’s Robin Bullock “Celtic Guitar God.” (During a break in the music, check out to upstairs bar and balcony. Not only is it a wonderful place, but you might have an encounter of the supernatural kind. According to a former bartender, they have a ghostly resident up there.)
  • If all this art and wine and food and music inspires you to get creative, check out Mug Me Pottery. They’re open until 9:00 on Saturdays.

So why wouldn’t you want to come to Dahlonega for one of our Gallery Walks? And why not tomorrow? Seriously?

photo credit: laverrue via photopin cc

Lingo Lounge April 25

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About two months ago, I was hit with the sudden realization that my transformation from aspiring author to published author would require me to stand up in front of complete strangers and read from my book. Zoinks!

Now, to be clear, public speaking doesn’t frighten me at all. Really. I’m happy to stand up in front of a room or even a stadium full of strangers and talk about any topic that interests me. And I’ve been told by a few people who are NOT my mother that I’m pretty good at it. I may have a few note cards to keep myself on topic, but you won’t catch me reading from them…well, unless I’m reading a quote or excerpt that I don’t want to mess up.

I even took a class in storytelling in college. Oh, how I loved that class!

But reading from my own novel? Terrifying!

Luckily, I live in Dahlonega, GA. And the creative community in Dahlonega is absolutely wonderful and nurturing. Case in point – Lingo Lounge.

It’s an open mike event on the 4th Thursday of every month that was created by writers for writers. In addition to fiction authors, there are poets, memoirists, screenwriters and songwriters who stand up and share their work. I am so grateful to the wonderful folks who organize this event! First and foremost, it’s fun. And I think I am actually improving my author presentation skills a wee bit. Woo hoo!

Curious? You should come join us. Reading is strictly optional.