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5th Annual Meet the Authors
March 23 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pmFree
GILMER ARTS PRESENTS ITS FIFTH ANNUAL MEET THE AUTHORS EVENT – “POETRY, PROSE & HISTORY: A CONVERSATION WITH PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY AND FRIENDS” — ON SATURDAY, MARCH 23rd AT 11:00 AM, AT THE GEORGE LINK JR. GILMER ARTS PLAYHOUSE
Ellijay, GA –Gilmer Arts is proud to present its Fifth Annual Meet the Authors Event, “Poetry, Prose & History: A Conversation with Patti Callahan Henry and Friends,” featuring New York Times Best-Selling Author, Patti Callahan Henry, five local and regional writers and poets, Lucy Harris, Kathi Harper Hill, Rona Simmons, Mark Warren, and Kathy Williams, and an English Tea to celebrate the written word, all on Saturday, March 23rd, starting at 11:00 am at the George Link Jr. Gilmer Arts Playhouse.
The Keynote Speaker, Patti Callahan Henry, is a New York Times bestselling author who became enthralled with and curious about the spiritual journey of C. S. Lewis’s wife, Joy Davidman. Her newest novel, Becoming Mrs. Lewis, explores that journey and their love story. Written under her maiden name of Patti Callahan, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is Patti’s 14th novel; others include Between the Tides, Driftwood Summer and The Bookshop at Water’s End. She’s been a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, an Indie Next Pick, an OKRA pick, and a multiple nominee for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Novel of the Year. Her articles and essays have appeared in Southern Living, PINK, Writer’s Digest, Birmingham Magazine, Portico and more. Patti is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups. Her 15th novel, The Favorite Daughter, will be released on June 4th.
Growing up in Philadelphia as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Patti learned early the value of storytelling. At the age of twelve, her family moved to South Florida where Patti found the sanctuary of libraries and began her slow but steady journey into understanding the power of story to navigate confusing times in life. Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate study, and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time. The mother of three children, she lives in Mountain Brook, Alabama with her husband.
At 11 am, the day will start with a Special Guest Appearance by Mary Kay Andrews in conversation with Patti Callahan
At 2 pm, we welcome local and regional writers Rona Simmons, Mark Warren, and Kathy Williams for a panel discussion on “Writing Non-Fiction and Historical Fiction, from the Frontier West to the Second Great War.” They will answer your questions, such as “What is the responsibility of a historical writer to maintain the truth of history, and where is the line drawn that allows for creativity of fiction?
Rona Simmons is a former Huffington Post blogger and author of The Martyr’s Brother, Postcards from Wonderland, The Quiet Room, and other books. In 2017 she co-authored and published, through crowd-funding, a non-fiction work called Images from World War II, celebrating the art of WWII veteran and artist Jack Smith. She was a finalist for the Atlanta Writers Club 2017 Terry Kay Prize for Fiction for the short story “Cloudy With a Chance,” and was twice nominated for Georgia Author of the Year for Literary Fiction and Mystery/Suspense. She is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from writing, editing, and publishing to choosing a second career. When not writing, or talking about writing, Rona “slow blogs” about women in the creative arts on “Women at Word” and local authors and bookstores on “From Acworth to Zebulon.”
Mark Warren has been writing stories since he was a child growing up in Georgia. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Chemistry/Pre-med. The National Wildlife Federation named him Georgia’s Conservation Educator of the Year in 1980. In 1998 Mark became the U.S. National Champion in whitewater canoeing, and in 1999 he won the World Championship Longbow title. Mark is a member of the Western Writers of America and the Wild West History Association. His books include Two Winters in a Tipi (his memoir of living 2 years in a tipi), the 4-volume Secrets of the Forest (which compiles 50 years of teaching nature and survival skills of the Cherokee), and the first two books in his historical fiction trilogy on Wyatt Earp, Adobe Moon and Born to the Badge. He currently lives in Dahlonega, with his wife Susan, at Medicine Bow, his school in the Southern Appalachians, where he teaches nature classes and survival skills of the Cherokees.
Kathy Williams was born in Ft Bragg, NC. Her parents met and married at the end of WWII in Austria. Her father was an Army Captain, her mother an Army nurse. She enjoyed childhood as a traveling “Army Brat” which enriched her life and widened her horizons. Kathy spent nearly 22 years in the convenience store business, starting out as a third shift clerk working her way up to a District Manager position at Flash Foods, where she was responsible for running one third of the company. After raising three children, she completed her BA degree in International Studies with a minor in Spanish at Georgia Southern University, taking night classes for fourteen years. During her last year at Georgia Southern she wrote her first book, Dear Dad, which chronicles the journey of General Judson F. Miller’s experiences in WWII as a 2nd Lieutenant. She lives in Blue Ridge where she is the newsletter editor for the Benton MacKaye Trail Association. She is also a Friend of the Fannin County Library as well as a member of the Blue Ridge Poets and Writers Group.
Starting at 3:00 pm, local poet and retired Gilmer County teacher Lucy Harris will interview local author Kathi Harper Hill about her writing, focusing on her recent book, Poetry, Prose & Music: Life of an Appalachian Woman. You can also see these two on a monthly basis, regaling the audience at Storytelling in Ellijay (third Thursday every month at 6:30 pm) with their funny, dramatic and touching stories on stage!
Kathi Harper Hill, a seventh generation native of Ellijay, with a mix of Cherokee and Scotch/Irish roots, writes humorous novels about growing up and living in North Georgia’s Appalachia. She has written eight books—five novels, a children’s book, a young adult book and a Christmas novella. Her children’s book, The Crow and the Wind, was first runner-up for the 2011 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Children’s Books. Bensy and Me was nominated for the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Literary Fiction. Her latest book Poetry, Prose & Music: Life of an Appalachian Woman, in a bit of change from her past books, includes short stories, life essays, poetry, photography and a music CD in which Kathi sings! Kathi writes a sometimes weekly blog called “Everything But the Kitchen Sink,” and a monthly column for The Best of the North GA Mountains. She is a member of the First Families of Gilmer County, the Gilmer Arts Write-On group, and the Gilmer Arts Authors Guild. Kathi lives in a Victorian cottage in Ellijay with her husband, daughter, and a menagerie of pets!
To conclude the day, in honor of C.S. Lewis and his English roots, starting at 4:00 pm, Gilmer Arts will host an English tea reception. The authors will be available to sign books and casually chat with those interested in their craft.
You are cordially invited to attend these enlightening and entertaining presentations by Patti Callahan and our local writers. The day’s events are generously sponsored by the Georgia Writers’ Association, the Georgia Council for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, FoxTale Book Shoppe (who will be selling Patti’s books), Walls of Books, and Back Porch Bistro. All events are free to the public. The authors’ books will be available for purchase and signing by the authors after their presentations