PILOT MOUNTAIN — When the Pilot Mountain Woman’s Club began its research to host an event featuring local authors, organizers were surprised by the abundance and diversity of literary talent in the area.
And on Thursday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Charles Stone Memorial Library, that talent will be on display during a free community event.
“We weren’t aware that many people from our area had written and published books,” noted Wanda Jones, chair of the PMWC Education Committee. “It’s exciting to think that we have that many authors around us. We’ve invited writers from a variety of genres to take part and during our research we found out that there are several others around us.”
Seven authors have been invited to speak during the night, with each providing a brief presentation that may touch on how he or she got into writing, their own writing process or the motivation or story behind a specific book. Types of books represented will include fiction and non-fiction, history, culture, biography, autobiography and children’s literature.
Writers scheduled to speak include Oma Boyd of Cana, Va. Her book, “Round This Mountain,” released last year, provides a look at the rich mountain heritage of the area.
Mount Airy writers include Martha Rowe Vaughn, Jane Tesh, Laura Wharton, Dean Brown and Terry Collins. Vaughn is the author of two books, “Grandma’s Trunk” and “Crossroads,” both using characters from her family history.
Jane Tesh, a writer of mystery and fantasy, is the author of “Stolen Hearts,” while Laura Wharton’s recent book, “Leaving Lukens,” is an adventure based on the North Carolina coast. Based on the history and folklore of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Dean Brown has written several books including, “Grandma’s Stories, Cures and Fixings From the Blue Ridge.”
Terry Collins, an English teacher at East Surry High School, has written children’s books as well as “The Andy Griffith Story: An Illustrated Biography.”
Pilot Mountain resident Polly Spainhour released her book, “The Color of Gray (Living and Dying with Alzheimer’s),” last year. The book recounts Spainhour’s struggles as her late husband, Kenneth, battled Alzheimer’s and includes some of her poetry from that period.
“This is the first time we’ve done this,” Jones said, “and we’re excited so many authors were willing to come. It’s good that we have these resources so close and it should be a special evening to have them all together for one night.”
According to Jones, an emphasis within the club and extending throughout the district and state level has been placed on promoting literacy. This program, she explains, fits that purpose perfectly.
“That’s what this is about,” she said. “That’s what we want to do, get people interested in reading.”
Authors also have been invited to linger after the event in order to sign autographs and perhaps offer tips and inspiration to others who may have dreamed of someday writing their own great American novel.
“We hope that people will come out to hear, meet and support these authors,” Jones said. “We want this to be a big event for our community.”