Eighth Annual Blue Ridge Bookfest

The Eighth Annual Blue Ridge Bookfest takes place on Friday, April 22, 2016 and Saturday, April 23, 2016.

ElephantsAdmission: All events are free EXCEPT Friday night’s ticketed reception ($25) for Sara Gruen.
Location: Blue Ridge Community College, 180 West Campus Dr. in the Technology Education & Development Center (TEDC Building), Flat Rock, NC
Contact Information: brbookfest@gmail.com


This year’s featured author is best-selling novelist Sara Gruen, author of the widely acclaimed Water for Elephants. Sara Gruen, number one New York Times and USA Today bestseller, is also the author of At the Water’s Edge, Ape House, Riding Lessons, and Flying Changes. Her books have been translated into forty-three languages and have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. Sara lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and three sons, along with their dogs, cats, horses, birds, and the world’s fussiest goat.


Over 40 authors and other presenters will offer craft workshops and be available to meet and greet, discuss their work, and sign books. Published authors love meeting their readers and look forward to visiting with Bookfest guests. A complete schedule of events and the participating authors’ books and bios is posted here.

Writers and aspiring writers will be able to meet published authors one-on-one and attend free workshops and presentations on Friday and Saturday to hone their craft.


• Shelia Athens, Jacksonville, FL: The Truth About Love
• Wilson Casey, Spartanburg, SC: Bedlam on the Rails
• Julia Franks, Atlanta, GA: Over the Plain Houses
• Gretchen Griffith, Lenoir, NC: Lessons Learned
• Katy Kelly, Washington, DC: Melon Head
• Joseph Mills, Winston-Salem, NC: Angels, Thieves, & Winemakers
• William L. Ramsey, Greenwood, SC: Dilemmas
• Jim R. Rogers, Surfside Beach, SC: Starts and Stops Along the Way
• Rona Simmons, Cumming, GA: Postcards from Wonderland
• Marci Spencer, Brevard, NC: Pisgah National Forest: A History


• Martha O. Adams, Hendersonville, NC: Buried Seed
• Anne Clinard Barnhill; Supply, NC: Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter
• Mary A. Berger, Hendersonville, NC: The Message
• Debra Bowling, Stone Mountain, GA: The Memory of Flight
• Brynum DeShannon Dixon, Garner, NC: A Girl Named Dayvid
• Hilda Downer, Sugar Grove, NC: Sky Under the Roof
• Lori Johnson, Weaverville, NC: Goodnight Riley
• Joseph Kaplan, Hendersonville, NC: You Can’t Coach Height
• Terrance Ryerson Neal, Hendersonville, NC: The Kill: Screamin’ and Dyin’ in Three Acts
• Linda Vigen Phillips, Charlotte, NC: Crazy
• Betty Jamerson Reed, Brevard, NC: School Segregation in WNC
• Dave Richards, Hendersonville, NC: Swords in Their Hands
• Dale Shaffer, Hendersonville, NC: Spot of Blood
• Jubal Tiner, Brevard, NC: The Waterhouse


FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2016
1:00-145 – Grammar Questions that Grieve You, with Ernie Mazzatenta. Speaking of Words, his monthly column, appears in the Hendersonville Times-News.
2:00-3:30 – Making Money with Ghost Writing with Beth Brand and Copy Writing with Bob Martel.
3:45-5:15 – Genealogy with Jennie Jones Giles and Writing Your Family History with Diane Rhoades.
5:30 – Ticketed ($25) Reception and Book Signing with heavy hors-d’oeuvres and adult beverages.
6:30 – Bookfest co-founder Bill Ramsey will interview Ms. Gruen, followed by time for audience’s questions. Guests not attending the reception may enter the conference hall at 6:30 at no charge.

8:30 – Doors open
On Saturday, our bookseller, Malaprops of Asheville, will be there to facilitate book sales and about a dozen Author Presentations will occur throughout the day in break-out sessions. Shipman’s Catering, our hospitality sponsor, will provide the food for Friday night’s reception and also offer box lunches for sale to the public on Saturday, starting at 11:30 a.m.

In addition, we are excited to announce a special after-lunch presentation featuring the:

1. Writings of Carl Sandburg, presented by Ginger Hollingsworth, Education Coordinator at the Sandburg Home National Monument.

2. Writings of Thomas Wolfe, presented by Tom Muir of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial in Asheville, NC.

catView from my Catio
Buddy, T.C.P.E. (Tuxedo Car Par Excellence)

Mary is extra excited about this year’s Bookfest because she’s hoping that Sara Gruen will be accompanied by the elephant on which she modeled Rosie, complete with her pink sequin costume, of course. Her chaining stake is negotiable. Would be a bit of a stretch for the Bookfest Board’s planning efforts, but what the heck. The 2016 Bookfest would be long remembered. If you haven’t met Rosie yet, you have plenty of time to read Water for Elephants before the Bookfest. One more rave from Mary about that book, and I’ll be off to join the circus. Enough already!!

Purrs and Cream
The Buds

Written by Mary Ickes