Patterson to headline annual book festival
By CAITY COYNE
CHARLESTON - James Patterson, the worldwide bestselling author of more than 140 books ranging from children’s literature to mystery and nonfiction, will headline this year’s West Virginia Book Festival, which will be held at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center Oct. 4 and 5.
Patterson has written and co-written dozens of books, including the Alex Cross and Michael Bennett mystery series and the Maximum Ride and Middle School young adult fantasy series.
He will be joined at the Book Festival by science fiction author Orson Scott Card, whose bestselling “Ender’s Game” series was adapted into a blockbuster movie starring Harrison Ford in 2013, and by children’s author and illustrator Salina Yoon, who has sold more than 4.5 million books worldwide.
“This is a really big year, and we’re very excited. Everything fell into place exactly how we hoped, and we’re expecting this to be one of the best (Book Festivals) yet,” said Sarah Mitchell, public services manager at Kanawha County Libraries.
Just like every year, this year’s festival will honor Appalachian authors and voices. Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll, who have each written a number of regional nonfiction works, will give a presentation at 11 a.m. Oct. 5 on the recently released “Appalachian Reckoning,” which they co-edited.
Various other Appalachian authors will also present at the festival, including Susanna “Granny Sue” Holstein, who will share her insights into Appalachian folklore, and Kelli Shapiro, whose book, “Historic Movie Theatres of West Virginia,” explores the role theaters played in the Mountain State up until the modern day.
“Every year, we want to focus our attention on bringing together book lovers from all places, but we especially want to lift up West Virginian and Appalachian authors,” Mitchell said. “This is a chance for them to talk about what they do and get some exposure, to hopefully inspire someone else.”
Mitchell said those coming from out of town should book their hotels early, as there are other events in Charleston that weekend. The book festival is free to attend, and parents are encouraged to bring their children.
“It’s never too early to start a love of reading,” Mitchell said.
There will also be a number of workshops open to aspiring authors, including one on writing children’s books, one on editing and another on finding ideas and inspirations for stories.
This year’s book festival will also feature annual favorites such as the used book sale, which will be held on Oct. 5, and the annual West Virginia Humanities Council McCreight Lecture, which will be presented at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 by Denise Kiernan, author of “The Girls of Atomic City.”
The festival’s marketplace, where attendees will be able to meet and talk with authors, or buy signed copies of books, will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 5.
Charter presenters for the West Virginia Book Festival include: the Kanawha County Public Library; the Library Foundation of Kanawha County Inc.; the West Virginia Humanities Council; and the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Sponsors for this year’s festival are West Virginia Public Broadcasting; the West Virginia Library Commission; the Center for the Book; the Martha Gaines and Russell Wehrle Memorial Foundation; the H. B. Wehrle Foundation; the Marshall University Foundation; the Friends of the Library and BB&T.