Regional Authors Book Fair
survivor Stirling writes of
fight to become an author
to join others at daylong event
Helen E. McKinney
(September 2012) Suzan Stirling discovered
a love for writing at an early age that has stayed with her into adulthood.
She is a first time novelist, an AIDS survivor and advocate, and someone
who meets challenges head on.
In 1996 after the birth of her second child, Stirling discovered that
she had AIDS. Unbeknownst to her, she had contracted AIDS years earlier.
Stirling was not content to let her life end or not follow her dreams
of becoming a writer.
Her passion for writing never left, so she enrolled in a community college
in the hopes of pursuing her goal. As it turns out, the English 101
class she took was taught by Pulitzer-nominated writer, Lee Pennington.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at Village Lights Bookstore,
110 E. Main St., Madison, Ind. Free.
Authors to Sign and Read: Keith Brabender (A Deserted
Place); Keith Gaddy Davis (The Pause: A Christmas Gift and Oxalis:
A Story of Renewal); John Henry Hoffman (Lockport Blues); Dorothy
Darnall Jones (Emilie Pariet Todd Helm Abraham Lincolns
Little Sister); John Pesta (Safely Buried: A Mystery); Bonnie
J. Poore (Welcome Aboard
Meet the Captain!); Stephen W.
Scott (Sergeant Major Dan Daly: The Most Outstanding Marine of
All Time); Suzan Stirling (Mercy Bleu)
Information: (812) 265-1800
She states on her website that from this class she learned
to hone the dream, learn the craft and cling to the belief that
if I worked hard enough, anything was possible. Stirling published
her first piece, The Lost Story, during this profound learning
Stirling, who lives in Crestwood, Ky., has released her first novel,
The Silence of Mercy Blue, which she began writing in 2009.
Even before she had the chance to complete the novel, it was chosen
as a semi-finalist in the William Faulkner Novel-In-Progress Competition.
Stirling will be one of eight authors on hand for the second annual
Regional Authors Book Fair at Village Lights Bookstore, 110 E. Main
St., Madison, Ind. The fair will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday,
Sept. 29, and feature local and regional authors from Kentucky and Indiana.
Nathan Montoya, co-owner of Village Lights Bookstore, said that Stirlings
presence will add a human interest to the lineup, as she is someone
who is living with AIDS and active in the AIDS awareness movement.
All of the authors had contacted Montoya interested in taking part in
this years Authors Fair. Some of them we had in inventory,
some we have recently added, said Montoya.
We hope to feature the best quality authors possible.
Last year the authors had a great time, he said. Although
held during the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art, an extremely busy
weekend for the arts community, he had a lot of foot traffic through
His goal in featuring authors such as Stirling is to provide a venue,
give exposure and promote the many local authors in the area. Authors
were chosen on the basis of the relevance of their works to the
community. We went for a balance between subject matter and type of
book. We were going for a variety, Montoya said.
The eight authors will perform a round-robin of books signings
and individual readings on two floors of the bookstore. Each author
will sign books on the main floor for two hours, and present one 40-minute
reading and presentation in the second floor Atrium Room.
In addition to Stirling, other authors who will appear include Keith
Brabender from Osgood, Ind. Brabenders novel, A Deserted
Place, spans the years 1965 to 1995. It is a work of fiction
derivative of his own life, said Montoya.
Author Keith Gaddy Davis is from Turners Station, Ky. He is known for
his inspirational books, said Montoya, and his natural storytelling
style. Davis wrote The Pause: A Christmas Gift and Oxalis:
A Story of Renewal.
John Henry Hoffman of Pendleton, Ky., is a syndicated columnist and
radio talk show host. He has released his first in a series of Jace
Sterling murder mysteries, Lockport Blues. The novel
jumps back and forth in time, which provides a nice texture to a mystery,
Madison resident Dorothy Darnall Jones is a graduate of Purdue University.
Her book is titled, Emilie Pariet Todd Helm-Abraham Lincolns
Little Sister. Jones interest in her subject matter, Emilie
Todd Helm, began when she served as a docent in Helms former home
in Madison during the Candlelight Tour of Homes. Emilie Todd Helm was
a half sister to Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln.
John Pesta of Vallonia, Ind., was a professional journalist whose novel,
Safely Buried: A Mystery, is very well written,
said Montoya. Hes been writing all his life and it shows.
Incidentally, Pestas wife and son both have showings in the artists
gallery at Village Lights Bookstore.
Author Bonnie J. Poore, who lives in Bethlehem, Ky., has written Welcome
Meet the Captain! She has a passion for the river
and has written a memoir based upon her real life experiences living
aboard a houseboat, Bonnie Belle, with her husband and three daughters.
The couple built a business out of her husbands dream of being
a riverboat captain.
Madison resident Stephen W. Scott is an independent historian and works
part-time for the Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum. His book
is an historical account of a marine and has been out for quite some
time, Montoya said. It is titled, Sergeant Major Dan Daly:
The Most Outstanding Marine of All Time. It is the story of a
man who joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1899 and participated in several
wars and countless invasions, saving American lives and twice earning
the Medal of Honor.
For more information contact Village Lights
Bookstore at (812) 265-1800.
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