Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

So Many Authors...So Little Time!

I have been a member of the Atlanta Press Club for a few years now and have always wanted to get involved in its annual Holiday Author Party.

Held every year at some swanky location in Atlanta at the beginning of December, the Holiday Author Party brings invited authors in to sign their recent books for APC members and non-members who can buy the books at the event. It's a great opportunity for guests to get some nice holiday gifts, and the authors get to sell some books.

With my background in books and authors, I thought I could contribute to the success of the annual event and maybe bring some less well-known writers to the attention of the media-types involved in the APC.

This year I have finally gotten involved and attended the first meeting of the party committee yesterday. I was one of about 10 folks who showed up; among them was Don O'Briant, longtime book reviewer and feature writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Esther Levine, the Atlanta doyenne of media escorts, and Wil Ennis, the engaging young community relations manager for the bookstore we were meeting in.

It turned out to be a really good group of people; when the process of suggesting potential authors for the party began, there were no knock down drag out fights and no one threw any punches. In fact, it was a lively and informative discussion.

What struck me the most about the meeting was the incredibly high number of accomplished authors we have living and writing in this state. Georgia must have more writers per capita than any other state in the Union! Naturally not all of these were born and raised here, but a very good number of them were. And while the Holiday Author Party is not limited just to Georgia authors, it's very difficult not to find homegrown talent for any of the various categories of books the APC likes to showcase.

Those of us assembled round the table at the Barnes & Noble on Peachtree Street were able to suggest authors of literary fiction, popular fiction, nonfiction, creative nonfiction, self-help, poetry, coffee table books, children's literature, business--anything you could think of.

While I'm not at liberty to divulge which authors had their names bandied about, I can say that the Holiday Author Party will probably be held during the first week in December. The favored location, while not yet finalized, will be somewhere very attractive (two years ago it was the newly-opened Georgia Aquarium), and there'll be a great bunch of authors to meet and talk to whose books you will be able to purchase for signing.

I have once again been reminded how very fortunate I am to live in a state like Georgia that is home to a plethora of superb authors. This is a privilege that no one should take for granted. Writers are special people who function as the guardians of our culture; they express it; they integrate it; they develop it. To be surrounded by so many cannot but have a salient effect upon us. Do you know the writers in your community? Have you read them? Have you been to hear them speak or read? Have you hugged a writer today?

I'll keep you updated on the progress of the plans for the APC Holiday Author Party, and I hope the line-up of writers will wow you so much you'll make plans to attend. Books make great gifts...and they're wonderful things to read too!