Monday, August 30, 2010

Countdown to Southern Festival of Books: 6 Weeks -- Spotlight on Tennessee Author Susan Gregg Gilmore

The Southern Festival of BooksI have mentioned Tennessee author Susan Gregg Gilmore before (she was on my first list of authors to make sure you see at SFB this year). Born in 1961, Gilmore was raised in Nashville. According to famous Nashville girl's school Harpeth Hall's Wikipedia page, Gilmore is listed among their notable alumnae -- along with actress Reese Witherspoon and entertainers Minnie Pearl and Amy Grant. She attended college at the University of Virginia after graduating high school. Gilmore has worked for years as a journalist, after completing a Master's degree in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She has written articles for the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Chattanooga Times-Free Press. For several years, she wrote a column in the Chattanooga newspaper about raising children in the south. She and her husband still live in Chattanooga.

Gilmore is the author of two books, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen and The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove. Salvation was released a few years ago, and was set in my old stomping grounds (sort of) of Ringgold, Georgia. I went to college in Chattanooga, Tennessee, right over the state line from Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold, Georgia. In my last year of school, I moved to Ft. O and lived just minutes from Ringgold.

Susan Gregg Gilmore
Gilmore's newest book, Bezellia Grove, was released earlier this month and is already gaining interest in the book world. Mega book blogger Rebecca Joines Schinsky from The Book Lady's Blog has written about Gilmore fairly often in the past few weeks, and last Monday interviewed her in Richmond, Virginia, at the Fountain Bookstore. I heard a story about the novel on NPR while I was driving home last week; then, while catching up on the blogs I follow today, I read a glowing review of the novel from Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves. Gilmore will be appearing at the Southern Festival of Books in October as part of her promotion tour for Bezellia Grove. She is an entertaining speaker who I can't wait to hear again. And hopefully, I'll have a chance to read Bezellia Grove before the Festival (don't hold your breath, though, with all my time being taken up with lesson plans for 7th and 8th graders)!

The Southern Festival of Books will take place October 8-10 in downtown Nashville at Legislative Plaza. In addition to book events such as author readings and signings, there will also be tents set up with book vendors and publishing houses from all over the south. Also, look for children's entertainment, musical guests, cooking demonstrations, and food vendors from unique Nashville area restaurants.

Also, each week leading up to the Festival, there will be a Twitter contest. Winners get a ticket to be first in line for the author of their choice during the author's signing time. I won the first week by being the first person to guess that week's author using SFB's Twitter clues! 


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