Friends of the Library, the Book Tour

(Author friends, above, Ellen Morris Prewitt, Sally Palmer Thomason, and Suzanne Smith Henley, celebrating with me at Novel Books in Memphis.)

Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi has hosted me for all five of my books.

And so it begins! Friends of the Library officially launches this Friday, August 30, but I’ve already had four pre-pub events, two in Memphis and two in Mississippi. Two wonderful indie bookstores welcomed me back, starting with Novel in Memphis on August 25 and then Lemuria in my hometown, Jackson, Mississippi, on August 27. I’m so thankful to everyone who came to each event, fellow authors, church friends, faithful readers, and even classmates from the Murrah High School class of 1969 in Jackson!

I always love seeing my friend Susan Marquez, President of the Mississippi Writers Guild.
Sara Garland, Debbie Smith, and Donna Jo Miles were all participants in the
writing workshop I led at Novel last October. I was happy to see them again and
hear that they are all still writing!

It’s also been fun exploring new libraries, like the one I visited in Amory, Mississippi, on August 20. What a joy to meet librarian Ruby Holman, who grew up in Amory (population c. 7000), always loved the library, got her degree in library science at Mississippi University for Women, and has stayed in her hometown, where she is making a difference. She just might be the inspiration for a story if there’s a sequel . . . More Friends of the Library!

Yesterday was my first time to visit the Cordova library, just 20 miles from our house in Memphis. What a beautiful facility, on the property with a community center and athletic fields. They have a very active Friends of the Library group, and an enthusiastic librarian who hosted me, Andrea King. The discussion got personal, as several people shared events from their lives that mirrored some of the stories in the book, which are, of course, taken from my own life experiences. This. This is what I hope will come from sharing these stories.

A “thumbs up” from Memphis Flyer writer Jesse Davis at Novel Books on Sunday.

I’m excited about the early interviews and reviews that are already out, including this fun interview, “You Got a Friend,” by Jesse Davis in the Memphis Flyer last week. Fun seeing Jesse at my event at Novel on Sunday. And this wonderful review in the Jackson Clarion Ledger this past Sunday by Tracy Carr, Library Services Director of the Mississippi Library Commission! Many thanks also to Allen Mendenhall for this interview in the Southern Literary Review, which also has this nice review by fellow Tennessee author and Pulitzer Prize nominee Niles Reddick. I was also interviewed on “Live at 9” on WREG Channel 3 in Memphis on August 23 with Marybeth Conley and Alex Coleman.

I’ve also had a great time “chatting” with Facebook book groups this summer, including A Novel Bee on July 17, Sue’s Booking Agency on August 8, and Bloom With Tall Poppy Writers on August 21. Tomorrow night, August 30, I’ll be doing a live interview at 6 p.m. CST at The Write Review, which is a public site, so you don’t have to join to participate. And in a few weeks I’ll be chatting at Novels n Latte Book Club on September 22 and 23, so please join the fun! Check out all of these Facebook book groups where hundreds of serious readers hang out!

Coming up? You can always find me on the EVENTS page of my website, but here’s the lineup so far, as I’ll be traveling to speak at 24 libraries, 10 bookstores, and several literary festivals, writers conferences, and book clubs in 7 states.

Libraries (*these are featured in the book)

This Victorian house across the street from the library in Aberdeen, Mississippi, actually inspired part of the story set in Eupora. The stories are fiction, after all!

August 20, 12 p.m., Amory, Mississippi

August 18, 2 p.m., Cordova, Tennessee

September 4, 12 p.m., *Oxford, Mississippi

September 7, 12:30 p.m., Latter Memorial Library, New Orleans, Louisiana

September 9, 6:30 p.m., Bartlett, Tennessee

September 15, 2:00 p.m., Dorchester Library, Summerville, South Carolina

September 26, 6:00 p.m., Jefferson Carnegie Library, Jefferson, Texas

October 3, 12 p.m., Jackson, Tennessee

October 9, 12 p.m., Winona, Mississippi

October 9, p.m., Ridgeland, Mississippi

October 10, 12 p.m., *Pontotoc, Mississippi

October 14, 12 p.m., *Eupora, Mississippi

October 15, 10:15 a.m., Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Memphis, Tennessee

October 16, 12 p.m., *West Point, Mississippi

October 18, 10:30 a.m., Gardendale, Alabama

November 7, 12 p.m., *Southaven, Mississippi

November 14, 10:00 a.m., Pass Christian, Mississippi

November 15, 12:00 p.m., Mendenhall, Mississippi

November 19, 2:00 p.m., Greene County Library, Paragould, Arkansas

November 20, 12 p.m., *Aberdeen, Mississippi

January 28, 2020, 2 p.m., R. C. Pugh Library, NW MS Community College, *Senatobia, Mississippi

March 12, 2020, 12 p.m., *Starkville, Mississippi

April 3, 2020, Friends of South Carolina Annual Meeting, St. Helena Library, Beaufort, South Carolina

Bookstores, Festivals, Conferences, & Book Clubs

August 25, 2 p.m., Novel Books, Memphis, Tennessee

August 27, 5 p.m., Lemuria Books, Jackson, Mississippi

September 13-15, SIBA (Southern Indie Booksellers Alliance) 2019 Discovery Show, Spartanburg, South Carolina

September 17, 5 p.m., Nevermore Books, Beaufort, South Carolina

September 18 10 a.m., Buxton Books, Charleston, South Carolina

September 19, 5 p.m., Main Street Reads, Summerville, South Carolina

October 16, 4:30 p.m., Ernest & Hadley Books, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

October 18, 2 p.m., Second Read Books, Decatur Alabama

October 19, Middle Tennessee State University Fall Creative Writing Conference, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

November 2, Louisiana Book Festival, Baton Rouge Louisiana

November 12, Main Street Monroeville, Monroeville Alabama

November 13, 3 p.m., Page & Palette, Fairhope, Alabama

November 29, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Sundog Books, Seaside, Florida

December 12, 12 p.m., Listeners Books Club, Memphis, Tennessee

January 16-19, 2020, Pulpwood Queens 20th Anniversary, Jefferson, Texas

March 4-7, 2020, Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference, San Antonio, Texas

March 14, 2020, Jambalaya Writers Conference, Houma, Louisiana