Sparta BookFest increases authors

Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

November 15, 2013

Downtown shops in Sparta will receive a boost by local authors who are appearing for book signings.

The gathering is called BookFest and will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 23.

Hosting locations are Alleghany Historical Museum, Alleghany County Public Library, Becca’s Backwoods, Books N’ Friends, Centerview, Homespun, Imaging Specialists, Inc., Mangum-Cater on Main, Murphy’s Mercantile, Ofelia’s On Main, and Studio Redwood.

Authors are Jay Annis, Kimberly Killon Atwell, Tim Bullard, Doug Butler, Georgann Eubanks, C. David Gelly, Jeff Halsey, Suzanne Irwin and Zach Hamm, illustrator, Aaron McAlexander, Elva Sieg, Donn Shoultz, Peggy Poe Stern, Vicky Town, Sam Williams, Wanda Wingler, Blue Ridge NHA and NC Arts Council, and Sparta United Methodist Women.

Making the trip up U.S. 21 will be Jon Willard of Elkin.

In a visit to Diana’s Bookstore in Elkin, Willard said that it’s nice to get on the old historic highway and take a trip to Sparta.

“Once you pass Stone Mountain, you are practically on top of Sparta. It’s easy to get there. I like to read, so having authors available to sign books is an added bonus,” said Willard.

Claire Halsey of Imaging Specialists, Inc. said the community of Sparta really wants to have an event downtown that gets people going into the shops.

“People like when they can meet the authors. It’s the driver of a good event. Plus it doesn’t take a whole lot of work for the stores and authors,” said Halsey.

According to Halsey, the trade off is simple. Authors usually need a small signing table. Stores need customers to enter.

“We had a BookFest back in June. It was downtown on a Saturday. It was slow and that was the point. It’s about starting something that can grow. Participation is growing,” she said.

BookFest had nine locations and 11 authors in June. It has since grown to 11 locations with 19 authors showcasing their work.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.