Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Southern Festival of Books set for three-day run

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It’s that time of year again, the time that book lovers in Wilson and surrounding counties look forward to as the annual Southern Festival of Books begins its three-day run today at Legislative Plaza in Nashville.

Some 200 or so authors will read, sign and sell their books during the event. Authors’ readings will be held in various locations including Legislative Plaza/War Memorial Building and the State Capitol Building.

Mother Nature threatens to rain on the outdoor portion of the book festival today and early Saturday, but authors’ readings and such will still go on in the various meeting rooms.

Lebanon’s Tomi L. Wiley, editor of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet and a member of the board of the Tennessee Writers’ Alliance, will lead a panel discussion for the TWA called “Toward the Moment of Reckoning – Masters of Southern Gothic” with authors Ron Rash and William Gay.

Gay resides in Hohenwald and is the author of The Lost Country. He is no stranger to Lebanon, having appeared earlier this summer at the TWA’s WordFest event held at Sherlock’s Books.

Rash, of North Carolina, is the author of Serena.

The panel will be from 2 until 3 p.m., today, in the State House Chambers at the Capitol.

The Southern Festival of Books regularly attracts best-selling authors and those whose first works have been published. In the past, Lebanon’s Michael Lee West, author of Mermaids in the Basement, Mad Girls in Love, Crazy Ladies, American Pie, Consuming Passions and She Flew Over the Coop, has appeared at the event, as has Darnell Arnoult of nearby Brush Creek, author of Sufficient Grace and What Travels With Us: Poems.

Among the authors scheduled to appear this year are Buzz Aldrin who with Neil Armstrong became the first two men to walk on the moon in the Apollo 11 mission 40 years ago in 1969. Aldrin has written a book called Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon.

J.T. Ellison, a best-selling author of a series of books featuring the character Taylor Jackson. Her most recent is Judas Kiss. Ellison has also signed copies of her books at Sherlock’s.

Robert Hicks of Williamson County is set to be at the book festival. His latest book is A Separate Country. His previous book was the best-selling book, The Widow of the South.

Lisa Patton, not to be confused with the TV weather forecaster of the same name from Mt. Juliet, is set to attend. Her first book, published in September, is Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’Easter. Patton, the author, is from Memphis.

Alice Randall of Nashville and Writer-In-Residence at Vanderbilt University will be on hand with her newest book, Rebel Yell.

Also slated to appear are Becca Stevens, author of Funeral for a Stranger; John Carter Cash with his first children’s book, Momma Loves Her Little Son; Tommy Womack with The Lavender Boys and Elsie; Rick Bragg with The Prince of Frogtown; Roy Blount Jr. with Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of; and many, many more authors.

Admission to the Southern Festival of Books is free. For more information and a schedule of appearances, visit

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at

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