Looking Forward to a Big Saturday

By on 18 April, 2018 in Fun, Karren Pell with 0 Comments

Karren Pell in a Mad Hatter hat looking forward to meeting Tom Petty’s biographer, Warren Zanes.

One of my most favorite events of the whole year, The Alabama Book Festival, is this Saturday, April 21, from 9:00-4:00 at Old Alabama Town on 301 Columbus Street. It is open to the public, is so much fun, and this year has fabulous authors.

The fun starts before Saturday! Thursday night the Capri Theatre is having a kick-off event that is also free and open to the public. Since P.F. Kluge, author of the original novel, Eddie and the Cruisers, is participating in the book festival, the movie from the book will be shown at 7:00. It is a classic movie, and I am looking forward to seeing it. P.F. Kluge will be in attendance and will discuss afterward what it’s like to see your novel made into a film. Mr. Kluge’s other novel, A Dog Day Afternoon, was also turned into a film starring Al Pacino. In addition to speaking Thursday night and at the festival, he is giving a workshop on novel writing at 10:00 at the Loeb Center. Yes, I will be there.

Another author I am excited to hear is Warren Zanes. His current book is a biography of Tom Petty; he also helped with a documentary of George Harrison. In addition to hobnobbing and writing about my heroes, he is a successful musician himself and is best known as a member of the Del Fuegos. Zanes is also giving a workshop on “Researching, Interviewing, and Writing About the Arts.” I am sure I will learn something from Mr. Kluge and Mr. Zane, but I can’t help but also hope some lucky star dust just might rub off.

My co-conspirator, Carole King, is attending a workshop on podcasts. Given by Hanna Ruskin, the food critic of the Charleston Courier and Post, the workshop will be very useful for us as we are writing a book on Montgomery’s restaurants. I can’t attend that one though because I will be listening to Mr. Zanes speak at the festival. I’m serious. I’m shadowing these dudes; I need to kick up my success level.

Let me mention just a couple of other writers I am personally interested in. Mark A. Johnson has a new book called An Irresistible History of Alabama Barbecue. In addition, Honor’ee Fanoma Jeffers, current recipient of the Harper Lee award for Alabama Distinguished Writer of the Year, has a poetry book titled, The Gospel of Barbecue. Having written and researched Alabama barbecue for my book, Alabama Troubadour, I am interested in what these two might add to my store of knowledge. Since becoming a vegetarian some years ago, I am embarrassed to admit that barbecue is the only thing I miss. One of my friends suggested I dip veggies or tofu in the sauce–the theory being the sauce is real thing. Whatever.

I am also looking forward to hearing Eric Motley speak. He writes about growing up in a town near Montgomery in his book, Madison Park a Place of Hope. I have never heard of the town, and I am fascinated by his story. Called one of the most acclaimed inspirational books of the year, it testifies to the values of faith, family & community.

Wayne Flynt, author of 14 books, is a well-established and awarded Alabama historian. His latest book-Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship with Harper Lee recounts his relationship with the beloved author in her final years. I used Wayne’s books in my research for some of my books, and I am a fan. I look forward to his presentation and reading the book.

Sarah Belanger & Kamara Davis seem to have a productive partnership. Sarah is a beer blogger and food photographer (how come she gets to do that?). Her book, North Alabama Beer: An Intoxicating History, explores the impact that brewing has had on Alabama for the last 200 years. Sarah wrote this book with Kamara Davis. Kamara gained her interest in craft beer from the vast quantities her husband consumed; instead of fighting about it–which she felt was futile–she became an expert in the field. She is also a self-proclaimed “Cat Lady,” but since she has only 3, I really just consider that a good start. However, since she also has dogs and, as she describes it, an evil rabbit, I have 3 kittens who could nicely round out her family and firmly establish her Cat Lady Title.

Last, but not even close to being least is Ace Atkins. Ace Atkins is a New York Times bestselling author of 21 novels including the inspiration of my hubby Tim’s latest song-Robert B. Parker’s Little White Lies.

Really, there are so many talented writers and workshops. Check out The Alabama Book Festival at www.Alabamabookfestiva.org or on Facebook. You have to register for a workshop, so get to it!

So I’ll see you Saturday. Stop by the Landmarks table where I might be hanging out, or the New South Books table where I might be hanging out. There’s so many fun things to do, see and hear. See ya there!

Karren Pell is a writer, teacher, and performer who lives with her husband, Tim Henderson, and an assortment of cats and dogs in Capitol Heights. She is the author of three books. Her musical compositions range from commercial songs to theatrical works, with five musical adaptations to her credit.

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