In the Conservatory
12:30 PM to 1:20 PM
The Inspiration of Ancestors
Lisa See will speak about how her family history has shaped her writing career. She was inspired by early research into her grandfather’s history and compelled to use that history to create very human stories of love, loyalty and family connections that resonate with readers, no matter what their personal heritage may be. With her newest book, she also explores the topic of Chinese-American adoption, the connection between mothers and daughters, and how we are all shaped both by family and by the country where we make our home.
1:30 PM to 2:20 PM
The Unexpected Writer
Why did a Texan choose to write about Britain? Deborah Crombie talks about her love affair with the UK, and what led her to write her Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series of British crime novels. She will explore the evolution of the series in the twenty-five years since the publication of the first book, and will talk about what’s next for Duncan, Gemma, and the ever-expanding series cast of characters.
2:30 PM to 3:20 PM
The Writer’s Life
Marcus Sakey’s books have sold in the millions, been made into films, and are translated the world over. As research he’s trained with SWAT teams, been pepper-sprayed, attacked by dogs, held a human brain, and gone diving for pirate treasure. Come hear his thoughts on writing, publishing, and what it’s like to watch movie stars hit on your wife. Expect a heavy Q&A; Marcus would prefer to talk to you than at you.
3:30 PM to 4:20 PM
Where are the Children?
Lisa Wingate shares the true story that inspired her highly lauded novel, Before We Were Yours, which fictionalizes one of America’s most notorious scandals. For readers of The Nightingale and Orphan Train, Wingate’s novel tells the stories of the victims of Georgia Tann, the director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, which kidnapped the children of poor families and sold them in adoptions-for-profit to Hollywood celebrities and wealthy families all over the country from the early 1920s until 1950.
In the Authors Tent
12:00 PM to 12:25 PM
Join Kent Bonar for a discussion of his work, An Arkansas Florilegium, the uniquely wonderful work illustrating the flora of the Ozarks.
12:30 PM to 12:55 PM
No Age Limits in Finding Your Voice
Anita Paddock describes her post-retirement writing career and the importance of following through the stories you want to tell. At thirty-six, Ms. Paddock took her first writing class but she certainly didn’t have ambitions to write about true crime. But for forty years, there was a good story she wanted to tell – about a prominent woman killed in Van Buren, Arkansas. The book, Blind Rage, was a solid success, as was her second book, Closing Time. Join Ms. Paddock for some “it’s never too late” inspiration for your own writing goals.
1:00 PM to 1:25 PM
Trenton Lee Stewart
Sidewalks and Driveways: Where I Got My Ideas for the Mysterious Benedict Society (and What I Did with Them)
This presentation might also have been called “Daydreams and Diligence,” since both play a role in the development of a story. He’ll talk about the ideas he got without trying, how he figured out they belonged together in a children’s adventure novel, and how he decided he wanted to write it. Stewart will also talk about the ideas he eventually had to work for – particularly the riddles that the four young heroes have to solve throughout the book.
1:30 PM to 1:55 PM
Writing History that’s Stranger than Fiction
Why would a historian who lives in Arkansas – and not even in the towns of Greenland, Snowball, or Snow Lake, Arkansas – write about an ill-fated Arctic expedition? David Welky will share true-life stories of survival from his most recent book, describe the monkish but sometimes exciting existence of a historian at work, and discuss how he employs techniques borrowed from literature and cinema to make the past come alive.
2:00 PM to 2:25 PM
A Baker’s Journey
Join Arkansas native, author, and baker Martin Philip for a short reading and live music. Martin’s award-winning book, Breaking Bread: a baker’s journey home in 75 recipes, (HarperCollins, 2017) traces his path from Ozark roots to the Green Mountains of Vermont, using recipes, photos, and stories. Bring your eyes, ears and baking questions!
2:30 PM to 2:55 PM
An Afternoon with Mohja
Mohja Kahf will perform from her poetry–published as well as new poems.
3:00 PM to 3:25 PM
Writing About What You Don’t Know: Research in Fiction
As writers, we are often told to “write what you know.” But in the case of her novels, Michel Stone has written about topics with which she was initially fairly unfamiliar — for example: an undocumented Mexican family crossing into the U.S. Stone will explain how her novels came to be and will share her adventures in researching unfamiliar territory, with a Q&A session to follow.
3:30 PM to 3:55 PM
The Magic of Audiobooks: Breathing Life Into the Written Page
Why are Audiobooks so powerful? What makes them different from the printed version of the book? How do narrators create a book? What makes a good audiobook? Or a bad one? Why cooking and Pinocchio have a lot to do with audiobooks.
4:00 PM to 4:25 PM
Devil’s Gold – A Reading
Join Amanda McKinney for a reading from her latest in her Black Rose Mystery series – a suspenseful, enchanting, twisted tale of unsolved murders.