In the Conservatory
12:30 PM to 1:20 PM
I Wish I’d Said That: What We Can Learn about Writing From Other Writers
A humorous and informative discussion about the art and science (and madness) of crafting fiction with one of this country’s foremost authors.
1:30 PM to 2:20 PM
The Bonds of Love and Duty: A Discussion of American Spy
What if your sense of duty required you to betray someone you love? American Spy, Lauren Wilkinson’s debut novel, asks this question. A genre-bending mix of Cold War spy thrills and literary fiction, the book follows a black female special agent, Marie Mitchell, and her involvement with Thomas Sankara, the real-life Marxist revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso. The author will discuss the themes of love, loyalty and patriotism that the novel explores and will wrap up the presentation by reading an excerpt from the book and taking questions.
2:30 PM to 3:20 PM
The Writer’s Life
Join Number #1 New York Times best-selling novelist Chris Bohjalian as he talks about his life and work — and why, for instance, he hopes never to write the same book twice. His conversation will focus on novels as diverse as The Flight Attendant and The Sandcastle Girls.
3:30 PM to 4:20 PM
Uncovering the Past with the Present in Mind
Wiley Cash will discuss the true story of the violent Loray Mill strike, which is the basis for his novel The Last Ballad. The strike, which was one of the defining moments in American labor history, was never taught during Cash’s schooling, discussed in his community, or acknowledged by a city that made headlines around the world in the summer of 1929 when the strike turned deadly. Cash will discuss the reasons this story was buried, how he fictionalized its people and events with elements of truth, and why this story from 1929 could be taken from today’s headlines.
In the Authors Tent
12:00 PM to 12:25 PM
Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Why Poetry? A Career after Fifty
Women who come to writing and publishing later in life face a landscape tainted with sexism and ageism. How do women who first publish after 50 favorably negotiate such a landscape? Do we define success differently than younger writers? A brief talk about beginning to write seriously later in life including a discussion of the process then and now. And a short reading of poems.
12:30 PM to 12:55 PM
The Old Ozarks: A Region and Its History
Blevins will discuss events from the early history of the Ozark region, including political contests that ended in bloodshed and an effort to turn the Ozarks into an autonomous nation for Native Americans.
1:00 PM to 1:25 PM
“I’ve done my duty”: Images of Arkansans During the Great Depression
Government photographers roamed Arkansas in the 1930s, documenting the struggles of farmers who had lost their land in the Great Depression. The Roosevelt Administration intended to use the photos to gain public support for proposed farm relief programs. Many of the Arkansas photographs are astonishing images, provide insights into the state’s history during a national economic crisis, and testify to the strength and endurance of these Arkansans. This presentation will focus on a selection of these photos, the stories they tell, why they were taken, and the photographers who took them.
1:30 PM to 1:55 PM
The Story Behind Pete the Cat
Award-winning artist and Illustrator, James Dean, will talk about the real Pete the Cat, the inspiration for the series of wildly popular children’s books. The actual Pete may have single-pawedly saved Dean from an unsatisfactory career as an electrical engineer. Questions always welcomed about the world of picture books and children’s literature.
2:00 PM to 2:25 PM
Pamela D. Toler
Not Like Joan of Arc: The Unexpected History of Women Warriors
When Pamela Toler told people she was working on a book about women warriors, almost everyone said, “You mean like Joan of Arc?” The short answer is “Not always.” Beginning with the oldest known women warriors (from the second millennium BCE), Toler will share some stories about fascinating women you’ve never heard of, introduce you to a group of women warriors who turned out to be more important than she expected, and debunk the myth that women have not and therefore cannot be warriors.
2:30 PM to 2:55 PM
Jared M. Phillips
Digging up a Revolution
Join Ozark native Jared Phillips for a short reading and discussion of his book, Hipbillies: Deep Revolution in the Arkansas Ozarks, and other ramblings about life in the Ozarks and the future of his beloved hill country.
3:00 PM to 3:25 PM
From the Daddy Notebooks: A Poetry Reading with Geffrey Davis
Geffrey Davis will share work from his award-winning second collection of poetry, which reads as an evolving love letter and meditation on what it means to raise an American family. Filled with humor and tenderness, Night Angler sings its own version of a song called grace―sung with a heavy and hopeful mix of inherited notes and discovered chords. A brief Q&A and book signing will follow this public reading.
3:30 PM to 3:55 PM
Building Your Author Platform
Writing a novel is hard on its own, but building an author blog and social media presence is a whole other beast. This session will discuss building a strategy for what to post and when.
4:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Brenda Hancock, Wendy Reese Hartmann, Rosalie Stanton, Zeek Taylor
Spotlight on Independent Publishing
This year Books in Bloom is pleased to feature four authors all of whom chose to self-publish their work. Meet these accomplished indie writers in a panel discussion where they will share their books and their experiences as self-published authors.