Area authors pitched their books at the fourth annual Asheville Bookfest Saturday. With themes ranging from children’s books to self discovery, 25 authors and two publishers brought the magic of books to Pack Place.
The festival is sponsored by WNC Publishers said Micki Cabaniss Eutsler of Grateful Steps Publishing. She added that the event is similar to other book festivals such as the Great Smoky Mountain Book Fair in Sylvia and the Blue Ridge Book Fest in Hendersonville.
“It helps build an increased awareness of the Western North Carolina Publishing scene,” said Eutsler who hopes the festival will continue to grow perhaps as large as the Carolina Mountains Book Fair in Burnsville and the Savannah, Ga. festival.
“We want this [Asheville Book Festival] to be a collaborative annual gathering for all in Western North Carolina who love books,” Eutsler said. “It gives local writers a place to meet book lovers, do book signings and promote their books.”
Candler author Michael Hopping was there with his publisher Pisgah Press founded in 2011 as a small traditional publisher of fiction, short stories, poetry, non-fiction and memoirs.
“They’re [Pisgah Press] selling to niche markets and specialized areas,” said Hopping. “We’ve sold more at the festival than we expected.”
One unexpected celebrity attending the festival was a Norfolk terrier, representing the children’s book Cosmos for President. Cosmo, a certified pet therapy dog, travels the country with his owner and the book’s author, Suzanne Kline of Weaverville.
Kline said the book is designed to help children learn about the election process and voting.
“The children said Cosmo should run for president,” said Kline. “The book and web site gives kids a voice in America.”
In addition to being able to vote, for Cosmo or the Wolf, on the Cosmo web site, children have voted to create a declaration of the things a president should do once in office. They will also be able to monitor the election results and the newly elected president during his first few weeks in office.
“These are designed to be class projects to help teachers,” Kline said.
Another area children’s book author, Steve Jones, also attended the event with his books about the honor, history and greatness of America. Jones explained the books were a series of age appropriate readings which talked about the discovery of America, the formation of its laws, maps and other teaching tools ideal for classrooms, home schoolers and individual readers.
“You won’t find these type books anywhere else,” said Jones who self published. “I write mostly from my life experiences.”
Eutsler said they hope to have speakers and classes included in the future festivals. She added that the location in Pack Place was ideal with people coming through the court yard to their event. She said Tom Chalmers, Director of Visitor Services for Pack Place was a tremendous help in organizing and making the event run smoothly.