An organizer of an upcoming book festival in Bowling Green says it’s becoming more of a challenge to get authors at larger publishers to appear at events for free.
Kristie Lowry is literary outreach coordinator with WKU Libraries, and an organizer with the Southern Kentucky Book Festival. She says book companies have cut their budgets related to book tours and marketing campaigns.
“So getting the authors to come to an event like ours for free, which would have been a little easier back in the day, is harder to do now,” Lowry told WKU Public Radio. “And Penguin and Random House have their own speaker bureaus now, so they market their authors, but you have to pay a fee in order to have them come into town.”
Lowry says another growing trend in the literary world is the rising number of self-published authors. She says many self-published writers in the southern Kentucky region, like Allison Jewell and Jennie Brown, have loyal followings and are well-received when they appear on panels at local book festivals.
Michael Morris is a man with a passion for southern fiction. His latest book is called Man in the Blue Moon, and he is in Bowling Green Thursday promoting the new work, and speaking to different organizations around town.
Man in the Blue Moon was the fall selection for the SOKY Reads! program, a community "one book" reading project in southern Kentucky.
Morris stopped by the studios of WKU Public Radio to talk about writing southern fiction, and how he got into writing late in life.
Here are some excerpts of our conversation:
You're giving a writing workshop today at WKU about writing southern fiction. What's distinctive about southern fiction? What makes it stand out from other genres?
“I just think the way we speak is different, obviously. That stands out. There are other aspects to the south that you don’t find in other places in the country. A lot of it has to do with the food. You know, we plan a big celebration around our food—the Sunday dinners."
"You know, William Faulker said the difference between the north and the south is that in the north the crazy relatives are hidden in the attic. In the south, we put them on the front porch and let them wave to everybody."