Story by Christina Hedding
Local authors mingled with bestselling authors and library patrons at the Warwick Literary Festival hosted by the Albert Wisner Public library on Sun., Apr. 30.
The festival was sponsored by generous gifts to the Library Foundation and grants from the New York State Arts Counsel. Local authors set up at tables in the library gallery with copies of their works on hand to discuss and sell. The festival also featured several talks from bestselling authors and book signings throughout the day.
Local authors featured at the festival in the morning session were: Joan Corser, Marina Cramer, Erin Forbes, Gretchen Gibbs, Carole Howard, Stephanie O’Leary and Anita Page. The afternoon session of local authors included – Bob Grawi, Cheetah Haysom, Norm Issacson, Arthur Mongenlli, Donna Spector, Tim Tocher and Mary Makofske. There was a diverse collection of genres among the local authors from poetry to historical to fiction books.
Mary Makofske, a member of Sustainable Warwick and local resident poet, had several books of her poetry available at the festival. Makofske has read her poetry at events throughout Warwick and typically writes in free verse form. Her most recent poems are inspired by her grandsons and the joy she finds in watching them grow.
According to Adult Services Coordinator Laurie Angle, the Warwick Literary Festival came from a combination of the Children’s Book Festival, held in September, and literary events that the library has held in the past and author lectures. The festival offered adults something akin to the Children’s Book Festival and a chance to connect with local and bestselling authors.
“Books have a magic for adults too,” said Angle.
Bestselling author lectures were held throughout the day. They featured a different author each hour and were followed by a book signing. The festival’s featured authors were Jim DeFelice and Laurence Bergreen, Matthew Thomas, Lauren Willig, Gail Buckland, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, Mia Alvar and Nadia Hashimi.
Lauren Willig, author of the bestselling, “The Secret History of the Pink Carnation,” series and several other popular novels spoke to the audience about her writing process and inspiration. Willig has written a dozen books as part of her Pink Carnation series alone and several other standalone historical fiction novels.
During the question and answer portion of the lecture Willig answered crowd questions such as how she came up with the ideas for her many novels, how fast she can write a manuscript and shed light on how much say authors really have when it comes to book covers and titles of their novels. Willig was bubbly and informative and left the audience excited to check out her books.
Aside from local authors, local business Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe also was on site to participate in the festival. Tom Roberts supplied books by both the bestselling and local authors for people to purchase and have signed during the festival.
“It’s important for us to be here as a local business to support local authors,” said Roberts.
The festival was an overall success allowing people to enjoy simulating literary conversations with authors and each other.