Progress staff reports
Jacksonville Daily Progress
BEN WHEELER —
More than 20 authors will take part in the Dec. 8 inaugural Ben Wheeler Book Festival, slated from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Elwood School House, 5475 FM 858 in the city's downtown.
Local children's and young adult author Patricia J. La Vigne will be on hand, selling and signing copies of her books, as will noted Texas authors Joe Nick Patoski, whose whose book “The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America” debuted in October.
Joe Lansdale, whose writes in variety of genres, including horror, crime, mystery, western and science fiction, also will make an appearance.
Authors also will discuss their works, as well as the writing and publishing processes during the event.
La Vigne said she's always enjoyed interacting with readers at her book signings, and looks forward to meeting those attending the Dec. 8 event.
“I thought that since (the fair) was just for books, the audience would mostly interested in books. And I think it will be interesting to meet more people in this area,” said La Vigne, who is president of the East Texas Writer's Guild.
Other genres represented at the book fare include general fiction, historical fiction, Christian mystery and fiction, mystery, suspense, western, romantic mystery, humor, inspirational/self help, poetry, short fiction, music criticism, essays, romance, detective, children’s fiction and poetry, photography and more.
Patoski will be at the event from 10-11:45 a.m. He has written and co-written biographies of Selena and Stevie Ray Vaughan, collaborated with photographer Laurence Parent on books about the Texas Mountains, the Texas Coast and Big Bend National Park, all published by University of Texas Press, among other works.
He also recorded oral histories of musicians B.B. King, Clarence Fountain of the Blind Boys of Alabama, Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson, Tejano superstar Little Joe Hernandez, and 15 other subjects for the Voice of Civil Rights oral history project sponsored by AARP and the Library of Congress.
His 2008 book, “Willie Nelson: an Epic Life,” was recognized in 2009 by The Friends of the TCU Library with the Texas Book Award for the best book about Texas written during the previous year.
Lansdale, inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame in October, is author of more than 200 books and stories, most of them set in East Texas. The most well-known of these, perhaps, is his "Hap Collins and Leonard Pine" mystery series. His short stories “Bubba Ho-Tep,” “Drive-In Date” and “The Job” have been adapted to film, and he has also written four episodes of “Batman: The Animated Series” as well as an episode of “Superman: The Ani-mated Series.”
Sponsors of the Dec. 8 event are the Ben Wheeler Arts & Historic District Foundation, County Line Magazine and Half Price Books.
The book fair will be held in conjunction with the Second Saturday 279 Art Jam that stretches along Hwy 279 from Ben Wheeler to Edom and beyond.
Galleries, shops and restaurants will be open along the way, with live music in the two neighboring towns.
For more information about the book fair, call 903-963-3788.