will host the first annual Local Authors Festival "to celebrate indie writing" Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Designed as an opportunity to hear “new local voices sharing new stories,” the festival will feature 10 local writers speaking and signing books every 45 minutes throughout the day.
Guest authors are:
- Lorena Bathey, author of Beatrice Munson
- Sandra Kay, author of eat, write & exercise
- Paul Sheckler, author of The Hawk Knows
- Dick Davis, author of Bus Journey Across Mexico
- Stephen Enna & Dennis Wootten, authors of Aloha!
- Jay Hartlove, author of The Chosen
- Amy Sutton, author of The Daisy Field
- Anita Venezia, author of Crosswinds at Campo Carcasso
- Dorothy Hearst, author of Secrets of the Wolves
One of the featured guest authors, Sandra Kay, will be signing copies of her book eat, write & exercise at 10:15 a.m.
The self-published book by the longtime writer, poet, blogger and Pleasanton resident is a collection of more than 30 “creative non-fiction” short stories, poetry, essays and more.
Kay, who also is a to Pleasanton Patch, says she was “born a writer,” and wrote throughout her school years, ultimately earning a degree in mass communication and “taking the journalism route.”
But somewhere along the way she says the “joy (of writing) went out of it” for her, and she took a writing hiatus to start a family.
In 2005, however, something she considers life changing occurred that reignited her passion for writing and made it “all fun again” — Kay discovered blogging.
She began reading a daily blog by Leonard Stegmann, leonardstegmann.blogspot.com, whom she calls “America’s first and best blogumist,” and fell in love with the interactive relationship between writer and reader.
Kay says she and Stegmann have carried on a conversation for the last six years, as she has avidly read his “blogumns” and responded with her reactions.
Inspired and encouraged by Stegmann, Kay returned to writing and began her blog, shesayswithasmile.blogspot.com, on which she has written more than 1,200 posts.
Kay says she began blogging tentatively at first, just posting her favorite passages out of books.
Gradually she became liberated by the ability to “write what she wanted, how she wanted and when she wanted,” and now says she sits down at the keyboard and “you can’t shut me up.”
Kay is thrilled to be included in the first of what is intended to be an annual event at Rakestraw Books.
She says the proliferation of local authors, made possible by changes to how writers and readers find one another through self-publishing, the Internet, blogging and flexible technological publishing options, represents an “artists' uprising.”
At Saturday’s festival, Kay says she will share some of her blog relationship with Stegmann, and how it changed not just her writing life, but her personal life as well.
She hopes “to showcase the liberation” to be found in blogging, and inspire others to find their voices and readers through the medium.
Michael Barnard, Rakestraw’s owner since 1995, is well known for cultivating a robust writers' and readers' community at the store.
Rakestraw regularly hosts some of the biggest names in the publishing industry alongside emerging talent.
Barnard says he decided to host the festival for local authors because it “sounded like a fun thing to do.”
“It seemed like a cool way to get local people some attention.”
All festival events are free. Reservations are encouraged but not required. To reserve your space, call Rakestraw Books at 925-837-7337. To learn more about the authors and books featured, and for a festival schedule, visit Rakestraw Book's website.
Rakestraw Books is at 522 Hartz Ave. in Danville.