Mark your calendars for the book launch of FACTORY MAN on July 15, 2014, at Parkway Brewing Company in Salem, Virginia. That’s when we’ll join dear friends and brewery owners Lezlie and Keno Snyder in raising a glass to our mutual Made in America ethos. As a tie-in to the book, Parkway’s brewmaster Ryan Worthington is mixing up a new hoppy potion as I type: an India Pale Ale session brew called Factory Girl that’s sure to give you a lift at the end of your shift.
The party is going to be a celebration of three great things: storytelling, music and beer. We’ll have bluegrass and barbecue, beer and books (for signing and purchase). I’ll read a little and introduce some of the characters from FACTORY MAN. And we’ll have music by The Star City Revival (featuring my son Will Landon, 15, on bass) and The StageHogs led by world-renowned Fries fiddler Eddie Bond, who’ll share his classic, “Furniture Factory Blues,” a song about furniture making in Galax.
Check back soon for more details on this event and other readings and events coming your way this summer and fall, from Bassett to Galax and beyond. Among the confirmed events so far:
• Leaf & String Festival, Galax, June 14; a meet, greet and brief chat about “Factory Man” in preparation of the book release.
• Smoke on the Mountain, Virginia’s statewide barbecue competition, 1 p.m. Saturday July 19; book signing and reading at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.
• A conversation, reading and book signing at my favorite place in the world: the Bassett Historical Center at 10 a.m. July 22.
• Roanoke City Library, reading and book signing, at 6 p.m. July 30, Williamson Road branch.
• Brews and Blues, book signing at the table in front of Parkway Brewing Company, Galax, August 2.
• The Old Fiddler’s Convention, aka simply “Galax,” Felts Park, August 9. I’ll be set up (selling and signing books) at the Galax Chamber table. As I described this music-making scene in FACTORY MAN:
The region some call “the rooftop of Virginia” counts a half a dozen acclaimed instrument makers, in fact. Guitar god Wayne Henderson of nearby Rugby made Eric Clapton wait ten years for his Henderson, and many of the staff musicians at the Grand Ole Opry play guitars built by Galax luthier Jimmy Edmonds. “You’re dealing with a town where a good fourth of the population plays!” exclaimed Joe Wilson, the folklorist.
• Champaign County Public Library, reading/talk and book signing, at 7 p.m. Aug. 14, wherein I acknowledge all my hometown peeps and heroes, especially my 10th and 11th grade English teacher Margaret Tabor (and try really hard not to cry).
• (X)po, Roanoke’s premiere small cities conference and fun-fest, featuring talks about creativity, entrepreneurship, urban planning, place-making, and community revitalization, on Oct. 4.
• Hollins University’s Jackson Center for Creative Writing (my MA alma mater), a reading and book signing, 8:15 p.m. Oct. 23, Green Drawing Room, Hollins.
To request a reading or event, please contact me at email@example.com or e-mail Little, Brown and Company publicist Fiona Brown at Fiona.Brown@hbgusa.com.
Other Upcoming Speaking Engagements
• Society of American Business Editors and Writers, panel discussion on book writing, Phoenix, Ariz., March 28, 3:30 p.m.
• I’m thrilled to be chosen by the 2014 class of Mary Baldwin College to be their commencement speaker, May 18, 2014, Staunton, Virginia.