Many in the Capital District may be surprised to learn about number of authors in their midst. A neighbor, coworker or acquaintance could be published, with those around them none the wiser.
The Guilderland Public Library is looking to change that with its first Local Author Book Fair. Published writers from throughout Albany County have been invited to participate so as to highlight “the author next door.”
“I’d done a similar event at another library and it’s a great way to promote local authors because it’s a great venue to promote their books,” said Natalie McDonough, who is in charge of programming and public services for the library.
Nearly 20 authors have signed up to participate in the event. The keynote speech is to be given by New York Times bestselling author Joseph E. Persico of Guilderland.
Persico was the speechwriter for former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller and the author of 12 nonfiction books. His latest is called “Roosevelt’s Centurions: FDR and the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II.” Persico’s talk will be followed by a short question and answer period, and books will be available for purchase.
The rest of the event will be run like a typical book fair, with tables set up throughout the library so visitors will be able to speak with authors in person, purchase their books or get books signed.
“We’re really pleased with the amount of authors who responded to our request,” said Mark Curiale, the library’s public information officer. “I think it might come as a surprise that there are so many published authors in the area.”
The event will feature writers who were both self-published and had their work picked up by traditional publishers.
McDonough said visitors typically like the one-on-one time they are able to get with authors at the event. Also, if they like a book they see, there isn’t pressure to purchase the book like there might be at similar events. Because they are already at the library, visitors can simply add those books to their request lists.
“It’s good exposure for these authors to garner more readers,” said McDonough.
The event is open to all ages.
Curiale said he was delighted to learn how many children’s authors there are in the area and that a significant number of them will be attending the event at the Guilderland Public Library.
“It was a nice treat,” he said.
Those in attendance will learn the true identity of the author behind the pseudonym Dahl Quarray, who has written such children’s books as “Arliss and his Suit of Armor” and “The Perfect Ball.” Heather Spitzberg of Slingerlands, author of the children’s series following Cricket the Dog, will also be at the event.
The entire list of authors who will be present at the event has yet to be released.
“We want it to be a bit of a surprise,” said McDonough.
Curiale said with the holidays approaching, the book fair is the perfect place to start shopping for a unique gift to give picky book worms, as authors will be on hand to add a personal message to their works.
McDonough said she hopes the event is popular with the community and it can grow in future years.
“There’s really something for everyone here,” she said.
The Local Author’s Book Fair will be held at the Guilderland Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 19. The keynote speech by Joseph Persico will begin at 1 p.m. and the fair will follow from 2 to 4 p.m.