Some of the area’s most creative minds want to open their imaginations to you.
They’ve created folklore-driven tales of shapeshifters and Samurai. Elves, paladins and priests work together to save the land that they love.
Good and evil square off in fantastically concocted kingdoms. Ghosts and spirits haunt the backroads and historical places right here in Indiana.
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More than 40 Indiana authors will gather from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday for the Greenwood Public Library’s local author fair. Patrons can meet local writers, learn more about their work and pick up copies of their most recent books.
“We tried having individual events for authors and it didn’t really work. But if we had them all together it would be a great way to promote local authors, be a fun event for visitors, and it’s been fairly well received,” said Valerie Moore, reference librarian at the Greenwood Public Library. “It’s grown every year, and that’s what has been exciting for us.”
For those who are taking part, events such as the fair are a way to connect with readers and share their experiences with those who love to read and write.
“When you’re a local author, your avenues to marketing are pretty narrow. So you’re getting your writing out there,” said Matthew Graphman, a writer from Bloomington. “But one of the most exciting things about this is meeting other writers and people. I try to encourage them.”
To get ready for this weekend’s fair, the Daily Journal met with four of the authors taking part, to learn about their desire to write, their first stories and a peek into the writing process.
Genre: Fiction, with emphasis on fantasy and science-fiction
Some of her titles: “Keepers of the Light,” “The Search”
Why were you attracted to writing in the first place?
I have been writing stories since I was a little kid. There was always something about storytelling that interested me. Before I could read, my mom would make up stories for me. That’s morphed into me, made me more curious about the world and how people work and how our stories reflect the things that happen to us as individuals.
What is the focus of the books you write?
I’m very character driven. I care a lot about the people in my books, and how the things that happen to them affect them and affect the world around them. That all boils down to this love with how we communicate to the world and the people around us.
How do you come up with the characters you create?
It all starts with a name. Sometimes, those names come to me, maybe in dreams, or I’ve done research on names that have a specific meaning to me. A lot of the character traits are based on people I know or myself, stories I’ve heard, things I’ve witnessed. Whenever I start writing these characters, they grow and change and shift right along with me while I’m writing. They become living things.
Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Home: Southside Indianapolis
Genre: Multiple types of fiction, including speculative- and folklore-based fiction
Some of her titles: “Circles & Crossroads,” “Bait”
How did you get into writing in the first place?
I was one of those little kids who was always writing stories; I remember being in grade school and writing horrible, horrible stories. But you get that out of your system early.
Why is writing something that’s so vital for you to do?
I write what I want to write. I don’t write for the market. The common quote is, “Fiction is the lie that tells the truth.” We can get a lot closer to things in fiction because we have that artificial distance. Fiction allows us to get in and play with things.
Why are you drawn to the genres you write about?
There’s a reason that folklore has stuck around so long, that it has stuck around for thousands of years. Folklore answers something, even if it’s as basic as, “Why we’re afraid of the dark.” We want to explore some experience or theme that is universal. That’s a fun thing to explore.
Genre: Historical and paranormal-based non-fiction, among other topics
Some of her titles: “Fractured Intentions: A History of Central State Hospital for the Insane,” “Ghosts of Westfield”
How did you get into writing in the first place?
I started writing when I was 13 years old. I had an assignment in school — they gave me a paragraph and I had to finish it out with a story. That sparked me. We were only supposed to write a page, and I wrote six. I started thinking that maybe I can write other things.
Why kind of writing do you do?
I write about what I like. I’ve written articles about different topics on everything from international etiquette to English as a second language. I’ve written books for learners of English as a second language. Most recently, I’ve written about the paranormal with a focus on real stories and the history behind them.
Why are history and the paranormal topics you got interested in?
I love history because if we don’t look at it, we’re bound to make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past. History tells us a lot about what our future could be and where we came from. I’ve been a paranormal person since I was 13. When my husband and I go out on paranormal investigations, we think history is a lot of why these things are happening. We have to look at that to see what could be causing this.
Genre: Children’s fiction and young-adult fantasy series
Some of his titles: Chel & Riley series; The Silverwood Chronicles series
How did you get into writing?
Going back to college, I actually have a love of drama. I started as a computer science major, and because of a roommate who really loved drama, I adopted a dramatic productions minor. That’s a weird combination. But that’s where I got a feel for writing and scripts. I loved it so much that I actually started writing short stories.
What’s the idea behind The Silverwood Chronicles series?
It’s your typical high-fantasy type of book, similar to “Chronicles of Narnia” and “Lord of the Rings” type things. There aren’t going to be any new mechanics there that people of the fantasy genre fandom aren’t familiar with. Because of my background in drama, instead of a narrator to drive the action, I use the characters’ interactions to drive the action. That’s what sets my books apart from other fantasy books.
How did you create something like Chel & Riley?
About 15 years ago, we started a series of vacation Bible school programs at my church. My pastor challenged our congregation to use their talents to do something unique for our program. So I came up with the two characters, Chel and Riley, that turned into skits. Afterward, a friend told me I need to turn it into a children’s book.
Greenwood Local Author Fair
When: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St.
What: 40 local authors sharing their works. People will be able to meet the different writers and purchase copies of their books.