A good weekend for bookworms

The Southern Oregon Book Author Fair in Ashland offers book lovers and those who love them a chance to purchase autographed books and chat with local authors. The event takes place Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Southern Oregon University in the Stevenson Union's Rogue River Room.

The holiday-season fair provides an opportunity for regional authors to promote their work directly to the public, and for the public to connect with local authors. Many genres of both fiction and non-fiction will be represented, including western, mystery, horror, history, Native American, romance, poetry, spirituality, and children's.

Each year an author or authors are selected as the fair's featured guest. The stars of this year's event will be Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hilgartner, the popular children's author team, who write under the pseudonym Jahnna N. Malcolm. Of the over 120 published books to this team's credit, their most popular book series, The Jewel Kingdom, has sold more than — million copies internationally since its publication.

The fair was created in 2002 by Phoenix author, Jura Sherwood, a London, England native who writes historical fiction. She published her first book that year, looked at the Rogue Valley's large readership and felt something was missing. Sherwood wanted a venue where authors could speak with readers, meet other authors, and publicize their work.

"I'd ask around and get blank looks," Sherwood said.

There were frequent author signings, but no forum to bring a large number of authors together in one place. Sherwood contacted writer friends and associates to form a gathering of 24 authors. The first fair was held in connection with Medford's Art in the Alley fair, and has since moved to Ashland. Now in its sixth year, it showcases more than 50 authors, and remains the only event of its kind in the area.

"I believe there is not another regularly scheduled event like it between Portland and Sacramento," says Sherwood.

This year, Sherwood will be at the fair showcasing her latest novel, "Sometime, Somewhere."

General admission to the event is free. Free parking is provided approximately a block away in the parking lot at the corner of Mountain Avenue and Henry Street. Information is available at: .

The fair's authors represent many genres and styles. Claire Krulikowski, who helped organize this year's fair, writes inspirational nonfiction.

Ashland resident, Professor David Churchman is the author of "Why we Fight: Theories of Human Aggression and Conflict," as well as the handbook, "Negotiation."

Mystery author Morgan Hunt will be on hand with copies from her Tess Camillo series.

Poet Amy Miller's chapbooks include "The Stablehand's Report" and "The Mechanics of the Rescue."

Raw nutrition is the topic of Mary Rhydman's "Raw and Radiant, Simple Raw Recipes for the Busy Lifestyle."

Bilingual (Spanish/English) author Amy Costales has three children's books, "Abueleta," "Hola Noche" and "Lupe Vargas and Her Super Best Friend."

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