Don’t Date Baptists Book Launch!

On Tuesday, April 26, I celebrated with friends, family, and colleagues the official launch of my book Don’t Date Baptists and Other Warnings from My Alabama Mother at M. Judsons Booksellers in Greenville, SC. After eating some delicious food and enjoying great company, I began reading the essay “Not Brand X” (aka Chapter 3) and everyone had a great time laughing and talking about brand loyalty, especially when it comes to mayonnaise.

Following the reading was an M. Judsons’ “In Conversation with” interview with me, conducted by Wanda Meade, the founder and creator of Finding Voice and blogger. Then I signed many copies of my book and continued to enjoy the night with everyone there!

Below are pictures taken of the event.

Southern Festival of Books

Recently, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion and book signing of Don’t Date Baptists at this year’s Southern Festival of Books! I will be in Nashville, TN, October 14-16. So mark your calendars!

Here’s some more information about the Southern Festival of Books from their website:

The Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written WordSM is a three-day Festival celebrated each year during the second full weekend of October. It is free and open to the public. No advance registration or tickets are required. All seating is on a first-come basis.

The Festival annually welcomes more than 200 authors from throughout the nation and in every genre for readings, panel discussions and book signings. Book lovers have the opportunity to hear from and meet some of America’s foremost writers in fiction, history, mystery, food, biography, travel, poetry and children’s literature among others.

A Hub City Welcome

This past Tuesday, I gave a reading at Spartanburg’s Hub City Books surrounded by great friends and former students, whom I was delighted to see and catch up with! I read from Don’t Date Baptists the chapter titled “Racial Divide,” which my wife was able to record and is available for viewing on my Facebook page. Check it out, and see if you would like to hear more when I give a reading next Tuesday in Greenville at M. Judsons Booksellers for my book’s official launch party! The event begins at 6 pm.

Reading at YoCup

Yesterday I got to share some good times, coffee, and food with some great friends and colleagues at the YoCup in Clinton, SC. If you’ve never been to the YoCup in Clinton, it’s a small but quaint shop that is great for giving a reading in. I read the preface to my book Don’t Date Baptists and my essay, “But Pat Boone Never Lived in Bessemer,” and signed books afterward. Below are some pictures from the event.

Back Home in Bessemer

On April 2, I returned to Bessemer, Alabama, to give a reading and book signing event at the Bessemer Public Library. It was wonderful to see familiar faces and reminisce about how things were and how things have changed, as if we were all just on the back porch telling stories again!

Below are some pictures from the event shared to me by Fred Wallace.

The EMRYS Experience

This past Monday, March 28th, I had the chance to read my new book alongside author Joni Tevis, who is also an author of a collection of essays. The reading took place at M. Judson bookstore, an intimate setting that felt right for the reading. Everything went smoothly — the audience was attentive, laughed appropriately, and seemed to appreciate that the past lingers in ways we can’t appreciate until we gain perspective.

I read my essay titled “The Mayor” (Chapter 11 in my book), which was timely given the political climate right now, especially back in Alabama where the governor has just been caught having an affair.

The Q&A session following the reading was great, with Joni Tevis and I asking each other questions. A surprising note, though, was that she compared me to Garrison Keillor. I’ve never seen that!

Also, I am excited to announce that the official launch party for Don’t Date Baptists will happen on April 26th at M. Judson!