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Suwannee County authors Jimmy Deas and David Butler and Lafayette County author Delores Leggett Walker at the Meet and Greet.

As I finally calmed down enough Friday night, September 13, to close my eyes in sleep it wasn’t the effect of the Harvest Moon shining through my window that had my mind racing with excitement. No sir, even as beautiful as the moonbeams were that slipped through my bedroom curtains it was the genuine satisfaction of having spent time with some of the most talented and kind hearted people in the world.

Those people are just like you and me except for one defining quality. They are folks that can take the most ordinary circumstance and turn it into an extraordinary story that can make you weep like a baby, let go of a deep belly laugh, or make you hide under the covers as aliens from another world or bad guys from this world set your heart to racing with fear so real it curls your toes.

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Delores Walker

These gifted people are writers, some published and some well on their way to earning the title of author and having the unique thrill of seeing their names on the cover of a book.

The event was sponsored by Writers INK in Mayo, my local writer’s group that is into its sixth successful year of helping the publishing dreams of Lafayette County and surrounding county residents come true. With more than 25 published books between the nine regular members, the group decided to recognize the work of the Lafayette County authors as well as the work of authors from Taylor, Dixie and Suwannee counties with a Meet and Greet at the Lafayette County Public Library in Mayo. The recognition did not stop there but went on to include writers not yet published and writers who promote their counties like Jolene MacFadden with her online site and Shirley Rivers, who is organizing a writers group in Live Oak.

By the time four-thirty rolled around on Friday afternoon the six tables set up to accommodate the authors were stacked with books and seated behind those books were 15 authors ready to share their particular genre of book that ran from Ian J. Malone’s Sci-Fi to Gwen Watkin’s Supernatural Weight loss book. In the middle of the mix were children’s piano lesson books by Jonnie Wittington, a 50-year veteran piano teacher and books from former pastor Jimmy Deas sharing the joys and pitfalls of his first pastorate, while across the room sat David Butler, a retired prison officer, whose book was written about a real prison escape close to home.

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Taylor County author Betty Ann Goodman Curvin and Lafayette County author Dayla Daniels show off their work at the Meet and Greet.

As more people arrived to check out what books they wanted to purchase we took a few minutes for the authors to introduce themselves and share a little of their experiences as writers. Everyone seemed interested in learning more about the world of publication and the writers were glad to share some of their most trying and most humorous moments as book sellers. After the meet and greet part, I noticed some were drawn to the table where our youngest author, Dayla Daniels, age 11, sat. She and her aunt, Betty Ann Goodman Curvin, had their books displayed side-by-side. Dayla’s book tells the story of a fictional alligator named Ali, and Betty Ann’s was an all-too-real story about the death of her cherished daughter that left her mark on all who knew her before she went home to heaven.

Others gravitated to longtime romance writer Sydney Clary. Her latest’s novels on love set in Suwannee County were spread across the table for sale while others visited with John Bennett. His books range from real-life sea adventures to adventures with God on the spiritual side of life. Just across the room was Nancy Singletary with her book based on her mother’s life and next to her was the oldest author there, LeEllen Bubar, who wrote her memories of missionary life in St.Crox last year when she entered her nineties.

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Suwannee County author Sydney Clary had books for sale at the Meet and Greet.

Also there was Yvonne Dye whose books, Compromise and Two Dirty Dogs, didn’t arrive in time to sell, but her books and ours are available at Amazon if you missed this wonderful gathering.

By the time next year arrives we’ll have more books to whet your appetite for reading including three new authors, Rita Banks Gross from Live Oak and Lillian Underwood and Dale Croft from Mayo. Uh oh, I was so into the other authors that I forget to mention I had my little stash of books there too.

We didn’t count the number of folks who did attend, but as someone said it was wall-to-wall people so we estimated around 50 to 60 wonderful people who came out to support us and the marvelous pleasure and knowledge gained through reading books.

I’ve always heard when you work at something you enjoy then everyday you work is a good day.

I must say I have a lot of good days!

For more information contact Delores Leggett Walker at edmwalk@windstream.net.

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