ANDERSON — Local author Elmore Hammes remembers when he first published a children’s book and a little girl approached him at a book signing. She wouldn’t stop smiling, not even to talk to the writer.
“Her mom finally said, ‘She’s just amazed she’s meeting someone who wrote a book,’” he said.
Now Anderson residents will have the opportunity to meet 16 local writers at the Sixth Annual Authors Fair and Book Signing from noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Anderson Public Library
Hammes, who is co-sponsoring the event and featuring his book of short stories, said the weekend will give writers an opportunity to tap into new audiences.
“If you make a connection with someone on your book and they’re talking to the author, if they have the money they’re going to want it,” he said.
Most of the authors started writing in adulthood, like retired school teacher Nancy Zimmerman.
“I don’t know where this came from, but it happened, so I guess it was supposed to be,” she said during a round table discussion with authors Monday.
Others have been writing since their youth, such as Westfield resident Nicole Kobrowski. She started writing when she was 13 years old and had a one-page writing assignment. That assignment turned into a six-page, single-spaced story her classmates loved.
“I was like, ‘Wow, I have an imagination I can put toward stories. What else can I write?’” Kobrowski said. “It’s evolved from writing about love and boys as a teenager to more mature writing.”
Since then she’s written multiple books, including several books for people to learn English as a second language and the paranormal.
She’s featuring her fourth book about the paranormal, “Ghosts of Madison County,” at the fair Saturday.
Kobrowski described it as nonfiction and said it’s based off her own experiences, historical information and interviews with people in the area.
“These are supposed to be real stories, including my own from the house I grew up in and a house I rented with my now ex-husband in Anderson,” she said.
Kobrowski said other stories in her book come from interviews with people who said they had supernatural experiences throughout Madison County, including the Eagles Lodge, cemeteries and schools.
Hammes said books with Madison County ties like Kobrowski’s book will likely do well at the fair, but there are plenty of other genres for people to relate to. Historical, fiction, short stories, memoirs and religious books are just some that will be featured.
Anderson resident Lora York said her book is more ministry than writing. “God Help! Practical Tools to Help You Navigate Your Christian Walk” is a book she wished she had 20 years ago.
“I grew up in a very religious family and whenever the Holy Spirit would start manifesting in me, people in the church would look at me,” York said. “No one could tell me what was going on. I said, ‘All right, I’m going to use my experience to help other people.’”
The book includes prayers, inspirational quotes and her personal experiences.
“A lot of people think being a Christian is going to church on Sunday, but they’re actually missing out on a lot,” she said. “I’m giving them tools that are practical and using examples of where I failed to entertain people and let them know it’s OK to make mistakes.”
Hammes applauded all the authors for publishing their books and joining the fair, especially in the age of the Internet.
“In this day and age the options are wider than ever,” he said.
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At a glance Authors participating both days Alan Henson, Elmore Hammes, Sharon Laws, Don McAllister, Shirley Montgomery, Donna Nobles, Misty Novak, Violet Ryan, Ruben Schwieger, Daniel Taylor, Lora York and Nancy Zimmerman Friday only Kate Chaplin Saturday only Kathy Gerstorff, Stacy Savage and Nicole Kobrowski