Local author showcase


This past Saturday, over a dozen of local authors gathered at the Portsmouth Public Library to showcase their work.

The Local Author Showcase is an annual event that normally takes place in the fall. This serves as a way for local authors in the tri-state area to not only connect with the library, but the patrons and the community as well.

Katie Williams, publicity and program manager from the Portsmouth Public Library, helped organize and run the event.

“We’ve got 11 tables with 13 different authors,” Williams said. “One table has three authors that worked together on a book. This year we have a lot of new authors. We had two returning authors from last year, and some returned from years past. There were a lot of new faces, and many types of genres as well. We have some young adult, children’s books, sci-fi, inspiration; I mean there’s all kinds of books. There is something for every patron.”

Each author received a table, and they were able to decorate or set up in any way they’d like, and they could choose what titles that they’d like to have available. Most authors had books available for patrons to purchase, and they can even have them autographed. Each author was given five minutes to tell who they were and how they got into writing, and even read a sample of their work.

One author who is relatively new to the scene is Melissa Martin. The past two years, she has worked to get her book published to help children learn when they should speak and when they should listen.

“I was born and raised in Scioto County, and today I’m showing my debut picture book “Tessie Tames Her Tongue”. It means a lot to me to have my book being shown in my hometown, and this is one of the first signings I’ve done since my book was released in September. Being here with a published book is surreal.”

This event is not only beneficial for the public to see what books are coming from their hometown, but the community of authors is strengthened.

Many authors use their hometown as inspiration. Brandy Vallance is one author who placed her heroine from Portsmouth, and people from the area will appreciate the subtle references to the town in her book.

“It’s fun to be here and meet like-minded people and creatives,” Vallance said. “It’s actually really cool because I placed her from Portsmouth in 1877. I did a lot of research about the old shoe factory. You know we had Mitchellace, but there was one before that. Her father works at that factory. I write inspirational historical romance. My first novel is called, “The Covered Deep”, and that won the ‘Operation First Novel Award’ in 2013.”

One table contained three different authors. Jim Detty, Linda Arthur Jennings, and David Huffman all collaborated together on two different books that contain postcards from Portsmouth and the Scioto County area.

“We write books that are postcards,” Jennings said, “but we add a caption to the postcard. We have postcards that most people probably haven’t seen before. The postcards are from our own personal collections, and some are collaborations from other people.”

“It’s really nice to be able to bring all of these authors in together and give the public a chance to see what they’re doing,” Huffman said.

If you’re a local author who is interested in participating in this event, contact the Portsmouth Public Library and they will send out information and reminders when it gets closer to time.

“We have an application process that normally begins about 2-3 months before the event,” Williams said. “We promote that in the library, on our website, and on our social media sites.”

Any author can apply. Visit yourppl.org, call, or stop in to the library to discuss being a part of future events.