Paul Smith Library’s Year of the Book Gala to honor 26 local authors

Year of the Book Gala

Several participants in Paul Smith Library of Southern York County’s Year of Book show off their published books. From left, Kevin Buck of Shrewsbury, Laura Rudacille of Red Lion, Judy Wolfman of York, Demi Stevens of Glen Rock, Julie Swope of York, Richard Chandler Hoff of Felton and Ed McCloskey of Stewartstown. (SUBMITTED)

By DEB SULLIVAN
On the Shelves

“Who should I read next?” is a common question posed to desk staff at the Paul Smith Library of Southern York County.

Frequently, the answer is “Sworn to Silence” and other books by Linda Castillo, a writer of Amish mysteries and thrillers.

“We absolutely love her books and regularly recommend them,” said Demi Stevens, library director. “Actually, people who know me would say we absolutely can’t shut up about them.”

Soon, Stevens will have another title to recommend, as Castillo is set to release the sixth book in her Kate Burkholder series in July 2014.

But first, interested readers have a chance to meet Castillo Oct. 27 during the library’s Year of the Book Gala. Joining her will be 26 local authors who rose to the challenge of writing and publishing a book within a year, a project dubbed Year of the Book (YOTB). Authors will be there to meet readers, and sell and sign copies of their books. The event is also in celebration of the library’s 10th anniversary.

YOTB came about in an unexpected way for Stevens. She attended an evening library program last August to hear Jamie LaRue, director of Douglas County Libraries in Castle Rock, Colo., talk about the five trends key to building the library of the future.

In this digital age, access to content is one of the areas to grow, LaRue said. At the time, half the big book publishers weren’t giving libraries equitable access to e-books. As a solution, LaRue’s libraries were providing local authors with a forum to grow their skills, get published and put their books in front of readers.

He quoted a survey result: “When asked, 81 percent of Americans said yes, they want to write a book.”

Stevens thought, “Yes, I want to write a book. And if I want to write a book, there are probably others who want to write a book. And what if we put a deadline on it?”

Initially, several hundred people signed up for YOTB, with 60 returning as regular attendees at the monthly sessions.

“Most people only want to know the next step toward reaching the end goal,” Stevens said. So, by doing little bits at a time over the course of a year, 26 authors in the group each wrote and published a book. Some even completed more than one.

The Year of the Book Gala celebrates their success and will provide area readers with an opportunity to meet them all in one place. And, as part of the weekend, Castillo will lead a seminar Oct. 28 on writing a thriller.

“I get a lot of mail from readers, writers and people who want to become writers, who want to learn about the process, so this is a fantastic program,” Castillo said.

According to Stevens, one unexpected outcome of the YOTB project was the friendships she forged over the year. Another twist was that YOTB sparked a new-found passion and career change for her. At the end of the year, Stevens will resign from her role as library director and launch her new business, Year of the Book, LLC.

“I am creating YOTB as a business to help people learn to write; most have a story they want to tell,” Stevens said, adding that she’ll partner with York County Libraries for some programs.

Her plans include opening a small publishing house, launching a magazine on the Apple Store and bringing best-selling authors and instructors to the York area to inspire and educate local authors and aspiring writers.


Year of the Book Gala
When: 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 27
Where: Paul Smith Library of Southern York County, 80 Constitution Ave., Shrewsbury
Cost: Free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing; free gift wrap is available.
Details: Call the library at 717-235-5806 or visit www.yorklibraries.org/paul-smith
Local authors on tap
– Childrens authors: Darby Jo Campbell, Jessica Dimuzio, Donna Ferguson, Valerie Harrigan, Scott McCloskey, Michael Simpson and Rachel Wisnom
– Non-fiction authors: Kevin Buck, Keith Felix, Vickie Fisher, John Gobrecht, Voni Grimes, Joan Higgs, Richard Chandler Hoff, Howie Pease, Julie Swope and Roger Wilson
– Fiction authors: Andrea Adams, John Andrews, Dave Garland, Ed McCloskey, D.C. McLaughlin, Heather Mosko, Laura Rudacille, Connie Scharon and Seth Scharon

Linda Castillo

ew York Times best-selling author Linda Castillo will visit as part of Paul Smith Library of Southern York County’s Year of the Book Gala. (SUBMITTED)

Workshop: Writing the Thriller
When: 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28
Where: Paul Smith Library of Southern York County, 80 Constitution Ave., Shrewsbury
Cost: $10
Details: New York Times best-selling author Linda Castillo will be talking about the elements of the thriller and what she does to pull a story together.

“People are interested in writing. I think these are things that will really help them,” Castillo said, adding that there are two different types of writers: hamsters who write by the seat of their pants, and plotters who write a detailed synopsis first.

“I am a plotter,” she said. “I like the procedural aspect. It helps me work out the mystery and snafus. I use plotting as a road map, but may veer along the way if I come up with a better Idea.” On the flipside, she has friends who are published authors who say they get bored with their stories if they write a synopsis and prefer to go through the process as if they are reading.

Advance registration for the workshop, appropriate for writers of all levels, is required; call the library at 717-235-5806

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3 Responses to Paul Smith Library’s Year of the Book Gala to honor 26 local authors

  1. Pingback: Book Buzz | Year of the Book seeks new authors in York area

  2. Laurie S. Pittman says:

    I am so interested in signing up for the series of workshops for 2014′s Year of the Book! Please, let me know if and how I can proceed!

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