Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hardships and healing panel, VFOB

Writers Susan Skolnick-Lozano, Russell U. Richards, and James Herndon with moderator Faith Andrews Bedford.

Today was the first day of the Virginia Festival of the Book and I went to my first session at 6 pm at the Northside Library. The panel was entitled "When Life Takes a Turn: Authors Write About Hardships and Healing." It was an interesting, well-moderated session which addressed more writing issues than healing issues. Each author read for a few minutes from his/her book, and then fielded questions from the moderator and the audience.

Responding to a question about what they had learned about themselves while writing their books, Richards said that he discovered that things he had believed about himself weren't true; Skolnick-Lozano discovered that she was a great motivator with the ability to get people to believe in themselves; and Herndon discovered that he was a naive young man, adding that writing his book was one of the happiest periods of his life.

I was touched by these authors' willingness to reveal very personal things about themselves in their books. Skolnick-Lozano said that one reason she wrote and was willing to share such personal information was that "people need to know they're not alone." Amen to that.

More tomorrow. The Book Fest goes through Sunday -- check out the schedule and come to some events!

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