Book lovers find author talks add more to the story…
The idea for Heritage Sandy Springs’ monthly author discussion series came from Milam Propst, with a little help from William Tecumseh Sherman.
That storied Civil War general, forever linked with the phrase “march to the sea,” was the topic of a book Propst co-authored with her friend, Jacyln White. Sidetracked: Two Women, Two Cameras, and Lunches on Sherman’s Trail was published by Mercer University Press in April 2016, and Propst, a Sandy Springs resident, was looking for a way to promote it. She approached the folks at Heritage Sandy Springs about offering the book for sale, particularly since it included information about the family who lived in Heritage’s historic Williams Payne house during the war. The response went beyond the immediate “Yes!” Within a half hour, Propst recalls, Director of Historic Resources and Education Programs Melissa Swindell came up with a plethora of ideas, including one for a book discussion series.
“Melissa suggested a program with us, the authors, at the Williams Payne House, and I found myself saying, ‘Okay,’” says Propst. “So every Tuesday in June, we had a discussion about the book, which is really about friendship more than anything else. Jacyln and I spent two years taking day trips between here and Savannah, and we found out a lot about odd out of the way places in between.”
The series was so popular that Swindell seized the momentum and began scheduling a monthly author conversation at the historic house. Dubbed Titles@Twilight, the series highlights local authors whenever possible, but it has also branched out to showcase writers from around the state. The first few months featured mostly historical nonfiction, but the topics have since crossed into other genres, including fiction and self-improvement. And finding authors has not been a problem.
“Some of them come to us; some of them we track down,” Swindell says. “And Milam, our board members and our history committee have been very helpful with recommendations.”
On the first Tuesday of each month, the free Titles@Twilight takes off at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments, then the public is invited to hear the authors discuss their work and their writing processes, and to ask questions. Attendance has varied from 15 to 60 and crossed generations from students to seniors.
“I would not miss it; it’s just the most fun thing, and the subject matter is always fascinating,” Propst says. “You get to know the authors and can buy their books, but it’s also a wonderful way to get to know other people in the community a little bit better.”
Upcoming author appearances:
March 7: Carolyn Curry, Suffer and Grow Strong: The Life of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas (1834-1907)
April 4: Dan Aldridge, Jr., To Lasso the Clouds: The Beginning of Aviation in Georgia
May 2: Linda Hughes and Myra Lewis Williams, The Spark that Survived
June 6: Jennifer Webb, Mom’s Soul Cafe
Heritage Sandy Springs
6075 Sandy Springs Circle
Sandy Springs 30328
STORY: H.M. Cauley
PHOTO: Dara Dyer