JARED BARTON THE COLUMBUS TELEGRAM
When looking for new books and especially new authors, we often go to the library and for good reason. According to Kelli Keyes, customer service manager at the Columbus Public Library, that’s what libraries are for.
“That’s what a library does, is get their name out there, help out,” Keyes said.
To achieve this goal, the Columbus Public Library will host 19 authors from the Midwest, primarily from Nebraska, at an Author Fair at the United Methodist Church on June 4.
That’s the most sponsors they’ve ever had for this event, Keyes said. The event will feature a keynote speaker and allow all authors 10 minutes to read an excerpt from their books, if they wish.
“I sort of focus on one writer each year, so it’s different,” Keyes said.
To find participating authors, Keyes has a list of past participants she contacts and asks to invite their author friends.
Keynote speaker Tasha Hackett of Stromberg penned “Bluebird on the Prairie,” a Western romance with touches of comedy and an underlying theme of hope over heartbreak.
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“Well, the idea is that she finds hope again, talking about how I found hope after grief and the idea that everyone has experienced grief in one way or another. another,” Hackett said.
Hackett said she and her husband originally planned years ago to write a western romance about the zombie apocalypse, but soon after she started writing she realized she wasn’t able to write about zombies because she thought they were rude and she didn’t. knew a lot about them, so she changed direction.
“At the beginning, my idea then was ‘how can I encourage women, give them hope, show them hope?’ I realized I couldn’t write this story,” Hackett said.
Hackett’s main character, a young widow, lives with her brother and cares for her toddler, giving her purpose after her husband’s death. A mysterious stranger comes to town on his way to California and shows her what hope is.
“Everybody’s been through heartbreak, so how do you find happiness without just building all those walls?” said Hacket. “I think we naturally try to do that, ‘I’m not going to try to be happy again because it’s going to hurt when I’m taken away.'”
Hackett said she was not her main character but understood her and her emotions, having gone through loss and grief herself.
“She’s a widow, I haven’t lost a husband. I had a miscarriage, so my connection to something I really love has been taken away from me and I’m dealing with it. “Hackett said.
Hackett is currently developing his next book, still awaiting some edits. After her experience writing the first book, she developed a system of waking up at 4 a.m. to write.
“I’m a mom of four, so it was like having a second job, rationalizing that in my mind,” Hackett said. Why am I doing this, I don’t have to, no one is paying me to do it. “
Other authors vary in genre from devotional to motivational to mystery thriller, religious fiction, historical fiction, children’s books and everything in between. Samantha Kooyman of Feed Your Sweet Tooth will also be offering treats at the fair.
“She’ll be there with her treats to help with the reading. It’ll be a lot of fun,” Keyes said.