Ronald Kidd - October 2018

Another Great Year at the Southern Festival of Books

I loved my panel this year at the Southern Festival of Books! Great people, friendly audience, good questions, and a real sense of comeraderie among the panelists. The panel, shown above, consisted of (l-r):

  • Ellen Wittlinger, author of Someone Else’s Shoes
  • Kate Pritchard, moderator and librarian at University School of Nashville
  • Ronald Kidd, author of Lord of the Mountain
  • Vince Vawter, author of Copyboy

Thirty Years and Counting

More about the panel in a minute, but first I have to gush about the festival. My wife Yvonne and I left Los Angeles  in 1989, searching for a better place to live. We found it in Nashville. We knew things would be fine when we found a great bookstore (Davis-Kidd) and good Mexican food (San Antonio Taco).

An unexpected bonus was the Southern Festival of Books, which started the same year we arrived in Nashville. Which means this year’s festival was the 30th, and I’m one of the few people who has been to every single one, mostly as a fan but five times as a participant. It’s a wonderful three days, filled with panels, readings, presentations, and signings, along with music, poetry, drama, children’s activities, and plenty of good food.

Our Terrific Panel

This year our group immediately bonded, helped by the fact that Ellen and Kate are mother and daughter. Ellen’s book Someone Else’s Shoes tackles issues of suicide, depression, divorce, and step-parenting, all with wisdom and humor. 

Vince’s book Copyboy is about a road trip taken by Victor Vollmer, the same young man who told his story in Vince’s previous book Paperboy, a 2014 Newbery Honor Book.

My book Lord of the Mountain is a historical novel about the 1927 beginnings of country music in Bristol, Tennessee.

We fielded questions about where and how we write, how we research our books, and our topics and themes. Mostly, it was a chance to meet and share ideas with Ellen, Vince, and Kate.

Many thanks to Humanities Tennessee and the great people who run the Southern Festival!

A Halloween Bonus

For teachers and librarians, here’s a Halloween bonus: a discussion guide to Room of Shadows, my middle grade novel about Edgar Allan Poe. 

Its the story of David Cray, a boy who moves into a creepy old house in Baltimore with his mom and discovers that its haunted Poe’s spirit. Poe comes back to life, and David must face him down.

Click here for Room of Shadows guide

Now Available

  • Lord of the Mountain
    The “big bang” of country music in 1927 at Bristol, Tennessee.
    Read more
  • Room of Shadows
    Edgar Allan Poe returns and gets the glorious death he deserved.
    Read more
Learn about my books, plays, and music at
Download a sampler of chapters from three of my latest books.

Copyright © 2018 Ronald Kidd, All rights reserved.

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