New York, NY – July 19th, 2021 – The coronavirus pandemic brought the literary world to a halt with abrupt cancelations for book signings, library appearances and literary conferences. During these difficult times, many authors were unable to launch their new books and, more importantly, promote them. As book sales dwindled, many were unsure where to go or what to do. Now that the pandemic is winding down, three authors who reunited at their 50th Class Reunion have decided to band together in hopes of boosting their recent book releases.
As publishers and writers emerge from the pandemic, they tell a mixed story. There are winners and losers with the big five publishers experiencing increased sales from 5 to 7 percent because they were better prepared for maneuvering the online marketplace. However, many independent writers have not fared as well. The pandemic has dramatically changed how independent writers and the less subsidized publishers find their readers. Beginning with the Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, these authors will be free to engage with avid readers by greeting them face-to-face and discussing their books.
Meet The Authors:
Tesa Jones writes historical fiction in the form of a family saga spotlighting relationships during the social upheaval and culture changes of the Twentieth Century. As an educator, she fondly recalls bumping into one of her English teachers, Mr. Robert James, a decade after (Fort Hunt High School) graduation. “While I was shopping in the grocery store — I ran into Mr. James. I recognized him instantly and was thrilled when he recognized me too. As we chatted in the cereal aisle, Mr. James eventually asked me,‘So, did you ever write a book’?” Jones, who was shocked by his question because she had never mentioned her dream of being an author, replied “No.” Mr. James immediately responded, “I always thought — of all of my students — that YOU would be the one to publish a novel.” One sentence from Mr. James gave Jones the courage she needed. “Those inspirational words changed my life. That night — with my husband and our baby sleeping down the hall — I started pounding on the keys of my typewriter.” She currently has two novels: Reflection of Memories and Cobwebs of Time.
Norwood Holland is a freelance writer, lawyer, and author of the Drew Smith Series based on the capers of an urban trial attorney. Norwood, a labor lawyer who spent 30 years in law firms and government agencies. He remembers his 10th Grade English teacher Mrs. Alexander giving out poem critique assignments. She had the peculiar ability to pique the interest of the only teenage Black boy in the class by assigning him The Creation from God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson. Norwood would later learn the American writer and lawyer was a civil rights activist and something of a Renaissance man. Along with his brother, Rosamond, they composed the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” He wrote the 1927 bestseller The Autobiography of an Ex Colored Man. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to various diplomatic posts. Later in his life Johnson would occupy the Spence Chair of Creative Literature at Fisk University, a historically Black college and Norwood’s alma mater. Norwood credits Mrs. Alexander with launching him on an enlightening and inspiring literary journey.
Brian Boger, author of Southern Fate, and Champagne Friday also has fond memories of his high school days. It is where he met his wife. They have three children, one of which followed in Brian’s footsteps practicing property law in South Carolina. Brian says his English teachers instilled in him an appreciation for the written word providing him a solid foundation in the study of law and literature.
The new writer trying to launch a debut novel during the pandemic was at a severe disadvantage. Boger, Jones and Holland have found it easier to connect with old readers and make new ones at in-person events. This trio of writers is anxious to resume building their fan base at bookstores and literary events. By launching this marketing alliance at the Winston-Salem Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, the writers believe there is power in numbers and hope to weather the recovery by sharing their readers, combining their marketing skills and appealing to a bigger audience through greater foot traffic.
Catch up with these authors during their in-person book signing event at the Winston-Salem Bookends Book Festival on September 25, 2021.
To learn more about these exciting authors, visit their official websites at: