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Four Seasons Books hosts event celebrating local authors

By Staff | Jun 29, 2018

Tabitha Johnston/Chronicle Author Raymond Keller shows some of his books during Four Seasons Books’ “Four Authors Out” event June 23. The event featured three authors — Gerald Swick, Candace Meredith and Keller — discussing their work. The fourth author was unable to attend due to weather.

Four Seasons Books hosted “Four Authors Out” on June 23 at its shop and Street Fest booth location on West German Street.

Due to the weather forecast, three of the four slated authors joined in the event – Gerald Swick, Candace Meredith and Raymond Keller.

“It was a way to provide space for local authors to reach larger crowds, and allowed the community to meet our local authors,” said Four Seasons Books owner Kendra Adkins, who said each author represented a different writing genre.

“I felt that Street Fest would be a good avenue for them,” said Adkins. “Street Fest draws a wide variety of people with varying interests, so there was something for everyone at our event.”

Adkins said the event seemed more successful than in the past, where one or two authors were present, and said she hopes to host a similar event next year.

Despite the authors’ differences, Adkins said they all shared one characteristic.

“All three of them are very personable,” Adkins said. “I try to find authors and events that will appeal to the community. I hoped they sparked a lot of conversation, and I hope it gave one more interesting spot for people to stop.”

Meredith, a mother of two and former enlisted marine from Winchester, Virginia, said she enjoyed being a speaker during the event.

“It was a great experience,” Meredith said. “I really liked the vibe of the town. It seems very laid back, but very mature – a great combination, to me.”

According to Meredith, her fiction, photography and poetry have one main purpose.

“The goal is to touch as many lives, to reach as many people possible through reading. I want my readers to feel something, to walk away with something based on what they read,” Meredith said. “I enjoyed being with other writers in front of the bookstore and being engaged with other people who shared my interests.”

Keller, a Navy veteran, writes books about the inhabitants of Venus.

“I enjoyed meeting people and sharing the information about our fellow inhabitants of the universe,” said Keller. He has taught Latin American literature and Spanish on the secondary and collegiate levels around the world, but has devoted the years of his retirement to writing books about the creatures from Venus whom he believes inhabit every planet in the solar system. Keller said his first experience meeting a Venusian was at a railroad trestle in Ohio in 1967.

Adkins said the event allows people with different experiences to come together.

“This is one of the good things about Street Fest,” Adkins said. “You get to meet people you would never meet in your day-to-day life.”