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Romance Writer, Local Poet to Be Featured at Book Festival

Dalton State welcomes two female authors, one a poet and the other a bestselling writer of contemporary romance, as featured artists at this year’s Eighth Annual  Book Festival to be observed at Roberts Library April 3 and 4.

Jennifer Probst, whose romance novel The Marriage Bargain was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012 and spent 26 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, will speak about her journey as an author on Tuesday, April4, at 12:15 p.m. at Roberts Library.

According to Roberts Library Director Melissa Whitesell, Probst will read featured selections from her novels and share her experiences from being a fledgling writer to hitting the bestseller list. Her first nonfiction book, Write Naked: Secrets to Writing Bestselling Romance and Navigating the Path to Success, will be released March 31. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing following her reading.

Probst makes her home in upstate New York where she lives with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Her sons, Probst says, keep her “active, stressed, joyous and sad that her house will never be truly clean.”

The book festival opens Monday, April 3 at 3 p.m. with readings by Dr. Marsha Mathews, a professor of English at Dalton State and award-winning poet. Mathews will read from her newest collection, Growing Up with Pigtails, which, according to the author, “presents both narrative and lyrical reflections on that sometimes troubling, sometimes triumphant experience of growing up, girl.”

Her other titles include Hallelujah Voices about pivotal moments experienced by an Appalachian church congregation and its pastor, Sunglow & a Tuft of Nottingham Lace, a collection of love poems that won the Red Berry Editions 2011 Chapbook Award, and Northbound Single-Lane about a woman moving on from a failed marriage to travel and raise her children.

Mathews is the recipient of the Orlando Prize for Flash Fiction from AROHO (A Room of Her Own Foundation for Women) and has published both poetry and fiction in literary periodicals such as Appalachian Heritage, Broad River Review, Greensboro Review, The Los Angeles Review, Pembroke Magazine, Raleigh Review, and anthologies including Literature Today. She is actively researching and writing Beauty Bound which explores the extremes people will go in pursuit of beauty.  

“Since 2010, the Derrell C. Roberts Library has hosted an annual book festival to provide our campus and community a free opportunity to listen to and engage with amazing authors,” said Whitesell. “If you like learning about books, talking about books, and/or reading, you’ll love this event!”

“Visitors will have a chance to buy books in different genres and have them signed by the authors,” she continued. “Those interested in a career as a writer will receive helpful tips about how to publish, work with an editor, and use new web and social media sites to market your work.”

Both programs are free and open to the public. Those with questions are welcome to contact Roberts Library at 706-272-4583.