NEW WORLD: Local YA author Megan Shepherd's newest book, The Cage, is set in an alien zoo whose inhabitants are abducted teens. Photo courtesy of the author

Author Megan Shepherd launches one series and sells another

Brevard native and best-selling YA novelist Megan Shepherd, the author of the Victorian Gothic Madman’s Daughter series, recently announced that she had sold The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, a middle-grade fantasy in the vein of The Secret Garden. The book had sold at auction, meaning that editors at several publishing houses bid for the chance to take it on.

NEW EDITION: A-B Tech's student literary journal The Rhapsodist is now in its fourth year. “It was a resource for me to recognize that the arts could be valued,” says Grey LaJoie, second from right, one of this year's editors.

AB Tech’s Rhapsodist celebrates its fourth year of publicatio­n

There’s more to The Rhapsodist than just getting student submissions (and some faculty offerings) into print. Students who produce the journa learn layout and graphic design, dealing with printers and publicizing the magazine (including producing videos for airing on the A-B Tech student channel), among other things. And according to the students, the journal inspires dedication and commitment.

GO WITH THE FLOW: Experienced flow artists and newbies gather for the weekly Hooping at Pritchard Park event every Tuesday evening. Photo by Tim Robison

Meditation in motion: Local flow artists use props for mental and physical health

It’s Tuesday night at the Bywater, a riverside bar in Asheville, and patrons sit in clusters under the stars. The largest group occupies one corner of the fenced-in compound next to an area marked off with orange ribbon. Suddenly, a man steps into this improvised ring and lights the grouped wicks at both ends of the staff he’s carrying. When the wicks burst into flame, he begins to spin the staff — around his hands, his arms, his shoulders and his waist — in a hypnotic series of patterns.

STORIFY: Asheville resident and first-generation Cuban-American Althea Gonzalez will tell stories as part of Latino Day, the July 5 program in this year's Stories on Asheville's Front Porch series. Photo by Rodney Smith of Tempus Fugit Design

Tell it like it is: Stories on Asheville’­s Front Porch series spotlights diversity

Before coming to Asheville, Sarah Larson, the founder/director of the Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch series, taught storytelling to high school students through a required course in genealogy. She encouraged her students to research their ancestors’ cultures, Larson says, “and then they had to learn a story from that culture.” Larson brought her passion for […]

Famous last words: Local mystery novelist Sallie Bissell tried her hand at other projects, but fans demanded that she return to her Mary Crow collection. “I guess I’ll just write Mary Crow until I drop dead," she says. Photo courtesy of the author

Building a mystery

Local author Sallie Bissell returns to her Mary Crow series Sallie Bissell describes herself as a “flatland Southerner,” and you can hear it in her voice. But this Nashville native who grew up reading Nancy Drew and the historical fiction of William O. Steele (now her touchstone for a good read), developed an ambition to […]

Have a Comic Christmas: five great graphic novels for younger readers-attachment0

Have a Comic Christmas: five great graphic novels for younger readers

Has this happened to you? You’re in the library or (worse) the bookstore, and your child approaches full of enthusiasm for a book that turns out to be a graphic novel. As a parent of an 8-year-old, I know I’ve been there, and I’ve talked to quite a few parents who seem gun-shy about spending money for something their son or daughter will read in less than an hour. Or which might contain inappropriate material.

It’s time to give partisan elections a try

In this year’s debate over partisan elections, I’ve noticed that some opponents of the idea seem not so much interested in helping people understand the issue as they are in scoring political points against current City Council members. So I think it’s time to take on the three biggest myths about partisan elections that are […]