Conscious party: Spellbound hosts author Marcus Sedgwick

PEN PALS: All event proceeds plus 20 percent of book sales at author Marcus Sedgwick's upcoming local appearance will benefit The Literacy Council of Buncombe County, a nonprofit that provides tutoring and other literacy resources to the community. Images courtesy of the author

WHAT: A presentation by author Marcus Sedgwick with food and drink

WHERE: Twisted Laurel

WHEN: Tuesday, April 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

WHY: On the publication day of his latest young adult novel Saint Death, British-born writer Marcus Sedgwick will stop in Asheville, launching his work while serving as the special guest speaker for a Literacy Council of Buncombe County fundraiser. The event is hosted by Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, whose owner Leslie Hawkins calls the new book evocative, beautifully written and timely.

“It starts off with the body of a young girl being found floating in the Rio Grande,” she says. “And then it takes us to these small, almost cardboard-type villages along the border and [introduces] us to a teenage boy who lives in one of those. It’s one of the most dangerous spots along the border, and he ends up getting involved in helping his friend, who has made the mistake of stealing some money to try and smuggle his girlfriend and their baby across the border to safety in the U.S. Now he’s in trouble because of the people he stole it from.”

She continues: “It kind of gives you an insight into what it is like to actually be living that reality day after day — the harshness from both sides of the border.”

Hawkins expects Sedgwick to speak about Saint Death and his writing process before signing books for attendees, each of whom will get a hardcover copy with admission (with the option to purchase from his back catalog). “Even though a lot of his books, including this one, have dark, heavy themes, he seems like someone who has a really good sense of humor,” she adds.

Fellow young adult writer and local performance poet Allan Wolf — who recently released Who Killed Christopher Goodman? — will emcee the event in Twisted Laurel’s upstairs space. There, guests can also enjoy appetizers (vegetarian and vegan options available) and a nonalcoholic beverage with their ticket price.

For more information or to purchase tickets ($45), visit


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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