Share This Page

Authors will speak about histories, mysteries and more

| Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 7:26 p.m.
Word Association Publishers
Joseph Szalanski, author of “Boarding the Westbound”
Word Association Publishers
Terry Mowrey, “Wolverine Mechanical Toys”
Word Association Publishers
Author Ernest D. Spisak

If the idea of hearing one author speak is appealing, why not a whole bunch of them — in one evening?

“A Gathering of Authors” will showcase 17 authors, many residing in the Alle-Kiski Valley, at a free event Nov. 7, for the first time at People's Library of Lower Burrell. The library is celebrating its 85th anniversary.

Created in 2012 by Bill and Linda Davis of Brackenridge, and sponsored by Tarentum's Word Association Publishers, the event offers guests a chance to meet the authors, buy books, participate in a Q&A session and listen to the authors speak about their writing.

“Our first gathering had eight authors, then we grew to 12, and this time, we will feature 17. Our last event had a turnout of over 80 people. This one is our last of the year,” says Linda Davis, wife of participating author Bill Davis (C. William Davis III). “We have them about every two months.”

When book-store chain Borders closed nationwide in 2011, frequent guest author Bill Davis found he no longer had a local venue to discuss and sell his books.

“I was a featured local author at Borders,” Davis says, “and then, they closed, Internet sales of books boomed and the book stores took a hit.” Linda Davis approached Word Association Publishers and suggested “putting together a gathering of authors. They said it sounded like a great idea.”

Bill Davis, 69, has penned a three-volume mystery trilogy called “The Clive Aliston Mystery Series,” which introduces the reader to Pennsylvania Sheriff Clive Aliston, a no-nonsense lawman with a relentless crime-fighting side and a softer side.

“I've been writing since high school and — after I retired from Allegheny Ludlum — I wrote my books. I'm currently working on my fourth, a different book, featuring short stories.”

The books offered will represent a variety of topics: From Depression-era events to murder, from sports to religious sojourns, there is something for everyone.

Author Joe Szalanski, 73, never knew his father while growing up in Vandergrift. “My father died when I was an infant. When my mom died in 2002, I found my father's detailed journals of his travels as a hobo during the Depression.”

Szalanski wrote “Boarding The Westbound” in 2005.

“My dad left in 1932 when he was single, during the Depression, and was gone about four months. He was 22 years old, and traveled the rails as a hobo and made it to 48 states. He considered it an adventure. His journals were so detailed they provided the basis for the story.”

Szalanski has participated in several Gathering events and enjoys “interacting with the audience.”

Retired veteran reporter Pat Condelli of New Kensington dubs herself the “Cookie Queen” and provides free cookies at the Gathering evenings, and promotes her three books.

“I bring my cookies and sell them, too,” Condelli says. “It's such a great gathering, and the audience participation is so good. It's fun, it's interactive, and I love hearing all of the other authors speak and present their books.”

Condelli has written three books: “Royal Recipes From the Castle of The Cookie Queen,” “Hassle-Free Holidays,” and “Never Clean Another Toilet Again.”

Area libraries have played host to the Gathering group. “We always offer a raffle basket of books,” says Linda Davis,

“It's $5 a ticket and has a book from all of the authors, and the proceeds go as a donation to the library. The winner can have their books signed, too, while they are there meeting all of the authors.”

Each author has a five-minute presentation and, afterward, guests ask questions.

Word Association Publishers, Tarentum-owned and operated by Tom and Francine Costello, has published works for 25 years. The self-publishing company selects, accepts and edits submitted manuscripts.

Joyce Hanz is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.