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Amanda Jess
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Pictou County authors took up shop at Highland Square Mall on Saturday

NEW GLASGOW – A group of Pictou County authors are encouraging people to buy and read local books.

A group of Pictou County authors held a meet and greet in the Highland Square Mall on Nov. 30. In the back row, starting from the left are Jennifer Hatt, John Ashton, Susan Whistler, Sheree Fitch and Berta Grohmann-Babinec. Monica Graham, left, Sarah Butland and Heather Mackenzie sit in the front. 

Sarah Butland, an author of three books, set up a Meet Your Neighbourhood Author event in the Highland Square Mall on Saturday.

“I support the whole buy local (campaign), so this is a great way to do it,” she said.

The goal was to show people that there are plenty of talented authors in their area and they don’t need to shop elsewhere for great literature.

“Sarah did a marvelous job,” Monica Graham, freelance journalist and author of several books including “Fire Spook,” said about the organization of the event.

They had several people stopping by to look at the books they had for sale as well as to chat with the authors.

“There are talented people from River John to Lismore,” local historian and author John Ashton said. Many people from Pictou County sell their products around the world, but may not be in the forefront in their own town, he noted.

He thinks it would be great to see the idea grow from meeting local authors to meeting local artists, sculptors and other creative types.

“Don’t go to Halifax. Don’t go to Toronto. They’re here,” he said, noting that the creative economy is growing in the area.

Several authors were at the booth on Nov. 30, but there were many more that couldn’t make it, Butland said.

Butland moved back to Pictou County a year ago after living in Moncton for 15 years.

She left when she was 14, but the Northumberland shore was always her home.

As well as getting the word out, Butland wanted a chance to connect with other writers in the area.

She got serious about writing when she was only 10-years-old. She said she’s not sure where her inspiration comes from, as it seems to pop out of thin air.

However, she’s aware of the origins of her children’s book, “Sending You Sammy.”

It encourages children to focus on nutrition through the help of BananaBoy.

Her idea came out of reading articles about climbing child obesity rates and low literacy rates.

She also has a collection on short stories called Brain Tales and a novel for adults called Arm Farm. 

amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda

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  • Sarah Butland
    December 02, 2013 - 09:13

    The intention of the event wasn't to just buy local, any book purchase is great in my mind. the focus was to highlight the books/ authors that aren't so well known and easily accessed. Putting a locally written signed book on the shelf of someone who had everything was made easy on Saturday. And these books may not be as well known and available as some you mentioned. Thanks for reading, Sarah Butland

  • R. Selwyn
    December 02, 2013 - 01:59

    It is truly wonderful to have local authors. However, I am uncertain how good an idea it is to advise readers to limit their attention to local writers alone. Also, I am not quite sure why, but it sends a shiver up my spine when I hear a term such as "creative economy". The lives of many, if not all are vastly improved by being broadly and well read, from Homer to Earnest Buckler, Gilgamesh to Goethe and Anne of Green Gables.