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Author, Author Event Slated At Lemmons Senior Center
Author and musician Major Mitchell will attend the Author! Author! event again to benefit the Friends of the Oakdale Library on April 17 at the Gladys Lemmons Senior Center, Oakdale. This years author event will feature several authors and Mitchell will also perform some traditional folk music from his new CD. - photo by COURTESY OF SOFIA HUDSON


An event to meet local, traditionally-published and self-published authors, have them sign books, and hear about creative writing process is planned for the second year.

The Author! Author! event hosted by the Oakdale Friends of the Library (FOL) is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Gladys Lemmons Senior Center, 450 East A St., Oakdale. The event coincides with National Library Week.

This year’s program theme is “Creating Western Lore” with the keynote address done by author D.B. Jackson, Oakdale High School creative writing teacher Chris Perez and some of his recently published students. Jackson brought an opportunity from the Western Writers of America to the OHS students and they completed a collaborative western novella. Also at the event, there will also be opportunity drawings, refreshments, and the chance to purchase the authors’ books. Author and musician Major Mitchell will open the event with traditional folk songs from his new CD.

The Author! Author! event was initially created to raise awareness for Measure T, which was the dedicated sales tax to support Stanislaus County libraries. Last year, 11 local authors attended the event. Several of last year’s authors will return again this year, as well as some new faces.

“It’s an opportunity for people to meet local authors and have a fun evening,” said Sharon Arpoika, President of FOL and retired public librarian. “And, it’s a way to encourage literacy in our community…and to support the local students’ writing project.”

For more information about Author! Author! or for tickets call 847-5454. Tickets for the event are also available in advance at Yogurt Station or are available at the door for $10.

Alphabetically listed below are biographies of the authors who will be in attendance at the event.

Claudia Hagen was the first commercially rated hot air balloon pilot in the Central Valley and introduced hot air ballooning to the Air Show Industry in the mid ‘80s. The Mystic High Adventures Of Fannie Flame And Crew is a behind-the-scenes look at Hagen’s struggles and triumphs while floating over and through 12 years of ballooning. The Night A Fortress Fell To Fairfield, her first book, details the night of Feb. 3, 1943, when a B-17 bomber crashed on her grandparents’ farm in Fairfield, Wash. Hagen will have both of her autographed books for sale at the Author, Author event.

D.B. Jackson’s debut novel, They Rode Good Horses (2010), won the Will Rogers Medallion Award. His follow-up novel, Unbroke Horses, (2012) earned him the 2013 Western Heritage Award in the Best Western novel category. New York editor, Patrick LoBrutto, editor of Stephen King and Louis L’Amour, predicted Jackson as the heir to the Elmer Kelton fan base.

Maureen Minnehan Jones is a registered nurse, guided imagery practitioner, holistic healer, author, and speaker. Her book Wisdom To Wellness: Healing Your Emotional Sufferings So The Physical Healing Can Follow won the 2012 International Book Awards in the self-help category. The book provides guiding examples of how true healing can happen. For those seeking freedom from the shackles of disease, this compassionate book reveals the author’s powerful healing technique, the MO (Modus Operandi) Technique.

Karen Kincy is the author of the thriller suspense novel, Diminished Responsibility. As a longtime resident of Modesto, it was an easy choice to make the city the setting for her first full-length novel. Prior to writing Diminished Responsibility, Kincy co-authored, four murder mystery theater plays.

Michelle A.B. McKenzie is an attorney turned Children’s Author. Her newest book published this March, Beaver’s Big Discovery, is the second is a series about a family of beavers who operate an ice cream factory in The Far Away Land. The books are silly stories intended to entertain preschoolers and young readers alike while introducing new vocabulary. They are available in paperback with an e-live digital version of the audio book, on CD-audio and as e-books.

Major Mitchell is the author of eight novels and two children’s books. He lives with his wife, Judy, in Northern California. A member of the Western Writers of America, and a frequent guest speaker at historical meetings and schools on the west coast, he has also written several songs, and will soon release a CD of traditional folk music.

Valerie Murphy is the author of Childrens Book Of Poems Schmoems, and the recently released children’s chapter book, The Gumshoes: A New Town, Oh Joy! Her new book, the first in a series, features 10-year-old Bug, a skateboarder who finds his new friends have very different interests from skateboarding. They call themselves The Gumshoes and they are a paranormal investigation club. Murphy is currently working on her first young adult novel. She has been a resident of Oakdale for over 10 years.

Claudia Newcorn is the author of the award-winning fantasy fiction books Crossover and Dark Fire, the first two scrolls in the Krisalys Chronicles of Feyree saga. Firestar, the third book in the trilogy, was published in November 2012. She is the TV show host of Central Valley Writers Workshop on KAZV-TV. Newcorn has enjoyed being a freelance writer and editor for over 10 years.

H.K. Nicholson, raised in a culture rich in oral history, spins the stories his family told ‘round the table or campfire in Beneath The Archers Tree. Nicholson depicts the stories much as they happened, but has changed the names of the characters. The book is dedicated to teachers, mentors and heroes. If you cannot find a hero, ask a Blue Star or a Gold Star Mother – one will tell you where a hero stands; the other will tell you where a hero rests. The humor of the working class and Native American culture come alive in his retellings.

Maya Torngren’s autobiography, Maya: The Story of a German War Bride, begins with her as a teenager growing up in Germany during Hitler’s regime. She spent the night of her fifteenth birthday huddled in the basement with her family as her hometown of Augsburg suffered its largest air raid of the war, during the coldest night of that year. After the war, she met and married an American soldier. Moving to America was just the beginning of many different experiences that awaited her. Later the couple and their four children left the U.S. to embark on an 11-month, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa, the Canary Islands, and Europe. Four years after their return to the U.S., they moved to California, where they remain to this day.