Union County

Union County Library to feature bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry

The view from the stage in downtown Waxhaw at a Jammin’ by the Tracks concert in 2014. The town is bringing the popular free Friday night series back for a second series.
The view from the stage in downtown Waxhaw at a Jammin’ by the Tracks concert in 2014. The town is bringing the popular free Friday night series back for a second series. LISA HOFFMAN

By the time the Fourth of July celebration is over, many will have exceeded their annual quota of bursting fireworks, sizzling burgers and blazing sunshine.

The Friends of the Union County Public Library have anticipated readers’ desire for mild stimulation of a different sort.

From 1-3 p.m. July 7, readers are invited to two hours of civility in an air-conditioned environment at Monroe Country Club where you can sample light hors’doeuvres and meet New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry.

Tickets for the event are $20 and can be purchased at any library or by calling Rebecca Walters at 704-843-7207.

Henry’s latest novel, “The Idea of Love,” will be in its third week in print following a release on June 23. There will be copies of all of the author’s books for sale, and Henry will autograph her work.

Part of the fun of an author event is learning how the author came to be a writer, and Henry offers her own circuitous path.

I learned on her website that she trained as a pediatric nurse and holds a master’s degree in child heath. She left nursing to raise her children and began writing down the stories that had already been in her head.

She said she took writing classes at Emory University, attending weekend writers’ conferences, and educating herself about the publishing industry, rising at 4:30 a.m. to write.

Now a full-time writer, wife, and mother of three, she lives in Mountain Brook, Ala. Her first book, “Losing the Moon,” was published in 2004.

Funds from this and other Friends of the Union County Public Library events help the library offer programs that are not included in the county budget.

The Summer Reading Program is chief among these. Lindsey Shuford, assistant library director said Every Hero Has a Story is the motto this summer at the Union County Public Library, with the launch of a new Superhero card design and the start of the superhero themed summer reading programs.

This year there are four programs for all ages:

▪ Read To Me for babies through age 3.

▪ Kids Summer Reading for pre-k through fifth-graders.

▪ Teen Summer Reading for rising sixth- to 12th-graders.

▪ Adult Summer Reading for everyone else.

Each program, funded by Friends of the Union County Public Libraries, has many special events and prize giveaways planned. To register for any of the summer reading programs or to see a full list of events and giveaways, visit the library website at www.union.lib.nc.us, or stop by any library location.

Jammin’ By the Tracks

Jammin’ by the Tracks has returned to the outdoor stage under the water tower in downtown Waxhaw.

The free Friday night concert series offered by the town of Waxhaw was to kick off on June 12 with the alternative sound of Underground Owls.

Waxhaw’s event planner, Lisa Hoffman, detailed the line-up for the balance of the summer. All performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday nights, and end by 9 p.m.

Vinyl Road Band will appear on June 19, followed by The Flatland Tourists on June 26.

The lineup for July starts with Dirt Poor on July 3. Ryan Keziah and the Outlaws are featured on July 10, followed by Smokin’Gunn, July 17, Game Face on July 24, and Red Face on July 31.

Information on each band can be found at www.reverbnation.com/venue/waxhawevents.

John Anderson is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for John? Email him at jafortrel@aol.com.