Rolling with Stone

Feb 20, 2013

On Feb. 14, I had the pleasure of interviewing author Ron Rash, who will be reading from his new book Feb. 25 at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. Being new to the region, I wasn’t familiar with Rash’s writing. I went by Blue Ridge Books and purchased a copy of “Serena” (since his new book didn’t come out until Feb. 19) and quickly became absorbed in the shockingly brutal story. Part of me wishes I wouldn’t have become a fan before the interview because it made me nervous.

While others may get star struck by a famous actor or singer, trying to interview a great writer is intimidating for me. And Rash is most certainly an Appalachian historical treasure. He walks the thin line between honoring our rich history and exposing our checkered past. But I think he does a remarkable job of portraying his characters accurately without mocking – probably because he loves and respects the people of western North Carolina.

“Serena,” which is set in 1929 Waynesville, has been made into a major motion picture and will be released next year starring Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games”) and heartthrob actor Bradley Cooper (“The Hangover”). Lawrence and Cooper also starred together in the recent blockbuster “Silver Linings Playbook” with Robert De Niro. If their chemistry in that film is any indicator of how “Serena” will translate onto the silver screen, it will be a must see. But as always, you should read the book first.

Rash’s new book of short stories “Nothing Gold Can Stay” looks promising as well. Reading the synopses, one must wonder where he comes up with theses stories. Well all those questions and more can be found in my interview with him on page XX.

So be sure to pick up his new book on Feb. 19 and bring it to Blue Ridge Books to be signed at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 during Rash’s visit.

I’d like to thank everyone who has welcomed me to the community with open arms. It’s good to know people are reading The Guide and paying attention to vast array of events going on right here in Haywood County.

John Shafer, a tuba player with the Haywood Community Band, sent me a welcome email and reminded me that the band’s free concerts will be back in full swing the third Sunday of the month starting in May at the Maggie Valley Pavilion. Thanks John — I’m looking forward to it.

Kay Miller at The Classic Wineseller called to welcome me and talked me into coming out last Friday night to hear “Sugar” Barnes and Dave McGill during Friday Night Live. My husband Matt and I had a great time. Our lives are so busy that we often get into the habit of being couch potatoes when we do find time to spend together. But I don’t think that is going to be much of an option for us here, which is a good thing!

Here is my itinerary for this Saturday:

Blue Ridge Bridal Show

Saturday will be a very busy day. My first stop will be at 10:30 a.m. at the Blue Ridge Bridal Show at Shackford Hall, Lake Junaluska. While I’m three years passed the point of planning a wedding, it should be reminiscent to see brides-to-be getting excited about their big day. You know, if you can’t join ‘em, you can live vicariously through ‘em. So if I point a camera in your face — smile for me please! Local experts will be on hand to answer questions and attendants can win some great door prizes. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Mountaineer’s Blue Ridge Bride 2013 Magazine, which has great resources for your upcoming wedding in Haywood County.

Polar Plunge

I plan to make my way over to the Polar Plunge benefit for Kids in the Creek at 11:30 a.m. at the Lake Junaluska beach. This is the type of event where I am happy to be a spectator and not a participant. I will be happy to take pictures of people running into Lake Junaluska on a day the temperature is expected to be in the 40s. Luckily the plunge will be quickly followed by a hot chili lunch. The better the costumes, the better my photos will be so by all means, go all out. Proceeds benefit Haywood Waterway's Kids in the Creek program, which is great program that teaches kids about water quality and marine organisms through hands-on learning experiences.

As always, if you have story ideas for The Guide or have ideas on how we can improve it, shoot me an email at jstone@themountaineer.com or call me at 276-6286.

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