Lowcountry authors to gather for 'A "Novel" Wine Tasting and Literary Festival' at Ridgeland vineyard

eshaw@islandpacket.comOctober 20, 2013 

Cyndi Williams-Barnier and Jack Gannon, authors of "Murder in Twos and Threes," are the organizers of "A 'Novel' Wine Tasting and Literacy Festival, "which will be held Oct. 26 in Ridgeland.

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  • IF YOU GO

    What: A "Novel" Wine Tasting and Literary Festival

    When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 26

    Where: September Oaks Vineyards, 893 Grays Highway, Ridgeland

    Cost: Free

    Details: www.septemberoaks.com

Beaufort authors Jack Gannon and Cyndi Williams-Barnier were looking for a place to have a book signing when they had an idea.

What if they had a book signing not just for themselves, but for all of the Lowcountry's authors?

The duo, who co-wrote "Murder in Twos and Threes," found that place at September Oaks Vineyards in Ridgeland.

"What better place to have a book signing than a winery?" Gannon asked. "Wine and books. They go together perfectly."

After reaching out to a few local authors that they knew, Gannon said word spread quickly and the event mushroomed after that. More than two dozen authors, all from the Lowcountry, have committed to attending "A 'Novel' Wine Tasting and Literary Festival" on Oct. 26.

Gannon and Williams-Barnier researched how to properly host a literary festival, studying similar events such as the Savannah Book Festival and the S.C. Book Festival.

"One key thing was always to find something that made it unique and different," Gannon said. "That's how we came onto the title 'Novel' Literary Festival, so we could use the dual definition of the word, being both a written book as well as something unique." No other event in the area pairs books and wine together either, he said.

The two also went to the Beaufort County library and obtained a list of local authors to contact.

"It's quite a long list. We were surprised to see how many there were in the Lowcountry," Williams-Barnier said.

The list of authors attending include Roger Pinckney, two-time winner of the S.C. Fiction award, Carl T. Smith, author of "Lowcountry Boil," and Tim Johnston, founder of Short Story America.

The authors will be facing out toward the vineyards as they sell and sign their books. There will also be a stage for reading selections by various authors throughout the day.

Wine tastings and food will be for sale inside and outside. Southern Oaks, which grows muscadine and lenoir grapes, is making two new wines in conjunction with the festival, Williams-Barnier said.

"This is an opportunity for the public to meet and interact with all this local literary talent," Gannon said. "This is a chance for all of them to get together for a celebration of the literary arts."

Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.

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