TEXARKANA, Ark. -- About 27 authors, both local and national, convened for the annual Gathering of Authors at Circle J Church, the second time that venue has hosted the event. Begun by local author Tammy Thompson 12 years ago as a way to meet other local writers, the event since has expanded to include writers from all over.
"There was such a response to the original event in 2010, we did two of them that year," said Thompson. "Since then, it has grown rapidly each year."
The authors that show up each year bring a range of genres with them. This year, genres included the young adult, mystery, romance, fantasy and science fiction.
D.C. Gomez, local fantasy author and citizen of Wake Village, Texas, said she had been coming before she became a published author herself.
"I've been a fan of this long before I started writing," she said. "This is a great way to meet authors whose work you love, and meet fans of your work. It is a humbling thing to meet people who want to meet you because they love what you create."
Gomez has walked the floor herself and picked up some books.
"I talked with Ms. Dana Wayne," she said. "She writes romance books but also did a cookbook. I picked up one of those. Just this event is great fun, exciting. I'm sitting here, sandwiched between a children's author and high fantasy author. This is a learning environment for a publishing author, learning to balance promotion with the creative side. A show like this is also just a chance to be there for your readers."
Gomez also has a new book series coming out, the Elisha and Elija Chronicles, the first book is titled "Recruited."
"This series is about a post-apocalyptic Texas, starting day one after the end of civilization brought about by a war between humanity and witches," she said. "The apocalyptic setting of the stories is the result of that conflict."
Thompson is working her 10th book, but keeping is under wraps, only saying that autism will be one of the themes and that subject was also the inspiration for this year's Gathering of Authors.
"The proceeds will go to local autism efforts," said Thompson. "This will help out families dealing with autism needs, supplies, education and more."
Thompson credits lots of help for enabling Gathering of Authors to take place.
"It takes everything I have to put this show on," she said. "All the material, all the prizes, all of it, I could not do it alone. It takes the community coming together to pull this off."
(For more information about Gathering of Authors, go to gatheringofauthors.com, or call 903-701-1205)