Ardent Writer Press and Coffee Tree Writers attended Rocket City Lit Fest (RCLF) and a dinner party in celebration of RCLF at the farm of publisher Steve and Bonny Gierhart in Brownsboro. The dinner party was held on the Friday evening preceding RCLF which was held at the Von Braun Civic Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11.
Huntsville and the Von Braun Civic Center’s Rocket City Lit Fest (RCLF) was the place to be for writers and their readers on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11th. And for The Ardent Writer Press and the Coffee Tree Writers Group that was a good enough excuse for a party.
On Friday evening, October 9, Steve and Bonny Gierhart invited prominent writers and contributors for the Fest to their home in Brownsboro for beer, wine, steak and smoked chicken as well as the fellowship of literary artists with ties to the Press and Coffee Tree Writers.
Attending along with Ardent Writer and Coffee Tree writers were Homer Hickam (The Rocket Boys) and his wife, Linda, and Roger and Susan Reid, producers for Alabama Public Television and the University of Alabama’s Emmy awarded series, Discovering Alabama. Also attending was writer Robert Bailey, author of the well-received legal thriller, The Professor, and his wife, Dixie. Homer and Roger were both headliners for RCLF.
Appetizers and refreshments were outside for attendees at 6 p.m. along with the entertainment, Bob and Leo Larkin. Bob is a classically trained violinist who can also play a mean ‘fiddle’ with his wife, Leo, a former Tennessee harmonica state champion.
The dinner party ended at 8:30 in plenty of time for a good night’s sleep before attending the weekend festival in the South Hall of the VBCC in downtown Huntsville. Championed by director Ashley Chappell and her volunteer staff, things ran smoothly for the inaugural RCLF. The hard working and friendly staff were very helpful to both participants and visitors.
The Coffee Tree Writers Group also manned the Alabama Writers Forum’s booth during RCLF with Executive Director Jeanie Thompson talking to the public on Sunday, October 11.
Ardent Writer Press and Coffee Tree Writers and their friends participating in RCLF or the party included:
Carol Ealons (Tuxedo Junction-Right Back Where I Belong) and friend, Rose Jennings
Charles Farley (The Hotel Monte Sano and his Doc Berber “Secrets” Florida Mystery Trilogy) and wife, Patricia
Butch Carroll (Toker’s Blood) and wife and artist, Betty Carroll
Steve Gierhart (Shadow of the Conjurer) and wife, Bonny
Joe Connaughton (Tales of the 319th)
Annie Laura Smith (Twilight of Honor)
Shirley Garrett (Stop the Craziness: Simple Life Solutions) and husband, Bob
Mark Hubbs (The Archer’s Son and The Secret of Wattensaw Bayou) and wife, Phyllis
John Sims Jeter (…and the angels sang; brother of award winning and Alabama Writers Hall of Fame inductee Sena Jeter Naslund) and wife, Derelene
Eric Herbert (Butcher’s Bill)
Stacy Kingsley (zombie themed books such as Zombies are People Too! and Zombies Bite!) and husband, Aristo
Rob Williams (In Search of Brandon Springs), and wife, Gywn
Doyle Duke (Extended Vacation) and wife, Fay
J.D. Frost (Dollface and Face2Face, both of the Moses Palmer Crime Series novels), and wife and artist, Donna Frost
Bonnie Libhart (Invisible Lines and Born Again Marriage)
Dianne Burch (Maxnificent! The Polka Dot Pyrenees)
Mary Johnson (editor, Anne Rutledge’s Granddaughter of a Runaway Slave Boy) and sister Annie Wells.
Scott Hancock (Southern Fried Sci-Fi And Jambalaya Genres) and wife, Natha
Brett Jones (Pride: The Story of the First Openly Gay Navy Seal) CEO of Riley Security and partner, COO of Riley Security, Jason White
Jeanie Thompson (Executive Director of Alabama Writers Forum; author Seasons Bear Us: Poems)
Dan and Doris Posey (Coffee Tree Writers)
Jared and Dana Austin (Coffee Tree Writers)
Leo and Bob Larkin (Coffee Tree Writers)
John Langlois, webmaster for Ardent Writer, owner of Foggy Bottom Web Design, and wife, Marsha
Joe Connaughton (Tales of the 319th) was recently named “Knight” by the President of France for the Government of France’s highest military honor, The National Order of the Legion of Honor. Joe will receive his award for his military service in support of the invasion of France during WWII by the French Consulate in 2016.
The Gierhart family children, Erin and Justin Gierhart, also attended the dinner party along with Erin’s friend, Robert Lewis, and Justin’s wife, Faith. Bonny’s sister and her husband, Betty and Larry Augsburger attended along with long time friends, Richard and Brenda Parton, and Rich and Nancy Corbeille.
Photos are on the following page:
Photos from Bonny and Steve Gierhart’s RCLF Celebration Party
Photos from the Rocket City Lit Fest are on the next page: