Saturday, May 2, 2015 marked the date for the inaugural Local Author Fest at the Athens-Limestone County Public Library. The Ardent Writer Press was in attendance at the beautiful new complex with several authors. Publisher Steve Gierhart started off the event by talking to patrons and other authors about the challenges of getting published. He was followed by several author panels, held by genre type. All of the Ardent Writer Press authors in attendance, Joe Connaughton, Charles Farley, Annie Laura Smith and Greg Starnes, participated, providing insights into the background and publication of their own novels and books.  The new public library opened in December, 2014.


Ardent Writer Publisher Steve Gierhart talks to “Getting Published”


Joe Connaughton (Tales of the 319th) talks to a fan


Charles Farley (Hotel Monte Sano) talks to a library patron


Greg Starnes (Hollers from the Hollows) enjoys a moment with Paula Laurita, ALCPL Director


Annie Laura Smith (Twilight of Honor-far left) and Steve Gierhart listen to Charles Farley discuss Hotel Monte Sano

Steve Gierhart
Dale “Steve” Gierhart is a retired business manager for the United States Army. Based in Huntsville, Alabama on Redstone Arsenal, his career lasted from 1975 to 2010 in which he managed contracts, finances/accounting, and cost estimating for several missile defense systems, among which were Stinger, Avenger, Chaparral, Sentinel, JLENS, SLAMRAAM, and Non-Line of Sight.  The author wishes to thank the many co-workers, peers, and contractors who made these programs successful.  It is their tireless work that brought these systems to the soldier that needed them.  While budget constraints made it difficult for some of their work to see its full potential, they never blinked, they adjusted.  They persevered. Steve hails from Shawnee, Oklahoma; but most of his adult life has been spent in the beautiful hills of North Alabama where he lives with his wife, Bonny, who raises Tennessee Walking Horses. Between them, Steve and Bonny have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. Steve enjoys writing now that he is retired and plans more excursions of the imagination. He and Bonny, a retired engineer who worked as a contractor on several NASA and Army programs, will travel in their retirement though 15 horses, 4 dogs and 3 cats can crimp the best of plans.