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Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25.

East Asheville history and sites

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Feb 27.

The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History. Last reply by Scott Dockery Feb 16.

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Julia Nunnally Duncan updated their profile
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Lyndsay Eli with GUNSLINGER GIRL (YA Novel) at Spellbound Children's Bookshop

January 20, 2018 from 6pm to 7pm
Are you a fan of The Hunger Games?  Then picture what Katniss would be like - with a gun.  That's just a taste of the "new" West action Lyndsay Eli brings to Spellbound Children's Bookshop with Gunslinger Girl.  She shares her debut novel on Saturday, January 20, at 6 p.m. The US has been fractured by a Second Civil War. Serendipity 'Pity' Jones finds a home of sorts in the corrupt, lawless city of Cessation (think Las Vegas on steroids).  Her shooting skills make her a star of the Theater…See More
Nov 20
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Cherokee and WNC music and dance events

Two Big Cultural Events in December in Hendersonville & Ashevillefrom press releaseThe Center for Cultural Preservation, WNC’s cultural history and documentary film center, presents, Cherokee Music and Dance on Thursday, December 7, 7 p.m., Blue Ridge Community College’s Thomas Auditorium.  Tickets are $5. The screening of A Great American Tapestry will be held on December 2, 2 p.m., at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Reuter Center, UNC Asheville.  Tickets for that event are…See More
Nov 15
Spellbound posted events
Nov 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Battery Park Hill through the ages

Battery Park through the Years by Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTIONS: 1) Present-day view of Battery Park Apartments from…See More
Nov 6
Mark de Castrique posted a blog post
Oct 13
Rob Neufeld's discussion was featured

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Oct 8
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event

Julia Nunnally Duncan at MACA Authors' Booth

October 14, 2017 from 9:30am to 1:30pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be signing her new books A Part of Me and A Place That Was Home at the Mountain Glory Festival in downtown Marion on Saturday, October 14, from 9:30-1:30. She will be located at the MACA Authors' booth on Main Street.See More
Oct 7
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Sample 8 Great Smokies Writers at Malaprop’s, Oct. 15

Writers in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP)read atMalaprop's Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, 3 p.m., Sun.,Oct. 15 Elizabeth Lutyens, editor of the GSWP’s Great Smokies Review, leads the Prose Master Class and will host the reading. ·        Ellen Carr, who works in the financial industry, will read excerpts from her novel of uneasy relationships, Unmanned. ·        Sarah Carter, an artist and photographer who will publish an excerpt of her novel, Jolene, Joe-Pye,…See More
Oct 6
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

The Douglas Ellington effect: An Appreciationby Rob NeufeldIMAGE: Douglas Ellington’s original drawing for a City Hall-County Courthouse Art Deco complex.            “Dear Douglas,” Kenneth Ellington wrote his brother, the 38-year old Pittsburgh architect, on May 6, 1925, “I know things are…See More
Oct 6
Mark de Castrique posted a blog post

How To Kill Your Reader

Danger is a crucial element in a mystery novel. A killer is on the loose and no one is safe. But sometimes the killer can be the writer, and the victim, the reader.I'm talking about when the author turns into a preacher and the story becomes a sermon. Now I am not against using a mystery novel for social commentary. Writing doesn't happen in a moral vacuum, and, after all, isn't a mystery a morality play? As fellow North Carolina author Margaret Maron said there is no topic that can't be dealt…See More
Oct 5
Mark de Castrique posted a video

Hidden Scars - A Sam Blackman Mystery

Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson investigate a 70-year-old death that unleashes a killer.
Oct 3
Mark de Castrique posted a discussion

Black Mountain College as Backdrop for Mystery

My new book, HIDDEN SCARS, is released Oct 3rd.  D.G. Martin notes the star of the story is Black Mountain College.  http://chapelboro.com/town-square/columns/one-on-one/one-one-lost-college-still-shinesSee More
Oct 3
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Upcoming book--Sacred Sites for Secular Times

Sacred Sites for Secular Times: 50 Commemorative Experiences in Western North Carolina by Rob Neufeld              Among the many sites dedicated to history, there are some—both overbooked and overlooked—that provide full and moving experiences.  They involve a physical component, connecting to landscape; an imaginative one, entering other times and minds; and an interactive one, maintaining relevance.             The entries in this book help create full experiences through descriptive…See More
Sep 25
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Sep 22

Danger is a crucial element in a mystery novel. A killer is on the loose and no one is safe. But sometimes the killer can be the writer, and the victim, the reader.

I'm talking about when the author turns into a preacher and the story becomes a sermon. Now I am not against using a mystery novel for social commentary. Writing doesn't happen in a moral vacuum, and, after all, isn't a mystery a morality play? As fellow North Carolina author Margaret Maron said there is no topic that can't be dealt with in a mystery novel. The problem occurs when the author's opinions come across so heavy handedly that the issue is not the context for the story but the story becomes the platform for the issue, robbing the reader of the opportunity to draw his or her own conclusions.

One safer technique is to draw from the Past as a way to compare and contrast issues in the Present. I love F. Scott Fitzgerald's last line in 
The Great Gatsby – "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the Past." And William Faulkner's line from Requiem for a Nun – "The Past is never dead. It's not even Past." Pulling the Past into the Present is the way I've structured my Sam Blackman series, and the technique has allowed the reader to examine issues within the context of a story. For example, the 1967 Supreme Court ruling on Loving v. Virginia struck down the old Confederate states' ban on interracial marriage. My novel, A Murder in Passing, investigates a murder that occurred because of that ruling, but Sam and Nakayla, my interracial couple, happened to be investigating that death at the same time North Carolina was voting for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The parallels were clear for the readers to see on their own.

In my new Sam Blackman book, 
Hidden Scars, I wanted to address an issue that concerns me, namely the direction of education in North Carolina, where budgets are being slashed in public schools and universities for liberal and fine arts programs. I believe it is important to encourage the imagination and for students to learn how to think and express and not just what to think and express. The book uses famed Black Mountain College as the backdrop for a crime in the Present. For those not familiar with it, the small college near Asheville, NC, existed from 1933 to 1957, had the arts at its core, but taught science, math, and design, combining the imaginative with the pragmatic. Albert Einstein was on the Board of Advisers, world-renowned professors who fled Nazi Germany were on the faculty, and luminaries like Buckminster Fuller were involved in workshops which created his first successful geodesic dome. In the midst of a murder investigation, Sam and Nakayla learn the history of this revolutionary institution, and I hope the reader comes to appreciate its legacy as well.

The only preaching I hope I do in this book comes in what I consider a more appropriate venue - ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. "In the age of The Art of the Deal, the art of being – being loved, being compassionate, being welcoming – is an art I hope all the heroes of my stories personify, and an art we can practice and defend with the assurance that we, readers and writers alike, are on the right side of history."

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