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Norman Chastain

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Local mystery writers to share secrets at two-day literary festival
Tuesday, January 22, 2008  5:32:00 AM

by Norman Chastain

Mystery writer, Norman Chastain, will be a featured author at the 6th Annual ''Murder Goes South''

By Amanda Crissup
Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer

SMYRNA - Something wicked this way comes on a dark and stormy night in a city that holds its secrets when the Friends of Smyrna Library host the sixth annual Murder Goes South event this weekend at the Smyrna Community Center.

A festival for readers of Southern mystery books, the two-day bibliophile bonanza features keynote speaker Karin Slaughter, author of the international best-selling Grant County series.

Friday night includes dinner and a book discussion with Ms. Slaughter, while Saturday attendees can sit in on workshops and panel discussions with the writers behind the whodunits.

"It's a fun day," said Linda Evans, president of the Friends of Smyrna Library. "It's a chance to get to know some famous writers and a chance to get to know some new writers."

Saturday's event will feature Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson, co-authors of the Body Farm series and consultants for murder-mystery TV shows "Bones," "CSI" and "Law and Order."

Other Southern mystery writers at the event include Philip DePoy, Brandon Massey, Claire Matturro, Linda Berry, Glynn Marsh Alam, Wendy Webb, Mary Wilburn, Nash Black and Cobb County mystery writers Walter Sorrells, Susan Goggins and Norman Chastain.

These writers pay homage to the region and its unique culture, with stories set in the South. But the literary idea of the Southern mystique is not a new concept, said Powder Springs author Ms. Goggins.

"Southerners have a certain voice … it's been that way since Faulkner and Welty," she said. "Maybe it's because we have such a tradition of storytelling here that we just know how to spin these yarns."

Writing under the pen name Raven Hart, Ms. Goggins writes the Savannah Vampires series. Marietta writer Walter Sorrells also uses a pen name - or in his case, two.

Sorrells has published several legal thrillers under his own name, but also writes as Lynne Abercrombie and Ruth Birmingham.

"The South is just a funky place," he said. "There are a lot of good stories here to be written about."

First-time published author Chastain of Marietta agrees. His novel, "After the Game," is set in Atlanta, but finding personalities for his mystery was just a matter of taking note of the world.

"There are some fascinating stories here, too, if you keep your eyes and ears open," Chastain said.

Ms. Evans said as an avid reader, novels set locally shed light onto real life mysteries, such as the death of hiker Meredith Emerson.

"It brings the everyday into perspective," Ms. Evans said. "I can understand the locale or the setting and how a body can get lost in the mountains or in the swamps."

Entry fee for both days is $50 and $30 for one day. Friday's dinner will be catered by Zucca Bar and Pizzeria. For more information, visit .
Murder Goes South Article at MDJ

 More News about Norman Chastain
Murder Goes South' Writers Festival Asks 'After the Game' Author to Appear - 8/11/2006 12:37:00 PM

Signed Copies of AFTER THE GAME Available - 8/8/2006 8:56:00 AM

Google Book Search Adds 'After the Game' - 7/17/2006 11:37:00 AM

Tampa Book Buzz Features 'After the Game' Author - 6/29/2006 12:30:00 PM

After the Game' Reviewed by Lighthouse Literary - 6/19/2006 1:59:00 PM

Borders Lists 'After the Game' - 5/18/2006 7:41:00 AM

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