Below is the press release on my book signing on Thursday.
Bristol Native Returns for Book Signing to Benefit United Way
(Williamsburg, VA • October 23, 2009) Bristol native and author Greg Lilly returns home for a book signing Thursday, October 29th at the Bristol Mall's Piccadilly from 5 – 7 p.m. to help support the United Way. Lilly grew up in Bristol, graduating from John S. Battle High School and Virginia Tech, and credits Southwest Virginia as inspiration for his storytelling drive.
His most recent novel Under a Copper Moon placed as one of the top ten historical novels in the nation-wide Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It tells the story of a mail-order bride in the copper mining boom era of the Arizona Territory during the1890s. "I lived for several years in Sedona, Arizona," Lilly says. "The copper mining town of Jerome seemed to be snagged on the side of a mountain ridge west of my house. Back in the 1930s, the place became a ghost town, but I always wondered what life was like leading up to the turn of the twentieth century when the New York Post, in 1901, labeled Jerome the 'Wickedest Town in America' and the money and good times shaped daily life."
In his novel Devil's Bridge, set in contemporary times, the main character deals with the terror of domestic abuse. "The story of the character Myra and her fear, isolation, and eventual recognition of the abuse that leads to her escape has been praised by critics and readers who told me of their similar experiences," Lilly explains. "In writing the book, I discovered the complex dynamics of abuser and victim relationships and how difficult it is for a victim to characterize their treatment as abuse." This storyline prompted Lilly to do several benefit book signings, and a portion of the proceeds from the Bristol book signing will be donated to the United Way to support its community-based objectives.
Also, Devil's Bridge places scenes in Bristol's John S. Battle High School and at Virginia Tech. "That was the first novel I wrote," Lilly says, "and I used parts of my background for the character Topher's background. He and Myra are friends in high school, then she goes to Radford and Topher attends Virginia Tech. After college they end up back in the Bristol area. Topher works at the Martha Washington Inn like I did before moving to Charlotte, N.C." He admits that Bristol created a base characterization for both Topher and Myra. "They're both grounded, but living in Charlotte's corporate environment skews their direction," he adds.
Another of his novels, Fingering the Family Jewels – a Derek Mason Mystery, features the first installment of a new mystery series. "The idea kernel came from my years of working at a large family-owned company," Lilly explains. "That situation opens up a lot of plots." The next book in the series is in production and scheduled for a summer 2010 release.
"Growing up in Bristol, I remember storytelling as a trait most people shared," Lilly says. "My parents, uncles and aunts, neighbors and friends could spin a tale that kept me enthralled better than any television show." Storytelling turned into writing and Lilly now has three published novels that he will have available at the book signing.
Lilly appears at the Bristol Mall's Piccadilly on Thursday, October 29 from 5 – 7 p.m. to sign books. A portion of the proceeds from all three books will be donated to the United Way of Bristol TN/VA.
More information about Greg Lilly and his novels can be found at www.GregLilly.com.
More information about the United Way can be found at www.UnitedWayBristol.org.
Here's a video invitation to the book signing.