Friday, January 9, 2015

How Book 'Em Came To Be

The Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair is just weeks away, and I'd like to take a few posts to explain how The Book 'Em Foundation came to be, how we established the annual Book 'Em North Carolina event, and what authors and visitors can expect on Saturday, February 28, 2015 when we hold our fourth BENC event, which is a multi-award-winning event.


My name is Patricia M. Terrell. To my friends, I am simply "Trish" and to readers and fans, I am p.m.terrell. Although I began writing in 1967 (and yes, that makes me feel REALLY old), my first book wasn't published until 1984, and my first suspense/thriller in 2002. I wrote (and still do) because I love writing, and I honestly can't think of a better way to spend my time.

When my first suspense, Kickback, was released in 2002, I traveled the Commonwealth of Virginia, signing books and providing proceeds to Virginia Crime Stoppers Association's local members, including the Chesterfield County/ Colonial Heights Crime Solvers, where I was honored to serve as their first female president.


While signing in Staunton, Virginia, I became acquainted with Waynesboro Police Officer Mark Kearney. Mark and I share a commitment to bettering our communities and as we talked, the subject fell to the link between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. Both of us began researching the correlation and the more we learned, the more we were committed to helping our communities by simultaneously raising the level of literacy and reducing crime rates.

As we pondered how we were to accomplish this, I realized that I, a lone author, was giving to Crime Stoppers and Crime Solvers organizations through the sale of my books. What if, I mused, I was able to pull together a half dozen authors to help me raise money for increasing literacy and reducing crime?

We put the word out and in a short period of time, we had not six authors but more than 75! We realized that this event was going to be larger than we'd ever imagined so we formed the non-profit (Virginia) Corporation, The Book 'Em Foundation.


Our first event was held in Waynesboro, Virginia and was so successful that we continued to hold the event annually. In addition to Waynesboro, they were also held in Lebanon, New Hampshire and Charleston, South Carolina.

When I moved from Virginia to Lumberton, North Carolina in 2004, I knew I wanted to establish an annual event here. It would be called Book 'Em North Carolina and would be not only a book fair in which books were sold to raise money for literacy and anti-crime efforts, but it would also include an annual writers' conference.

Tune in on Friday, January 16 to find out what was involved in getting the Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair started.