July Popup Book Sale

Because our donation box is overflowing, we will be holding a short, weekend-only popup book sale from July 19-21. Please plan to stop by to take advantage of some book bargains.
The times of the book sale will be:
  • Friday, July 19, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m
  • Saturday, July 20, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 21, 12 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. BAG SALE
If you can volunteer your time to help with setup, sales, or breakdown, please sign up here or send an email with your available time to focplnc@gmail.com.

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Last Fridays Movie Nights

The FOCPL is sponsoring movie nights on the next two Hillsborough Last Fridays — free and suitable for the entire family. We hope you can join us!

Friday, June 28, 6:30 p.m. – We will be showing E. T. The Extraterrestrial
Friday, July 26, 6:30 p.m. – We will be showing WALL-E
Movies will be held in the meeting room of the library. Please come around to the side doors for entrance. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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Hillsborough Comics Fair – May 25

The Friends of the Orange County Public Library present the first Hillsborough Comics Fair, on May 25, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Orange County Public Library, downtown Hillsborough, North Carolina. Come meet local creators of comics and other nerdy goodness. Shop in our dealers room, take part in the cosplay contest, or discuss all things comic book! Kids will get free comics. Featuring Marvel Comics author and Princeless creator Jeremy Whitley! L Jamal Walton! Max & Morrow Dowdle! Thimsy! Samantha Bryant! And many more!

hillsborough comic fair.finalposterv2 copy

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Spring Book Sale

The Spring Book Sale is fast approaching, and this year we have extended our hours to give everyone plenty of time to come by. As always, the sale will be held in the Meeting Room of the Main Branch of the Orange Country Public Library in Hillsborough.

Opening night is Wednesday, April 24, from 4:00-7:30 — Friends Members Only. Stop by early for the best selection.
The sale is open to the public from Thursday, April 25, through Sunday, April 28. 
  • Thursday hours: 9:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday hours: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday hours: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday hours: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Do you have books you need to donate? We will be having a Book Drive on Saturday, April 20, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. so bring your unwanted books down to the library. All proceeds go to supporting library programs and equipment purchases.
And yes, we do need volunteers! If you would like to volunteer to help set up, work a sales shift, or break down, please do so on our sign-up sheet here. Or you can email focplnc@gmail.com and let us know when you’re available to help.

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Hillsborough Local Author Book Fair at a Glance

When: Saturday November 24, 10am-5pm

Where: The Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough


10-11 Poet Laureate

Jaki Shelton Green

  Dealer room set up, opens at 11
11-12 Barbara Claypole White

Morrow Dowdle

Carol Strickland

Samantha Bryant

Emily Beuhler

Anne Anthony

Piedmont Laureate


John Claude Bemis

Alan Gurganus


12-1 Lee Smith & Hal Crowther    
1-2 Anna Jean Mayhew   Lee Smith

& Hal Crowther signing

2-3 Laine Cunningham

Pam Baggett

Dori Anne Dupre

Elizabeth Hein

Harry Kavros

Nancy Haines

Max Dowdle


Anna Jean Mayhew


3-4 2018 Piedmont Laureate

Nancy Peacock

4-5     Reception


Jaki Shelton Green: Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate, teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies. Publications include: Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song (Carolina Wren Press), Feeding the Light (Jacar Press), i want to undie you (Jacar Press). Her awards include 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate, 2007 Sam Ragan Award in Fine Arts, and 2003 NC Award in Literature.

NANCY PEACOCK: Piedmont Laureate, Nancy Peacock is the author of the novels Life Without Water (chosen as a New York Times Notable Book), Home Across the Road, and The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson, as well as the memoir and “writing-in-the-real-world” guide A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning and Life.

Lee Smith: Lee Smith’s 17 works of fiction include the Civil War novel On Agate Hill, set mostly in Orange County. Her latest book Dimestore, is a memoir, also a love song and elegy for smalltown America. She lives in downtown Hillsborough where her house is often mistaken for the Burwell School. It is NOT the Burwell School, everybody!

Hal Crowther: Hal Crowther has appeared in Time, Newsweek, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Oxford American, Granta, the Independent, the Progressive Populist, and other independent weeklies around the country. He is the author of four books of essays including Unarmed but Dangerous: A Withering Attack on All Things Phony, Foolish, and Fundamentally Wrong with America Today.  Crowther is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, the Lillian Smith Book Award, and the Book of the Year award for essays from Foreward Reviews. He lives in Hillsborough, NC, with his wife, novelist, Lee Smith.

Allan Gurganus: Allan Gurganus, a North Carolina native, writes fiction including Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, White People and Local Souls.  He has won the National Magazine Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and four Emmys for adaptations of his work. Gurganus was named a Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is at work on a long novel, The Erotic History of a Southern Baptist Church.

Anna Jean Mayhew: Anna Jean (A. J.) Mayhew’s first novel, The Dry Grass of August won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Book Award from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. A Blackstone Audio book was followed by six translations. A. J. was a writer in residence for a month at Moulin à Nef Studio Center in Auvillar, France, where she worked on her next novel, Tomorrow’s Bread, to be published in the spring of 2019. She’s working on her third novel. More at annajeanmayhew.com

James Maxey: James Maxey’s mother warned him if he didn’t stop reading comic books they’d warp his mind. She was right! Unsuited for decent work, Maxey ekes out a living writing down his demented fantasies. His books include Bitterwood, Nobody Gets the Girl, and There is No Wheel.  In what’s certainly an omen of the end times, Maxey was named the 2015 Piedmont Laureate. Read more about him at www.jamesmaxey.net

John Claude Bemis: John Claude Bemis is the award-winning author of seven books for young readers including The Wooden Prince and The Nine Pound Hammer. He was selected as North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature and received the Excellence in Teaching Award from UNC-Chapel Hill for his work as an author-educator. He leads popular creativity workshops and writing retreats. Visit him at johnclaudebemis.com

Barbara Claypole White: Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White has created her own idiosyncratic niche in mainstream fiction: hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of Orange County, where she lives with her beloved menfolk. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son (a Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best Fiction 2105), Echoes of Family, and The Promise Between Us. To connect with Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com

Laine Cunningham: In a style compared to Ian McEwan (Atonement), Laine Cunningham’s books give voice to people who have been silenced. Her latest novel, Reparation, follows a Native American man as he struggles to save his sister from a peyote cult. Laine’s debut, The Family Made of Dust, is destined to become the next The Book Thief. Fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Sharp Objects will be drawn to her dark second novel, Beloved.

Shannon Moore Fitzgerald: Shannon Fitzgerald has been enjoying children’s books her whole life, as an Elementary school teacher, mother, childcare provider, and of course as a child herself – it’s no wonder she loves to write them! She creates books that help children connect to their feelings and special moments in their lives. Shannon loves to visit classrooms sharing her books and the writing process with students. She lives in Hillsborough NC with her husband, daughter, and a large orange tabby cat named Pumpkin.

Samantha Bryant: Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher, a mom, and a novelist. Her
secret superpower is finding lost things. She writes The Menopausal Superhero series, and other feminist leaning speculative

Harry Kavros: Harry Kavros wanted to preserve his grandmother’s memory. So he went to live in the Cretan mountain village where she grew up, interviewed locals who remembered her, and wandered around the island. The result is Dandelions and Honey, a book of essays about Greek memories, food, religion, and rebellions — interspersed with stories of his grandmother’s childhood and the fairy tales her mother told her.

Frances M. Wood: Frances M. Wood was a reader who became a librarian who became an author. Always, she has been a writer. A former California girl, she moved to North Carolina as a young women, and has lived here ever since. You can learn about her books at www.francesmwood.com.

Elizabeth Hein: Elizabeth Hein writes women’s fiction with a bit of an edge. Her novels explore the role of friendship in the lives of adult women and themes of identity. How To Climb The Eiffel Tower follows one young woman as she navigates the world of cancer treatment with the help of her friends. Overlook and Escape Plan chronicle how a small group of women bands together to free themselves from terrible marriages and forge their own paths in life. You can learn more about Elizabeth’s books at ElizabethHein.com.

Anne Anthony: Anne Anthony’s career spans diverse fields — community organizer, social worker, technical writer, software project manager and business analyst. Most recently she escaped the frosty North to the warmth of North Carolina where she writes full time. She’s been published in Prime Number Magazine, North Carolina Literary Review, Carolina Woman, Dead Mule School for Southern Literature and elsewhere. She recently released The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory, an anthology of stories selected for adults experiencing memory changes. Check out her website at anneanthony.weebly.com.

Dori Ann DuprÉ: Dori is the author of the international award winning debut novel, Scout’s Honor, and Good Buddy, her second novel, currently represented. She has several published short stories and poems and serves as a contributing blogger to the Hope For Widows Foundation. Dori is launching her free grief writing workshop, Grieve the Write Way, in 2019. Lastly, she is the proud mother of two young adult daughters, works full time for the state of North Carolina, is a United States Army veteran, and currently resides in Raleigh with her two dachshunds, Stretch and Slinky.

Emily Buehler: Emily’s background in chemistry and years as a bread baker led her to write Bread Science, a book on the science and practice of bread-making. Her second book, Somewhere and Nowhere, is a memoir of a bicycle trip from New Jersey to Oregon. She is currently working on three fiction novels—one science fiction, one women’s fiction, and one fairytale romance. She’s also a freelance copyeditor, and if she has any free time, she usually just wants to read. Check out her website for news, classes, tips for writers, and recipes: http://emilybuehler.com. Find her on Twitter as @ephemerily.

Max Dowdle: Max Dowdle is the creator behind the mind-bending graphic novel Shattered With Curve Of Horn, as well as co-author and artist of An Unlikely Refugee, a non-fiction graphic novel held in the collection of the Smithsonian Institute. Painter, writer, teacher, Max Dowdle lives in North Carolina, the state of his birth, with his wife and daughter, where he continues to seek illumination of life through ever-expanding expressions of art.

Morrow Dowdle: Morrow Dowdle is a poet residing in Hillsborough and has published in a variety of journals and anthologies since 2008.  Her first chapbook, Nature v. Nurture was released in November 2018.  She also writes graphic stories in partnership with her artist husband Max Dowdle, including the novel An Unlikely Refugee, which was produced in conjunction with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.  In addition, she writes articles on mental health and wellness for local publications and works as a mental health care provider.

Pam Baggett: Pam Baggett’s new book of poetry, Wild Horses, was chosen as a runner-up for the Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest and published by Main Street Rag. Poet Terri Kirby Erickson describes Wild Horses as “a barebacked, buck-naked ride on the slick haunches of fate (to the tune of “Riders on the Storm”) all the way from the mystical land of sex, drugs, and rock & roll to the bedside of a dying friend.” Pam co-hosts the Second Thursday Poetry Reading Series at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill and teaches free writing workshops at the Orange County Library in Hillsborough.

Carol A. Strickland: Although born in a small town noted for demonic possession cases, Carol claims that those voices inside her head are a result of having stories to tell. Even so, her strange devotion to Wonder Woman would seem to indicate an abby-normal brain. A one-time comics letterhack and outspoken member of various comics message boards, Carol has found herself the basis for two comic book villains (at times her opinions have not been taken well by the books’ creators) (both villains were soundly thrashed) and had one superhero wear her costume design. (Light Lass!) She is the author of seven novels.

Nancy Haines: Nancy Haines worked 17 years as an engineer, then ran an antiquarian bookstore. 25 years later she retired and fulfilled a lifelong dream to be an author. She wrote a book about Quakers in France during WWI based on the love letters of two pacifists and a picture book for Quaker children. Visit her website: nancyhaines.wordpress.com

Suzanne Adair: Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair is a Florida native who lives in North Carolina. Her mysteries transport readers to the Southern theater of the American Revolution, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, and hiking.

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Author Spotlight: Suzanne Adair

We continue our spotlight on this Saturday’s authors with the most recent addition to the event, Suzanne Adair!
1. Tell us about your writing’s connection to Hillsborough.
My Michael Stoddard American Revolution Mystery series is set in North Carolina during the 82nd Regiment’s occupation of Wilmington for almost the entire year of 1781. The series detective, Michael Stoddard, is a fictitious young British officer. Through his eyes readers experience nuggets of North Carolina history that don’t make it into standard history classes but deliver a fresh angle on how the war affected the economy and everyone involved. Four titles of the projected six-book series have been released. The first three are standalone reads.
In book #2 of the series, Regulated for Murder, Michael’s commander in Wilmington sends him to Hillsborough bearing a critical letter for Lord Cornwallis, rumored to be in the area. Wearing civilian clothing, Michael arrives in Hillsborough to find his contact for Cornwallis freshly killed. Michael immediately becomes a murder suspect. He must prove his innocence without revealing that he’s a redcoat, and he must also try to complete his original mission — all while righting some wrongs. Suspense Magazine included the book on its “Best of 2011” list.
The Regulator Rebellion, ten years in the past, plays a role in the backstory for the mystery. Hillsborough’s history buffs get a kick out of spotting familiar landmarks in the book. To quote one Amazon reviewer on Regulated for Murder: “We live in Hillsborough and really enjoyed all of the town descriptions…it was just like being in Hillsborough. It makes you want to read the book and walk in town all at the same time.” Incidentally, I do conduct Regulated for Murder history tours in Hillsborough.
2. What bit of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started?
Authors often waste months or years of productive time waiting for approval from those they perceive as industry influencers or gatekeepers. Stop waiting for permission. Find a way to write it. Now.
3. Who did you dedicate your first book to and why?
I haven’t dedicated any of my published books to anyone (yet). However the Acknowledgements page of each book lists the names of those who have assisted me with production or research, such as early readers, editors, scholars, and historical reenactors.
Read more about Suzanne at http://www.suzanneadair.net/

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Author Spotlight: Morrow Dowdle

Tell us about your latest work.

My first chapbook, Nature v. Nurture, was published by Artagem Graphic Library and will debut at the Hillsborough Local Author book fair. It’s a selection of poems written primarily between 2009 and 2012, with a few from 2017 and 2018. The poems are largely about the forces that shape us, namely family, society and culture, history, and the physical environment.

Who did you dedicate your first book to and why?

I dedicated Nature v. Nuture to my husband’s late grandmother, Virginia Sandy Dowdle. She was an intelligent woman with a scathing wit and a serious knack for painting. Like many women coming of age in the 1950s, her artistic career suffered from the competing demands of being a consummate housewife, the expectation of her time and particular social circle. I think this conflict led largely to the mental and physical health problems from which she suffered throughout the latter part of her life. Even today, I see amazingly talented women put aside their creative aspirations and deny their own self-actualization because they feel compelled to put the needs of their partners and children before their own. Personally, I find this devastating.

What was the hardest part of the writing process for you to master?

Learning to do more with less. I tend to be long-winded in my writing, and I’ve had to learn to pare down to get at meaning more decisively. I wince when I look back at a lot of my early work, which sometimes looks more like a journal entry than an actual poem. Now I know why they didn’t get picked up for publication!

What’s your biggest motivation for wanting to be a writer?
As I think many writers would say, writing chose me more than I chose writing. It is the primary way in which I process personal experience and feel connected to other human beings. For some unknown reason, I decided to write my autobiography when I was four years old (in crayon, about a half-page long) and have been writing ever since. After college, I started an MFA program in creative writing at Emerson College, but I left after a year because I became discouraged about my ability to “make it” as a “real writer.” I didn’t think I would write again after that, but a few months later, I was back at it. While I have sometimes wondered whether I should have tried harder to “make it” as a “real writer,” I think pursuing a career in mental health care has ultimately strengthened my writing, because it is truly an act of love rather than something upon which my livelihood depends.

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