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Archive for the tag “Terry Kay”

Terry Kay — Book Events

Celebrate with Terry Kay at two upcoming book signings of his new novel,

The King Who Made Paper Flowers


In 2006, Terry Kay was inducted into the Georgia Writer’s Hall of Fame in ceremonies conducted at the University of Georgia, honoring the accomplishments of a man who began as an errand boy for a weekly newspaper. The journey of his career covers more than fifty years of the most dynamic changes in the state’s history. The award-winning novelist was born in Hart County, Georgia, the eleventh of twelve children, on February 20, 1938. He was reared on a farm, graduating from West Georgia Junior College in 1957 and then LaGrange College in 1959. Kay began his career in journalism in 1959 at the Decatur-DeKalb News, a weekly newspaper in Decatur, Georgia, and later worked for The Atlanta Journal as a sportswriter, and for eight years, as one of America’s leading film-theater critics. In 1989, he left a corporate job in public relations to pursue his passion for writing.

Kay published his first novel in 1976, The Year the Lights Came On, a story inspired by his memory of the coming of electricity to his rural community. He went on to publish After Eli 1981, and in 1984 Dark Thirty, an examination of justice vs. vengeance set in Appalachia. These three publications established Terry Kay as a versatile writer able to navigate through genres with authority. His signature novel To Dance With the White Dog, positioned Kay’s works as Southern classics, winning him the Outstanding Author of the Year award in 1991, two nominations for the American Booksellers’ Book of the Year (ABBY) award, and a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starring Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. The production earned the highest television rating of the 1993 season, with more than 33 million viewers.


Since 2007, Mercer University Press has proudly published the writings of Terry Kay. The Book of Marie, Bogmeadow’s Wish, The Greats of Cuttercane, The Seventh Mirror, Song of the Vagabond Bird, and his new novel, The King Who Made Paper Flowers.

Kay’s works have been translated into numerous foreign countries, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden, Germany and Holland. His work has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including Reader’s Digest, Atlanta Magazine, A Confederacy of Crime, The Chattahoochee Review, and the Georgia Review. He scripted an episode of In the Heat of the Night and won a Southern Emmy for his original teleplay, Run Down the Rabbit.

Kay’s many honors and awards include induction into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2006, the Governor’s Award in the Humanities (GA) in 2009, the Georgia Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and The Terry Kay Prize for Fiction, an annual award presented by the Atlanta Writers Club.


The King Who Made Paper Flowers

Sunday, April 17th — 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Friends of the Library—Café au Libris
Athens-Clarke County Library
Appleton Auditorium
2025 Baxter Street
Athens, GA 30606

Monday, April 18th — 7:15 pm – 9:00 pm
Georgia Center for the Book’s Festival of Writers
Decatur Library, Main Branch
215 Sycamore Street
Decatur, Georgia 30030

* adapted from

MUP Rocks the Cover of Publishers Weekly

Mercer University Press rocks the four-page cover of today’s issue of Publishers Weekly in celebration of 35 years of publishing excellence.

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MUP Authors to Attend Decatur (GA) Book Festival!

Mercer University Press is proud to announce a number of our fine authors will be attending the Decatur Book Festival!

Stephen Davis (What the Yankees Did to Us)
Robert Jenkins (The Battle of Peach Tree Creek)
Daniel Cone (Last to Join the Fight)
Raymond Atkins (Sweet Water Blues)
Carolyn Newton Curry (Suffer and Grow Strong)
Megan Sexton (Swift Hour)


WhatTheYankees    PeachTreeCreek     Last to Join.jpgCurry_Suffer_Jacket01.inddSexton-Cvr-02.indd



Decatur BookFest

MUP represents at the 50th GAYA!

GAYA SealIt’s this weekend y’all at Kennesaw State  University! This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA), the oldest literary award in the Southeast.
The ceremony is free and open to the public and does not require registration. The ballroom doors will open at 7:30 PM to ceremony guests. Please note that if you do not have a banquet ticket, you will be unable to enter the ballroom before 7:30 PM.

We hope to see you there. Please say Hello, and ask about Pressley. He gets a little attitude when he is ignored, and we’ve gotta ride home with him. Just sayin’.

MUP has an impressive list of Georgia writers nominated: Jaclyn Weldon White, William Rawlings, Veronica Womack, Ray Atkins, Terry Kay, Charles Campbell, Jackie K. Cooper, and Martha Ezzard.


MUP at South Carolina Book Festival 2014!

Columbia, South Carolina, is once again hosting the South Carolina Book Festival and MUP is eager to meet and greet, sell books, and chat at the booth. Several Mercer Press authors are also attending, including Martha M. Ezzard, Carolyn Newton Curry, and Southern legend Terry Kay. It’s an event you don’t want to miss!

Curry_Suffer_Jacket01.indd    Second Bud

Cuttercane    Bogmeadow

Enter discount code MUPNEWS when you order at the Press’s website and receive a 20% discount plus free USPS Media Mail shipping on your entire order!

Fifty Years of the Georgia Author of the Year Awards!

GAYA SealThis year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA), the oldest literary award in the Southeast. We are very proud that we have wonderful Mercer authors nominated!

Raymond Atkins, Camp Redemption (fiction)

Martha M. Ezzard, The Second Bud (memoir)

Jackie K. Cooper,  Memory’s Mist (memoir)

William Rawlings, A Killing on Ring Jaw Bluff  (history)

Veronica Womack, Abandonment in Dixie  (history)

Charles Campbell, Senator Richard B. Russell and My Career as a Trial Lawyer (autobiography)

Jaclyn Weldon White, A Southern Woman’s Guide to Herbs (specialty)

Terry Kay, The Seventh Mirror (children’s)

An Interview with Terry Kay

Today is National Tell a Story Day and so it is fitting that we talk to a man who is a master story-teller. Below is a short interview with the insightful, the artful Terry Kay.


1. Do you have a theory of the novel, that is, an idea about how a novel works differently than other forms or what explains the power novels can have over reader?
A quote from G. K. Chesterton comes to mind: “A good novel tells us the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” I like that.

A novel is a grand metaphor for whatever the reader finds in it. The characters provide the options, the writer provides the words, the reader gives it meaning. Few other forms demand so much of the imagination from the person at the end of the line.

2. You have often said that The Book of Marie is particularly special to you. Tell us why.
There are few stories of the Civil Rights movement that represent, or explore, the experiences of young white Southerners of that period, either in rural or urban settings, and that is what I wanted The Book of Marie to examine. I have always believed that the grand anthem of the movement—We Shall Overcome—was meant as much for young white Southerners as for blacks. I was in my teens and early twenties during that time and I understood that whites—especially those of my generation — had to overcome a history of oppression toward other races. We had to overcome conditioning. We had to overcome the political and social and spiritual environments that promoted a segregated world with deep-rooted prejudice and stubborn convictions. I think my book tells that story—at least in part.

3. The Seventh Mirror and To Whom the Angels Spoke are departures from your more traditional work. Were there challenges writing for a younger audience?
Perhaps it’s because I have limited experience in the field, but I feel more constrained in the writing of children’s material. In a long work of fiction, a writer might hide a million sins of writing (and all writers do it), but in children’s books, you don’t have that hide-behind coverage. The children will catch your tricks, and they will call you on the failures of doing it right. In long adult fiction, the words are so many the weight of them on the story can be feather light; in children’s literature, each word means something and each word has an almost delicate weight.

4. It’s almost taken for granted that Southern writers are influenced by a sense of place. Do you feel this is true for you or is there some other aspect of your life that permeates your work?
Southern writers, in my view, are heavily influenced not only by place, but equally so by family, by oral history (gossip), and by religion. This is especially true of character-driven material. Also, there’s this peculiar nature about stories with Southern settings: the same story, with the same circumstance, can be offered as character driven or as caricature driven. Regrettably, much of the perception of Southern literature is that of caricature, a sort of Beverly Hillbillies take on things.

5. You once called John Steinbeck America’s finest writer. Do you still feel that way and what’s the real power behind his writing?
I also think Ty Cobb was the greatest baseball player who ever lived, and here is why: I am from Royston, Georgia, Ty Cobb’s hometown. I was reared with the influence of his presence in that region of my imagination titled Sport. The same is true of Steinbeck. His work was the first great influence in my affection for literature. And there’s the other thing: the man could write. My God, the man could write. In comparison, most writers I’ve read were talented dispensers of words. Steinbeck understood that he was a medium for his characters, rather than his characters being a medium for him.



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