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Birmingham author speaks to lunchtime crowd at library

Birmingham author Laura Denton stopped by the Selma-Dallas County Public Library Thursday afternoon to sell and sign copies of her latest book, “Glory Road,” and speak to those gathered about her inspiration and work.

The visit was the first in the library’s “Lunch at the Library” series for this season, which will bring a variety of authors and other creatives to town over the coming months, including Alabama State Council on the Arts Executive Director Elliott Knight, who will be on hand Oct. 3 to talk about the Alabama Creates “200 Years of Arts and Artists” coffee-table book.

“The whole purpose of ‘Lunch at the Library’ is to bring people together in fellowship,” said Selma-Dallas County Public Library Director Becky Nichols. “But also to give people an opportunity to meet these authors and learn through hearing our own stories.”

Around noon on Thursday, locals began filing into the library and chatting with Denton and she signed copies of her book – some asked about the inspiration for the beaus in past books, while others asked her about her life in Birmingham and generally made small talk.

“Glory Road” is a spin on the typical coming-of-age tale, focusing on a mother wrestling with a new life that includes dueling love interests, an aging mother and a teenage daughter facing her own struggles in life and love.

While “Glory Road” is her newest offering, Denton is currently in the editing stages for her fourth book, “The Summer House,” which is set to be released in June.

Originally from Mobile, Denton said that a passion for reading as a child is what led her to working with the written word, first as a child jotting down entries in a journal and, later, as a nationally-recognized author of Southern fiction.

“I’ve always been a voracious reader,” Denton said.

While her stories take place in the South, particularly in locales with which the author is familiar, Denton noted that the inspiration from those tales come from a variety of sources.

“Sometimes it’s little snatches of conversations I hear,” Denton said. “I have a drawer full of paper-clipped post-it notes with things I’ve jotted down. Sometime it’s something I’ve read.”

Denton also offered advice to up-and-coming writers.

“You have to create time to write,” Denton said. “If you want to do it bad enough, you’ve got to carve out time to do it. Writing anything is a good start. Just getting thoughts down is a beginning.”

For more information on Denton or to purchase a copy of one of her books, visit www.laurenkdenton.com.