Local authors entertain, inspire young students

Published 11:27 am Tuesday, January 8, 2013

By KATIE MCDOWELL / Lifestyles Editor

In the last six months, I’ve interviewed three published authors based in Shelby County.

I’ve noted Shelby County’s creative side in several previous columns, but I don’t think I’ve focused on our writers. It’s time to fix that.

Shelby County is home to several talented writers. In fact, they’re so talented, publishing companies have taken note and made their books available to the public —in print, an industry that is struggling because of new technology and the economy.

The authors I’ve been lucky enough to interview are Irene Latham, Anne Riley and Wendy and Josh Torres.

-Latham is an Inverness resident and author of several poetry books and children’s novels. Her first children’s book, “Leaving Gee’s Bend,” is historical fiction about a young girl who sets out to save her mother. Her second children’s book, “Don’t Feed the Boy,” was published in fall 2012 and tells the story of a boy who lives at the zoo where his parents work.

-Riley is a Shelby County resident, local high school teacher and the author of “Shadows of the Hidden,” a paranormal young adult novel published in December 2012. Riley also put together an anthology of winter-themed short stories, which includes one of her works and benefits Literacy Inc.

-Wendy and Josh Torres are the owners of This Little Company, and they’ve published three books: “This Little Elephant,” “This Little Tiger” and “This Little Dawg.” The books take the nursery rhyme “This Little Piggy” and give it a Southeastern Conference-inspired twist.

What I love most about these authors is they’re catering to young readers. I think it’s so important to teach children to love reading at a young age.

If you have children, I encourage you to check out some of our local authors. They’ve all written entertaining novels, and they also serve as an inspiration for local children who have dreams of writing their own stories one day.

Katie McDowell is the Lifestyles Editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 19 or by email at katie.mcdowell@shelbycountyreporter.com.