What will Kentucky Book Festival visitors find on your table?
Festival visitors will find these books of interest:
All three books focus on life in Appalachia, the efforts to survive, the role of family and moonshining, and the strength of the people.
a. Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do (2023)– the book opens with a poem “Where I Come From” describing my life and my grandmother’s relatives and her influence on all of us. We were an Appalachian family in the hills and hollers of southwestern West Virginia, one county away from Kentucky border, living on Hatfield land. The Hatfields (Devil Anse Hatfield) lived on the land before us and left a legacy of feuding, murder, corrupt politics and life in Logan County.
b. Leaving: Sometimes You Have to Leave (20s) – follows the challenges of leaving home and a dysfunctional family for Detroit and New York City: getting married and divorced, becoming self-supporting, discovering I could not have children, finding and developing a career, locating in Lexington, KY and creating a non-profit called Women Leading KY, and establishing roots in KY.
c. A Willful Child (2012) – looks at a child’s life in an unstable family – her bi-polar mother and coal-mining father at odds, with her mother often leaving the family behind or taking her daughter with her to provide solace. The girl’s grandmother, Billy, tells the girl: “A girl in WV has three choices. You can get pregnant, get religion or get out. And I hope you know the one to choose.”
Whom do you invite to stop by? Who will benefit from reading your book?
Those interested in Appalachian life and survival will find a great interest in these books. The grandmother is the strength, the matriarch of the family. She owned a beer-garden, carried a gun, knew everyone’s secrets and knew how to protect an0’sd get even with her information.
Could you please tell us something curious about you and/or your book?
My grandmother was a female business owner in the 20’s and through the 60’s. She was the one everyone counted on. Perhaps that influenced my own interest in becoming a business owner and founder of a non-profit organization (Women Leading KY) to help women succeed and support each other.
Is this your first time participating in Kentucky Book Festival? If yes – what are you looking forward to the most? If you’ve participated before – what was your favorite experience at the Festival?
I participated in the KY Book Festival years ago when A Willful Child was published. I loved talking to people about Appalachia and mutual experiences.
Janet Holloway is the founder of Women Leading Kentucky, a non-profit organization that provides educational and leadership opportunities for women. Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do is a collection of short stories focused on the author’s Appalachian pioneering, bootlegging granny Billie.