Old Books on Front Street hosts authors of new books


Old Books on Front Street hosts authors of new books

Maddie Driggers

Intertwined storylines and the meaning of home and family are just a few of the themes two authors shared from their new novels this past Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, at a book reading in downtown Wilmington. Steph Post, author of “Lightwood,” and Taylor Brown, author of “The River of Kings,”sat down with locals at Old Books on Front Street this weekend to read excerpts of their new books and answer questions from the audience.

Post’s newest novel “Lightwood” has three main plot lines it focuses on that all fit and work together throughout the course of the book. Post says writing a novel like this usually is not planned out; she just writes what comes to her.

“I wanted to see how big I could go,” Post said. “I just had this idea of going home. The first line of the novel was the first thing I came up and wrote down in a notebook. I liked the idea of taking three different groups that don’t necessarily go together.”

A central theme in “Lightwood” is the idea of home, the journey the main character takes to discover his home, and how to get there. Post drew on personal experiences with her own struggle to find her home while writing the book.

“I left home when I was seventeen,” stated Post. “I said I’m never ever going back to Florida and now, 10 years later, I’m back in Florida. So, I kind of realized there was this back and forth with me about home and wanting home or needing home, but having a complicated relationship with that.”

Brown’s book “The River of Kings” also has a “braided storyline” with a historical twist—the two main plot sequences are set nearly 400 years apart.

“To be honest, it scared the hell out of me when I was writing the book,” Brown said. “But, I just saw it that way and I thought I just had to keep the faith that this would work out.”

One half of “The River of Kings” focuses on two brothers sailing down the Altamaha River in Georgia trying to solve their father’s murder and untangle his messy past. Brown says he didn’t set out to write a specific theme into his book, but sometimes ideas and concepts naturally develop that you don’t expect while writing.

“For me, it all usually happens pretty organically,” he stated. “I have a character and they’re struggling with something, and as you make these discoveries and as you write, you realize that a lot of it comes back to family.”

The other storyline in Brown’s novel focuses on Jacques le Moyne, the first European artist in North America, as he leads a French expedition down the same Altamaha River in 1564. Brown says it was difficult to find the balance between the two stories being told so far apart, but common elements from both time periods were what cemented the idea.

“I tried to use the river itself as much as possible,” he said. “There are elements of the river, for instance, the Cyprus trees. There’s one Cyprus that’s gigantic that both of them are probably seeing at different points in history.”

Both authors understand the difficulty of making completely different plotlines and characters work together organically, but Brown says when you know it’s working, you’ll feel it.

“I don’t know what tips you off to whether it’s working or not,” Brown says. “You just have to look at it again and again and try to feel whether or not it feels right.”

“Lightwood” is currently available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. “The River of Kings” will be available for purchase beginning March 21.