Four Charlotte authors have teamed together.
They call themselves “Authors Out of Carolina.” The women, all Charlotte-based novelists, formed a group this fall to help promote each of their books. They travel together, do book signings together, and have become good friends along the way.
“The job of promoting a book is a lonely business. It’s really fun to travel with a group. It turns it into a party,” says Kim Wright.
Wright describes her book, Last Ride to Graceland, as a road trip adventure and says while all the books fall under the category of women’s fiction, they are all very different. Marybeth Whalen’s The Things We Wish Were True is a mystery set in an all-American neighborhood. The Last Treasure from Erika Marks is a romance, and Joy Callaway’s Fifth Avenue Artists Society is historical fiction.
They are all with major publishers, and while you would think the women might be competitive, Wright says they are one another’s biggest cheerleaders.
“It’s interesting—we had our book launch party and a lot of people bought all four books and we were really tickled!” says Callaway. “It’s worked out well. There are no egos in our group. Everyone wants to see each other succeed. It’s really good for a writer’s soul. Writing is a solitary profession most of the time. It’s nice to have colleagues who understand what you’re doing and where you’re coming from.”
Three of the women live in Matthews, the fourth lives near the Arboretum, and they range in age from Joy, 31 and raising two young children, to Kim, 61, who recently welcomed her first grandchild.
But together they visit library groups, retirement homes, festivals, and book clubs. They are popular because they travel in a pack and are a ready-made panel of authors who play off one another well. The foursome has gigs booked through March of next year and they hope at least one of them hits it big.
“We have to wear our big-girl panties,” Wright says. “We can’t worry about hurt feelings. We knew going in that could happen and we didn’t know whose book would be the one to take off, but the best thing that could happen to us is for one of us to break out and lift the other three.”
If you’d like to catch the women on tour, check out their Facebook page under Authors Out of Carolina.