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White Oak Library hosts Author Fest in Crest Hill

More than 50 authors gather to meet area readers

For book lovers, going to the library to peruse some titles is a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Throw in the fact that the readers have the ability to meet more than 50 authors and discuss the books and it makes up one of the biggest events of the year for the White Oak Library District. The third annual Author Fest was held last Saturday at the Crest Hill branch and was designed to showcase local and regional writers.

"Attendees can come out and mingle face to face with dozens of authors and look at the books, buy the books or just talk to them about becoming an author and how they did it," said White Oak Library District Director Scott Pointon. "Everyone that is into reading, I think, has a secret desire that someday, they will write a book. So, they love to talk to people that have succeeded in writing a book and getting it published and interact one-on-one."

The event evolved from one old idea and a new one.

"For five years, we did 'Book Lovers Day' and we would bring in a keynote author and the whole event was about that one author and then we would promote things about books and reading from the library's perspective. People enjoyed themselves at those events, but over the course of five years, it ran its course," Pointon said. "We had always wanted to do a local author fair, so we just combined the two ideas and this is our third annual White Oak Author Fest and it is first and foremost a local author fair and this year, we have more than 50 regional authors and some of them are from towns right around us and others are a little further away in Chicagoland. They are all close enough that they can drive in for the event."

This year's theme was Crime and Punishment – fitting with the Crest Hill branch located in the shadows of Stateville Prison.

"If you look out the back window of the Crest Hill branch, you see Stateville Prison, so Crime and Punishment is a good theme for us."

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow had originally been scheduled to speak on the Drew Peterson case, however, some recent developments in the case made it a topic he was unable to speak on, so Assistant State's Attorney Peter Wilkes filled in and entertained and informed the crowd. Wilkes was followed by a special keynote author Jeff Mudgett, the great-great grandson of H.H. Holmes, the notorious serial killer from 'The Devil in the White City' fame. He was also the co-host of History Channel's 'American Ripper'.

Mudgett was promoting his book Bloodstains – the tale of his spiritual journey to find his roots, accept the family secret and his fascination into obsession with Holmes and the story behind one of America's most notorious killers.

Mudgett captivated the crowd with tales of his family story, his book, the TV show and future plans chasing the remaining secrets of H.H. Holmes.


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