Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Self-publishing: Granny Tales

I went to school with Carrie Gates, who is an oral storyteller and a true child of the mountains and, in particular, the Little Canada community near Cullowhee, North Carolina. When she and I were girls, Little Canada was quite cut off from the remainder of the world by weather and bad roads. Carrie is one of the funniest people I know. Last summer, Linda Kinnear and I laughed our way through a seminar with Carrie at The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Learning. Carrie remembered horrible and hilarious things about me and others that I had long ago jettisoned; I can't wait to see her again at this year's seminar. If this book is one-tenth as meaningful and enjoyable as being in her presence, it's a winner and proof that self-publishing can work.

Carrie wrote me this morning, and here's a clip from her letter: "I was bored with not having dissertation writing I could do over Christmas and early spring, although I did do my written comps and passed those, so I gathered up part of my collection of stories, polished them and published them. A small book of local mountain stories, Granny Tales: North Carolina Mountain Tales, I’ll include the info on the book. I’m going to give the seminar group info on self-publishing because it’s cheap and easy and a great way to introduce publishing to classes. I think I’ll ask every one up front to do a story during the week which we can make into a book. I’m figuring that into the budget, and since my director asked that we include that info in the seminar, I’m making sure we do! But I’m proud of doing the book, and have plans for future efforts."

Title: Granny Stories: North Carolina Mountain Tales
Author: Carmaletta Harris Gates
Category: Literature & Fiction Biographies & Memoirs History
Price: $ 7.95
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Number of Pages: 124
ISBN Number: 0-9765676-0-1
Publication Date: April 2005

About this Book:

The mountains of western North Carolina are home to a vast array of plants, wildlife, and unforgettable people. This collection of local stories presents some of the mystery and awe inspired by the mountains and lives of those who lived in them. Life was hard and the people who survived had a rough life. Yet they found time to appreciate the humor of their every day existence. Carmaletta Gates, a local mountain story-teller, shares some of her favorite stories, gathered from the mountains and the people she loves within this book. Painters are sleek, brown panthers who scream in the dark of night, and create terror in the listeners. Snakes steal the very life from sickly children who cannot resist their charm. A local railroad tunnel echoes with the moans and screams of forgotten convicts who gave their lives so that the railroad could move forward towards the west. Farmers rely on clever animals to help provide meat for the table. Come and meet these long-ago pilgrims who bravely battled the elements and sometimes each other to survive deep in the western North Carolina Mountains.

About the Author:

Carmaletta Harris Gates is a storyteller from the mountains of Western North Carolina. A product of the mountains herself, she shares her heritage and culture with both readers and listeners. A first generation college graduate, she appreciates the innate intelligence and courage of her ancestors. She tells stories in her local area, and shares her storytelling skills with teachers across the state of North Carolina.

Book Review:

"I love it, every word. Carrie captured the oral tradition so well in her stories. It's all so natural. I want to steal all her paragraphs and put them in a novel. I wanted to thank her for doing this book, but it's kind of like thanking her for her life, though, isn't it? The stories just grab the reader, and then, dang, keep them reading the next one". Randy Russell, author of Mountain Ghost Stories and Ghost Dogs of the South.

Order/Contact Info:

This book can be ordered from:
Bradley's General Store
PO Box 459, 52 Front Street Dillsboro, NC 28725
Cost is $7.95 (retail) plus tax and shipping,
(shipping should be around $2.00 to most of the US).
Call or email for quote and indicate whether the book should be autographed.
Also call for wholesale and volume terms.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.