Pamela Meyers said people are often surprised to learn she wrote the books she sells at Beachside Authorfest.
The annual event returns for a fifth year Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., bringing local authors to Lake Geneva’s Library Park and giving them the chance to meet people face to face.
Near the Lake Geneva Public Library, 918 W. Main St., the family-oriented event will feature book sales, signings, readings and other activities.
A writer of romance novels, some of which are set in Lake Geneva, Meyers participates every year because she enjoys the opportunity to return to her hometown, stand by the lake under her canopy and make new personal connections.
“It isn’t often one has the chance to meet an author,” said Meyers, whose novels are set in Lake Geneva. “We’re usually hunkered over our keyboards and not often out in the world.”
Authorfest founder Robb Chase — a writer of fantasy novels who produced an independent movie based on one of his own books — described the event as tremendous success and a new Lake Geneva tradition.
Five years ago, Chase took the Authorfest idea to Harold Johnson, of Breadloaf Book Shop, and Chris Brookes, of Friends of the Lake Geneva Public Library.
“The idea behind the fest was simple,” said Chase. “As a group, we can reach a much wider audience than any of us could individually. From there, we decided to search for more authors, and we found that this region is ripe with talent.”
Among the returning authors this year is Carol McLernon, a former area schoolteacher who has written several historical books.
“Authorfest is a wonderful opportunity to mingle with and learn from other local authors,” she said. “I especially like visiting with tourists and residents.”
New to the event is Carol Paur, author of fantasy and inspirational novels whose next project is a children’s chapter book. She hopes Authorfest helps her reach new readers.
“This is valuable, since it can be very difficult to get your work seen by the general public, especially when you’re competing with well-known authors,” Paur said.
Chase said local authors are often unknowns, forced to compete with “celebrity novels,” or books by famous writers.
“None of us have a household name, but we all have stories to tell,” he said.
Many retailers, large and small, will not stock books by unknown authors, said Chase.
The exception, however, is Breadloaf, 727 Geneva St., Lake Geneva, which not only features a local author section, but the shop helps plan Authorfest each year.
Chase wants to bring the event to other communities, including Kenosha, where he has begun talks of an Authorfest in August 2020.
About the authors
Meyers is bringing her three novels which are set in Lake Geneva — “Shelter Bay,” “Safe Refuge” and “Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva.”
“Shelter Bay” and “Safe Refuge” are part of her “Newport of the West” series, in which a fictitious family has been displaced by the Great Chicago Fire and builds a home on Geneva Lake.
“A lot of Lake Geneva’s rich history is not well-known to visitors or new residents of the area, and that’s what sparked the idea to write the series,” said Meyers.
History is often where McLernon finds her subjects for books.
Last year, she published two books — “Treasured Memories: Columbian Exposition 1893” and “The One Thousand-Mile Horse Race: 1893.”
McLernon is also bringing to Authorfest her 2011 book, “Black Hawk: A Boy and His Vision,” because she has seen interest rise in the book since a new mural of the Native American warrior was painted in Janesville.
“It is now available in hardcover because I want future generations to read about the person, not just the wars,” she said.
Chase digs back even further in time for his novels of warriors, dragons and mythological beings.
He plans to bring his recent novel, ‘Whisper in the Flame,” which he said is an action/adventure tale with mystery and romance in a fantasy setting, “but it shows how love can conquer fear and hate.”
Paur, the author of “Stories” and “Waves” — two novels set in the afterlife — plans to promote her upcoming children’s book, “Isasnora Snores.”
Due out in December, the book is about a child who, after being banished from her kingdom because of her loud snoring, saves the kingdom.