Author to speak at public library

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Campbellsville native released new novel in January


Author and Campbellsville native Janna McMahan will help celebrate the opening of the Taylor County Public Library, a library that she says was pivotal in her life.

As an 11-year-old with a great desire to read, McMahan begged her parents to allow her to volunteer when Campbellsville opened its first community library.

Decades later, McMahan will return to her hometown to help celebrate the opening of the new Taylor County Public Library.

McMahan will be at the library on Thursday, April 18, at 6 p.m. to read from her new novel, "Anonymity."

"The library was definitely a positive influence on me as a young person. I read voraciously and decided early that I wanted to see my name on the spine of a book on those shelves," McMahan said.

McMahan's name is now on the spine of four different books on those library shelves with more to come.

The Taylor County Public Library is mid-stop in McMahan's spring book tour of Kentucky. Her new novel, "Anonymity," came out in January.

McMahan will be in Lexington at The Morris Book Shop on Saturday, April 13, at 2 p.m., at Carmicheal's Bookstore on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville on Sunday, April 14, at 4 p.m. and at the Southern Kentucky Book Festival in Bowling Green on Saturday, April 20.

All events are free and open to the public.

"We've invited all the English teachers and students from both local high schools, as well as local colleges to come hear Janna speak," Taylor County Public Library Director Julia Turpin said. "We are delighted that our new location is a reality and that we can welcome a national bestselling author who is outspoken about how our library positively affected her life."

McMahan sets her novels all over the South. Her first novel, "Calling Home," was set in Kentucky and quickly found a strong following in the Bluegrass state. Her newest novel, "Anonymity," is set in Austin, Texas, where the author frequently visits her brother, also a Campbellsville native.

Anonymity is a fast-paced, psychological thriller about the young homeless adrift in our country. Called compelling and insightful, Anonymity has received positive reviews and solid media coverage. McMahan has been praised for the extensive firsthand research she did into the gritty harsh realities of life on the streets.

"People are interested in the topic," McMahan said. "High schools and nonprofits have asked me to speak. I've had readers tell me how the story changed their perceptions of young homeless people."

Nonprofits in Columbia, S.C., where McMahan has lived for 25 years, recently contacted her about conducting a citywide read of her novel to bring attention to homelessness within their community.

"My first goal was that the story be entertaining, but the subject matter is making it more meaningful to people than I anticipated," McMahan said.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of "Anonymity" will be donated to LifeWorks, the youth homeless shelter in Austin that assisted McMahan with her research.

"We are pleased to contribute to LifeWorks," said publisher John Koehler, president of Koehler Books. "They do vital outreach and help America's homeless youth transition to a better, self-sufficient life."

For more information about McMahan, visit www.jannamcmahan.com.