PHOTO: Some of the authors who will be at this weekend’s Franklin Book Festival are (from left) Reba Stanley, Kathy Rhodes, Greg Schaffer, Tom Wood, Tim Bishop, Toni Tyler White and Bill Peach. // Photo courtesy of Authors Circle


Franklin resident Clay Stafford — writer, editor, publisher, college professor and a man of many other roles both past and present — knows the business side of creative and the creative side of business.

He founded the literary conference Killer Nashville a number of years ago, designed a college curriculum on writing and filmmaking, has worked on projects with industry leaders such as Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and Jeffery Deaver, among others, and heads his own publishing company, Clay Stafford Books.

In short, Stafford has been there, done that.

“My focus has always been art but also making money at art,” Stafford said. “That’s not necessarily something that’s taught an awful lot. Frankly, it’s usually two different mindsets: You have creative people and then you have people who are more analytical, business-minded. I was fortunate to grasp both sides.”

Which is to say that Stafford is the ideal person to sit on a panel titled Book Business at the Authors Circle Franklin Book Festival Saturday and Sunday at the Williamson County Public Library in Franklin. The Book Business panel, which will be held Sunday at 1 p.m., is among 12 scheduled panels that also include Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and others over the two days. Joining Stafford are Sara Wigal, Ami McConnell and Jaden Terrell.

“My focus for this panel will be the reasons we write, an honest appraisal of the industry, appropriate expectations, how to view writing as a business, and some ideas for helping authors develop their readership platform,” Stafford said.

More: Franklin Book Festival to focus on the pleasure of reading and business of writing

A total of 48 authors are scheduled to appear at the festival, with 41 of them sitting on panels. They are all members of the Authors Circle that was formed in 2012 and now numbers around 450 writers.

Much of the festival’s purpose is to provide published authors a venue in which to network, according to longtime Franklin businessman, politician and author Bill Peach, main organizer of the event.

“But it’s also a great opportunity for aspiring writers and students, anybody who thinks they can write or wants to write,” he said. “This would be their moment to come and learn. Of course, we strive to teach them what we know and do our best to inspire.”

The Franklin Book Festival, free and open to the public, is also geared toward the average or voracious reader.

“I’ve done a festival with 22 authors in 2014,” Peach said, “but never one on this scale.”

Below is the schedule of panels.


 10 a.m. Children’s — Samantha DeGrasse, Toni Tyler White, Kayla Jarmon

11 a.m. Young Adult — D.G. Driver, Tiffini Johnson, Dana Fraedrich, Marino Alvarez

Noon Self -Publishing  — Marcia Fraser and The Williamson County Library

1 p.m. Nonfiction —Kathy Rhodes, Bill Peach, Susie Dunham, Dr. Parnell Donahue, Dr. Sally Burbank

2 p.m. Anthology — Tom Wood, Michael J. Tucker, Bill Woods, Catherine Moore

3 p.m. Christian Fiction — Katie Shands, Greg Schaffer, Denise Price Bell, Mark Cornelius.

4 p.m.Fiction —Jack Wallace, Ken Vanderpool, Don Green, Emma Wisdom


1 p.m. Book Business —Sara Wigal, Ami McConnell, Clay Stafford, Jaden Terrell

2 p.m. Poetry — David M. Harris, Louise Colln, Sherry Paige, Veera Rajaratnam, Chance Chambers, Sandy Spencer Coomer

3 p.m. Nonfiction —Maj. Gen. Carl Schneider, Dwight Lewis, Tim Bishop, Keith Pruitt

4 p.m. Fiction —Tom Collins, Daniel Hooberry, Jeremy Finley

Other authors who will be attending but not on a panel are Mandy Burkhead, Linda Dunn, Alicia King, Cathy Estes Davis, Louise Strang and Dave Norem.

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