The KET series features Kentucky Authors

The KET series “Kentucky Muse” aired the show “A Novel Approach,” spotlighting authors Silas House, Sheila Williams and Kirby Gann Feb 26.

The show featured the authors giving their personal advice, reading excerpts from their novels, and giving background on their roots and the reasons they write.

Literature and Language Chair Dr. Danny Miller said it’s a smart move on KET’s part on different locations of Kentucky because the Commonwealth is not monolithic. Miller, a North Carolina Appalachian native, said programs like this help combat stereotypes and promote Kentucky authors.

“Any program that is going to celebrate Kentucky literature is laudable,” Miller said.

House, a Lily, Ky. resident said he couldn’t remember a time when he didn’t want to be an author. House’s novels include “Clay’s Quilt,” “A Parchment of Leaves” and “The Coal Tattoo.” He was a part of Steely’s Lecture Series last fall.

One of the reasons House said he’s passionate about writing is because everyone has a story.

“That’s what I’m always thinking of when I’m writing is how ‘This characters deserves for their story to be told properly,'” he said. “I owe that to them.”

House said he tries to capture the dialect he grew up with in his writing, as he hears it disappearing every day. He also tries to implement moments he had with his children in his novels.

“The biggest thing for me in writing is the act of preservation,” House said.

House doesn’t like the way the subdivisions are being created, plowing farms and woods. He said Americans all feel that loss, that we are becoming homogenized, a “Wal-Mart Nation.”

“It kind of makes me sick to see that happen,” House said.

Miller said the corporations are going to come, but the important thing is how Appalachians react to them. They should keep the best and get rid of the worst parts of the culture, Miller said.

“Appalachian people are unique in many ways and will remain so,” he said.

Williams, the second author on the program, was raised in Columbus, Ohio and now resides in Newport. He said that although he’s always been writing, he didn’t always know that was exactly what he was doing.

“I’ve always thought I was a storyteller and that’s part of my DNA, I think.Anything involving the written word was something I could always do,” Williams said.

Her novels include “Dancing on the Edge of the Roof,” “The Shade of My Own Tree,” “On the Right Side of a Dream” and “Girls Most Likely.”

Williams writes about ordinary people, dealing with ordinary situations. “Because of that, I try to create a situation where the character has day-to-day issues that they must confront, and that they confront them successfully,” she said.

Gann, the third author of the program, grew up and currently lives in Louisville after living in New York City, Washington D.C. and France. He wrote “The Barbarian Parade: Or, Pursuit of the Un-American Dream” and “Our Napoleon in Rags.”

Gann worked as a bartender in Louisville and said it was a great job for an aspiring writer.

“You tend to see people at their worst, and that’s always interesting to see, especially in terms as a writer,” Gann said.

“A Novel Approach” will re-air on KETKY at 2 p.m. March 1 and on KET1 at 4 a.m. March 9.