November 1st is known as National Author Day and the Camden Art Shoppes team has four talented writers to celebrate! Almost all of the titles are available online, but locals are invited to pick up their copy at 1011 Broad Street, Camden, SC, 29020 – save on the shipping, and perhaps even ask the author to sign your copy.
Veteran journalist Judy S. Watts has worked at The State Newspaper, served as Features Editor and Columnist at The Post and Courier and as Executive Editor of The Journal Scene, The Gazette and The Berkeley Independent, community newspapers of Evening Post Industries. She is currently the Associate Editor of NOLO Magazine serving the North Lowcountry of Charleston.
Watts’ award-winning column “The Watts Line” has been a part of the Lowcountry since 1989 and lives on in a series of collections: Living with Wieners and Guys, too; Living with Manchildren; and Living with The Hubster. Her first novel, The Diary, was published in 2015. Her second novel, Finding Jordan, was released August 21, 2017
Judy has also resumed her love of painting and displays her work (including her books!) at Camden Art Shoppes at 1011 Galleria in downtown Camden. Come visit the shops Tuesday-Saturday, 11-5 to check out her beautiful display. Even better, visit on Tuesday and Wednesdays and meet Judy personally – ask her to sign your new book! You will find Judy on the West Side of the Galleria Building. If you enter the building on Broad Street, follow the painted river on the floor to the end.
She and her husband returned to their hometown of Camden, SC in 2021 where they now live with their three wiener dogs, Penny, Sophie and Coco and enjoy spending time at the family cabin on Lake Wateree near Camden.
USC Professor Emerita Patricia G. “Pat” McNeely taught writing and reporting in the journalism school for 33 years.
Before joining the USC faculty, McNeely was a reporter and editor for The Greenville News, The State and The Columbia Record. She is the author of “Sherman’s Flame and Blame Campaign through Georgia and the Carolinas … and the burning of Columbia” and “Fighting Words: A Media History of South Carolina.” She is co-author of “Knights of the Quill: Confederate Correspondents and their Civil War Reporting.”
Pat’s newest book is Historic South Carolina Ghosts and Legends: South Carolina is one of the most haunted and historic places in America. Dozens of people have reported seeing ghosts and spirits or have had other paranormal experiences such as doors that open and close by themselves, lights that turn on and off with no one else around, candles that relight, elevators that come and go without help and footsteps and other noises with no one around. Some have reported bells that ring spontaneously, lights or orbs, cold spots, getting pushed or touched, strange noises and odors, and objects that get moved around.
Most of the ghosts included here are in historic places. Some are recent reports of paranormal activity that include pictures and sketches of ghosts but some stories have been around so long that they’ve become legends, like the Gray Man of Pawleys who warns of danger and impending storms, and the Lizard Man of Bishopville who rose to national prominence similar to Big Foot. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, you’ll enjoy this haunted historic trip around South Carolina.
You can find Pat’s books and artwork in the Camden Art Shoppes Suite on the East Side of the Building, just inside the front door of the Galleria Building on Broad Street.
An honor graduate of Florida State University, DeBandi’s name is attached to works as a Professional Musician, Computer Programmer, Writer, Teacher and Artist. While her novels are complete works of fiction, her work experiences, love for nature, and adoration of animals all shine through the suspenseful tales of inspiration.
When asked about nature, she shares much of her life perspective was gained roaming around the woods and sitting by campfires. It was there she learned the best marshmallow is slightly toasted with a quick flaming. And, the best campfire music is unrehearsed with group involvement; lyrics made up on the fly because no one remembers the words.
DeBandi is a prolific writer, currently working on her tenth novel. The most common comments received from her readers are: “I read it in 48 hrs, I just couldn’t put it down,” and “Woah, I did not see that coming.”
Her books include an easy mix of science fiction, technology twists, inspirational moments and a dash of romance. Her heroes will have you rooting for their survival… and the villains, well, they usually get what they deserve. But there’s always a surprising turn (or two, or three) along the way. Go ahead, check out her fun reads now. Choose one and see if you can guess the ending!
DeBandi’s latest title, Jezebel, Judge & Jury was published by Hear Our Voice, LLC, and is fast becoming her best seller. All of DeBandi’s books are available on Amazon and free on Kindle Unlimited. Of course, if you are local, come into Camden Art Shoppes on Wednesdays or Saturdays to meet Yvonne personally — be sure to have her sign your new books!
You will find Yvonne on the West Side Art Suite of the Galleria Building. If you enter on Broad Street, follow the painted river on the floor to the end. See you there!
Doug Foxworth is a retired printer and high school teacher who began his career working in his dad’s print shop. Later, he taught graphic communications at Lynnhaven Career Center (Columbia), Sumter Career Center and Kingstree High School, with many of his students receiving awards for skills competitions from the state and national levels.
From 1995 until 2008 he owned and operated Gamecock City Printing in Sumter, SC. He also published a weekly news magazine, The Gazette of the Gamecock City, binding stories of interest into an 81⁄2 x 11 booklet. A friend loaned him editions of the Sumter News (1967-1981 weekly) where he found many interesting historical stories of the Sumter area. Doug then embarked on a two-year-plus endeavor to preserve much of this history. In the spring of 2021, he completed the work intending only to share with family and friends. However, as it was shared with others, the demand requests increased to more than his print office could handle. He upgraded his equipment and continues to produce these books independently.
Also, during the time Doug operated the Gazette, he was approached by people wanting to publish memoirs and other local historical compositions. Some of them were public domain, others were memoirs he was given permission to sell commercially, and some did not grant permission. Of those, Doug re-worked three. He also working on digital records of old Sumter area’s and nearby cities’ newspapers that are public domain. This is tedious, time consuming work to re-work gleaned stories and articles for 81⁄2 x 11 pages, bound into books.
Books make great gifts!
Hope to see you at the Camden Art Shoppes soon. We are open every Tuesday – Saturday from 11am to 5pm.
Also, if you aren’t sure what to get someone for the upcoming holidays – consider a book adventure gift basket. Our new gift basket and gifting service can hook you up with exactly what you need!