Gainesville readers are in for a special treat when Mary Kay Andrews visits the Alachua County Library District on Sunday July 13 at 2 PM at the Millhopper Branch Library to celebrate summer reading. Mary Kay's books are perfect for your summer beach read! If you're not familiar with her work, check out Conner Calling on WUFT this Friday July 11 at 1pm as she's interviewed on air.
Mary Kay Andrews is a pseudonym for Kathy Trocheck, who wrote ten critically acclaimed mysteries about a house cleaner named Callahan Garrity back in the 90’s. As Mary Kay Andrews, she’s turned to writing about sassy southern women who I’ve often wish could be my best friends (I would wish I could be those sassy women themselves, but they tend to get into a lot of trouble, and I think I’m safer on the sidelines). Ladies Night, which takes place in Bradenton, FL, starts out with a splash when Grace Stanton discovers her husband has been cheating on her, and in a perfectly understandable reaction, drives his convertible into the pool. Anyone who’s enjoyed a bottle of Cheerwine, made in the small town of Salisbury, NC, will love spending time in Mary Kay’s fictional town of Pascoe, NC, home of the Quixie Beverage Company, where, in Spring Fever, Annajane Hudgins thinks she’s over her ex-husband...until she attends his next wedding. And no one can call herself a Mary Kay Andrews fan until she’s tagged along with best friends Weezie and BeBe (whose mother, exhausted from having had eight previous children in ten years, had settled upon the name BeBe with the French pronunciation of Bay-Bay for her ninth child) in Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, Blue Christmas, and Christmas Bliss. Andrews’ newest book, Save the Date was released June 3 and follows wedding florist Cara Kryzik as she tries to save her business and a budding new romance. These funny, sharp titles, along with Summer Rental, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Deep Dish, make for great beach reading!
I first met Mary Kay about ten years ago when I worked as an adult services librarian in Raleigh, NC. I knew I had to invite her to speak to our readers when I heard her on NPR answering a phone caller’s question of whether or not men can have hissy fits with the obvious answer: of course they can. They’re called conniptions. She gracious agreed to come to my library, and she was as delightful a speaker as she is a writer. I ran into her again a few months ago at a national library conference (where, incidentally, she ended up sitting at a dinner table with my boss while I was in the back of the room). When I finally fought my way up front, she said she would be thrilled to come to Gainesville, and by the way, would we have time to visit any antique stores? Mary Kay is a lifelong “junker” who claims to know the location of every thrift store, flea market, and junk pile in the southeastern United States, and a few part of Ohio.
A native of St. Petersburg, FL(and a diplomate of the Maas Bros. Department Store School of Charm), Mary Kay earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Georgia in 1976 (Go Dawgs!). She started her professional journalism career in Savannah, GA, where she covered the real-life murder trials which were the basis of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. She left journalism after a ten-year stint as a reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two grown children and a proud grandmother. After a brief hiatus in Raleigh, NC, she and her husband moved back to their old neighborhood in Atlanta, where they live in a restored 1926 Craftsman bungalow. She divides her time between Atlanta and her restored beach cottage on Tybee Island, GA.
And so I’m proud to play a part in bringing Mary Kay Andrews to share an afternoon with Gainesville readers. Please join us at Millhopper Branch Library on July 13, where she will speak, answer questions, and autograph books.