Gilmore is the author of “Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen” and her most recent book is “The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove,” which was recently named a 2010 SIBA Summer OKRA Pick.
A native of Nashville, Gilmore began her writing career at the University of Virginia as a reporter for the school’s award-winning newspaper, The Cavalier Daily. She married in 1985, had three daughters and while baking cupcakes for bake sales, chairing school book fairs and volunteering at inner-city schools, still wrote for newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor and The Chattanooga News-Free Press. While on staff at the Free Press, Gilmore wrote a weekly column about parenting in the South. She currently resides in Chattanooga with her family.
Her first novel, “Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen,” is rooted in summer vacations spent with her paternal grandmother and grandfather, a revival-bred preacher, who after church on Sundays, always took his granddaughters to the Dairy Queen. This novel was called a “stand-out coming of age novel” by NPR’s Alan Cheuse and was a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2009 Book Award Nominee.
Merchants Alley will feature Arbonne International, Cleveland Therapeutic Massage, Daylilies, The Orange Blossom Boutique, The Painted Lady, Paisleys, The Red Ribbon, Sara’s Hallmark, The Shoe Tree and Silpada Design Jewelry and more. Merchants Alley will open at 10 a.m. and remain open until 2 p.m. where attendees can shop prior or after the noon lunch.
Lunch is planned to be served at noon and Gilmore will speak shortly thereafter. The cost for this event is $35. Your check is your reservation. New this year, tables can be purchased for $300 for reserved seating. Send checks to FOLA, 795 Church St., Cleveland TN 37311. The deadline for reservations is today.