The Friends of the Shannon Center

Meet the Authors & Bookfaire

 March 19, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Cost: $60 with lunch (Deadline for lunch reservation is March 11th)
$40.00 No Lunch

$15 Students No Lunch





Meet great authors, discuss books with other bibliophiles and enjoy lunch on stage. This event is a fundraising event for the Friends of the Shannon Center, the official support group of the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts. The proceeds are used to maintain the premises, fund outreach programs for the community and local schools, and support the performing arts at Whittier College.


Information On The Authors

Chris Epting is the author/photographer of 25 travel/history books, including James Dean Died Here-The Locations of America’s Pop Culture Landmarks (Santa Monica Press), Roadside Baseball (McGraw Hill), Marilyn Monroe Dyed Here-More Locations of America’s Pop Culture Landmarks (Santa Monica Press), The Birthplace Book (Stackpole Books) and many others.  He is also an award-winning travel writer, music journalist and has contributed articles for such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Westways and Travel + Leisure magazine. For six years he hosted the PBS-TV series “Forgotten Orange County” and for nine years he wrote a weekly newspaper column called In the Pipeline for the Huntington Beach Independent. He has also focused his writing efforts in Orange County, authoring the books "Vanishing Orange County," "The Baseball History of Orange County," "The Rock and Roll History of Orange County" and "Orange County Then & Now."  Originally from New York, Chris now lives in Huntington Beach.

Jessica Fechtor’s debut memoir, Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home, chronicles her recovery from a ruptured aneurysm at age 28, and how she reclaimed her life through food and cooking. A national bestseller and winner of the 2015 Living Now Book Award, Stir has been praised by as "a page-turning pleasure," and by The Wall Street Journal as "a recipe for living a life of meaning.” Fechtor lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughters. She doesn’t believe in secret recipes.

Author Molly Birnbaum  says of Fechtor’s memoir Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home is written with the flare of a novelist and the precision of an academic . . . a brave, beautiful narrative of illness and recovery. But it is not only that. It is a meditation on food and the kitchen, what it means to cook, and how the choices we make at the table can define who we are—and who we want to be.”




Sam Halpern was born January 9, 1936, on a sharecropping farm near Georgetown, Kentucky, the fourth and youngest child of forty-something-year-old Jewish immigrants. Given their age, the fact that they had three other children, were sharecroppers in the midst of the worst depression in American history, faced a colossal dustbowl drought in which the crops failed and even when they grew no one had the money to buy them, my arrival probably gave my parents pause. For the first 14 years of my life our family sharecropped in central Kentucky. To my knowledge, we were the only Jewish sharecroppers in Kentucky and were always the only Jewish people in our community.

The farm I describe in A Far Piece to Canaan is where we cropped from the time I was eight until I was fourteen.  I walked those hills, hunted those fields, and fished the Kentucky River. The people and situations I describe evolved partly from my imagination but they existed in every Southern farming community during those times. In 1950, my parents bought a farm and we became people of property.

I graduated high school in 1953, graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1958, went to medical school, and after my internship served two years in the Navy during the Vietnam era. After completing my medical training, I joined the faculty of the University of California San Diego and remained there until I retired. Since my retirement, I’ve spent my time writing and enjoying life. A Far Piece to Canaan is my first novel.

Peggy Hesketh

"I grew up watching Johnny Carson. I remember thinking: I must have interesting jobs so that when I sit on the couch next to Johnny and he asks me what I did before I became an author I would have glorious stories to tell.

So my first job straight out of high school was an incense stick dipper, my second a waitress in a coffee shop that shared a bathroom with a whorehouse upstairs, my third a window blind repair person, my fourth a typesetter, my fifth a freelance ad copywriter, my sixth a computer graphics artist, and so it went.

And meanwhile, I dropped out of several colleges, got married on a volcano in Guatemala in a Mayan ceremony presided over by a Catholic priest who was murdered five years later by a right-wing death squad, had two glorious children, nursed both my parents through fatal cancers, earned a BA in journalism, spent a dozen years as a reporter and editor, traveled around the world, broke several major bones playing softball, went back to school, earned an MA and MFA, started writing fiction and teaching full time at the University of California, Irvine, (which by the way, was one of the colleges I dropped out of as an undergrad), spent the last year undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and ultimately celebrating this crazy life. Oh, and I'm back playing softball twice a week."

Peggy Hesketh's writing has appeared in Calliope and the Antietam Review, and her short story "A Madness of Two" was selected by Elizabeth George for inclusion in her anthology Two of the Deadliest.  A long-time journalist, Peggy teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of California, Irvine. Telling the Bees is her first novel.

Jeff Hobbs grew up in Kennett Square, PA. He attended Yale University where he won the Meeker Prize for his writing and the Gardner Millett Award for his running. He graduated in 2002 with a BA in English language and literature. He lived in New York City and Tanzania for three years while working for the African Rainforest Conservancy. His first novel, The Tourists, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2007 and was a national bestseller. His second book, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, was published by Scribner in 2014 and was New York Times bestseller, winner of the LA Times Book Prize for Current Interest, and was a finalist for the Pen Award in biography. Jeff Hobbs lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children, where he is working on a second work of nonfiction while visiting high school and college students around the country.





*Authors subject to change without notice



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