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New novel debuts at “70 Years of Gone With the Wind: A Re-Premiere” event

New novel debuts at “70 Years of Gone With the Wind: A Re-Premiere” event (Forimmediaterelease.net) Kathryn Witt of Taylor Mill/Covington, Kentucky, author of the new novel, The Secret of the Belles, will be joining the stars of the movie, Gone With the Wind, on November 13 and 14 at its 70th anniversary celebration in Marietta, Georgia. Witt’s book, which is aimed at middle-grade readers, is told through the alternating viewpoints of two thirteen-year-old girls, Lanie Sullivan and Belle Blakely, who never meet but share a fascination for all things Gone With the Wind. Go to www.kathywitt.com for details. The author was invited to appear at the “Re-Premiere” by the hosting venue, the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum-Scarlett on the Square.

“Kathy’s book is a page turner,” said Chris Sullivan, the Akron, Ohio, authority on GWTW who owns the memorabilia collection housed at the museum in Marietta. Sullivan read an early draft of the manuscript to check facts related to various collection pieces and to the 1939 three-day Atlanta premiere of Gone With the Wind, the setting for much of the novel. “Kathy wrote a book that is at once a romance, a mystery, a recounting of history, and an adventure – all wrapped up with a big glorious bow of old Hollywood glamour!”

AUTHORS, ACTORS AND COSTUME BALL

The two-day gala in November, billed as “70 Years of Gone With the Wind: A Re-Premiere,” will include author book signings, autograph sessions with the stars, a lavish costume ball, and a Big Screen showing of the 1939 classic, with pre-show activities hosted by Robert Osborne, film historian and host of Turner Classic Movies.

Witt will be one of several authors signing books and participating in Q&A sessions during the “Re-Premiere.” Also appearing will be Herb Bridges, preeminent GWTW authority whose books include Gone With the Wind: The Definitive Illustrated History of the Book, the Movie and the Legend; Molly Haskell, Frankly, My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited; Sally Tippett Rains, The Making of a Classic: The True Story Behind Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind; and Robert Osborne, 80 Years of the Oscar. Cammie King Conlon will also join the authors, signing her recently-released book, Bonnie Blue Butler: A Gone With the Wind Memoir.

Headlining the “Re-Premiere” will be GWTW cast members Ann Rutherford (“Carreen O’Hara”), Mary Anderson (“Maybelle Merriweather”), Mickey Kuhn (“Young Beau Wilkes”), Cammie King Conlon, Greg Giese (“Bonnie Blue” and “Beau” at infancy), and Patrick Curtis (“Baby Beau”), all of whom will sign autographs and participate in Q&A sessions.

Rounding out “Re-Premiere” festivities will be a “Belles and Beaus” costume ball; VIP and cocktail receptions; dinner and dancing; a showing of Gone With the Wind — still one of the most beloved movies of all time; a red carpet Parade of Stars including both actors and authors; and tours of the extraordinary collection housed at the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum-Scarlett on the Square, which will be conducted by Sullivan.

VARIATION OF A THEME

As a novel – and one written for the middle-grade reader – The Secret of the Belles represents a fresh approach to books written on the topic of or relating to Gone With the Wind.

“Some books rehash things that have been published many times before, although there are some new books about the history of GWTW that actually capture new information and present it in a new way,” noted Sullivan. “Kathy’s book is unique and must be looked at in a different light.

“If I had never ever read Gone With the Wind, and if I had never seen the movie, and if someone gave me a copy of The Secret Of the Belles to read, I still would have loved it. It is a book that stands on its own merits. It is clever and full of plot twists. You can still appreciate it even if you are unfamiliar with GWTW.”

CHARACTERS COME TO LIFE

The book’s two main characters, Lanie Sullivan, who lives in Marietta, Georgia, in 1939, and Belle Blakely, who lives in Lanie's childhood home over sixty years later, have been brought to life by dollmaker Mary Ellen Lucas of Lexington, Kentucky. Lucas is known for her historical programs on topics ranging from “My Kentucky Heritage” to “The Presidents and Their First Ladies” to “The Men and Women of History,” that feature her collection of 158 historically-costumed dolls. Lucas costumed the Lanie and Belle dolls in period as well, with each wearing an ensemble from their story. Like the novel, the dolls make their official debut at the “Re-Premiere” in November in Marietta.

Lucas, featured in Witt’s first nonfiction book about dolls, Contemporary Doll Artists&Their Dolls (Collector Books, 2005), made the Lanie and Belle dolls as a gift for the author. Following the “Re-Premiere,” Witt plans to loan the dolls to the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum-Scarlett on the Square for exhibit.

The Secret of the Belles by Kathryn Witt is available at all bookstores, Amazon.com, Barnesand Noble.com, and Borders.com. Autographed copies may be ordered through the author’s website at www.kathywitt.com, where you’ll find more information about the book. Autographed copies may be purchased during the event, “70 Years of Gone With the Wind: A Re-Premiere,” November 13 and 14, at the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum-Scarlett on the Square in Marietta, Georgia. Tickets for this event are available by calling 770-794-5145 or emailing href="mailto:csutherland@mariettaga.gov">csutherland@mariettaga.gov. “Re-Premiere” event package and price, as well as the agenda, may be seen at www.gwtwmarietta.com.

Laurie Rowe President, LRC, inc Office: 850.215.0558 Cell: 770.402.0879 Email: LaurieRowe@LRCpr.com Web: www.LRCpr.com

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