I'm Susan Formby, and I'm an Oklahoma transplant, by way of Florida. Chris Curry and I have been friends for more years than I can precisely remember. So, when Chris and Karen asked if I'd like to join them in this adventure of opening a bookstore back in 2006, I was excited. I had lived and worked in Atlanta for many years, but this setting brought me back to my small town roots. I have loved the sense of community and the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful people who have made the store a part of their lives. It's a special thrill to "match" a person with just the right book or to help someone find a unique gift. I'm grateful for the many fascinating conversations with people from all walks of life over these years. The store stands as a living contradiction to some people's notion that small towns are boring places where nothing much is going on.
My name is Jewell Coleman. I have worked at A Novel experience since September of 2014. I have lived in Zebulon for the past six years. Some things that people find strange about me, I enjoy the simple things in life. I believe that happiness is a state of mind, and I don’t think that people should settle for less than what they deserve. I've been through more than most people my age, but hey, it is what has made me stronger. I'm not what you would call a "typical" teenager. A lot of that probably has to do with what I've been through, but I'm okay with it. It's helped me be able to spot who my real friends are, and that family always comes first, because they are the ones that will always be there for you through it all. Photography is a passion of mine, and I've always loved to read. So, working at a bookstore is pretty great to me!
My name is Susan Comer. I work on Fridays here at A Novel Experience bookstore and have since August, 2007. I've lived in Griffin for 39 yrs, but have claimed Zebulon as my adopted home since coming to work here and meeting so many wonderful people. This is a very warm and friendly community. I've been married close to 47 yrs and have 2 sons and 6 grandchildren and don't mind talking about them one bit. Also, I've been learning how to write. Karen leads the writing group here at the store and my creative juices are flowing again. I had been a painter all my life but had encountered a very stubborn "artist's block". However, in the last year, I have begun to find real joy through putting words together. Reading and writing...it just doesn't get any better than this - unless you add some cool jazz playing in the background.
Karen Lacey here! When Chris Curry asked me might I want to open a bookstore in Zebulon, my "Sure!" initiated an adventure of learning, engaging with community, and friend making that defies anything my imagination might have produced. A New Yorker transplanted to a Williamson farm, I thought life couldn't possibly hold anything stranger than what I'd experienced--livestock, tractors, the occasional snake, folks who drank iced tea in wintertime. Had I listened more intently, I'd have heard life, the trickster, chuckling as it pushed me two ways at once--from my rural piano teaching comfort zone into the heady, often scary, world of academe, and into the dizzying world of commercial bookselling. My dear companions on this journey into unknown realms --Chris, Susan, Susan, Brenda, Jewell--steady me as I practice with them our store's motto, Leap and the net will appear!
Brenda Fayard. I am the Monday face at ANE... Seems like I have been here since the broken sidewalks and standing walls turned into the warm, comfortable, beautiful bookstore that inspires and delights those who enter... It is a joy to hear "I didn't expect to find all this" or "What a wonderful place".
Pike County was a great place to land after a life as a traveling photographer... Now I can talk all day about horses, knitting, woodcarving, organic gardening, gourds and oh yeah... books!
Chris Curry - Surely, as soon as I greet customers coming through our front doors they recognize that I'm not "from here"! By some misalignment of the universe, I was born and raised in the frigid North and it wasn't until I got to Georgia by way of graduate school in Athens that I realized my constitution thrives in high humidity. I'm living my childhood dream: Living in a historic house, horses in the front pasture and working in an independent bookstore in a small town. The thrill of discovering new great stories, and sharing them with friends, co-workers, and customers is a continuing source of joy to me.