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Woodroof to Unveil Novel at Main Library

8/4/2014
The Shenandoah Valley has always known Martha Woodroof as a writer.   She’s been a broadcast reporter, a non-fiction writer, and creator and producer of her own show The Spark on Harrisonburg’s Public Radio Station WMRA, a local one-on-one interview show about people’s passions.
 
She’s also been a teacher’s aide, a magazine editor, a cook, an actress, and host of her own TV talk show, Charlottesville Today.  She’s extremely proud that this show locally beat the ratings over Phil Donahue’s Talk Show which was so popular during the same broadcast era.  You might say she’s a bit of a Renaissance woman.  But wait, there is something new for Woodroof.
 
Now she is a published novelist.
 
Her new book, entitled Small Blessings, debuts this month, and Woodroof is throwing a book launch party on Thursday, August 21, at Massanutten Regional Main Library, 5:30-8 PM.   Woodroof insists that it be a party.  She is anxious to have her friends around her and to meet new acquaintances. 
 
While her latest work will be on sale that night and she is prepared to sign copies, Woodroof has planned the event in minute detail.  A local guitarist, Bob Driver, will provide music.  Woodroof is purchasing Mashita food and Susan Comfort’s cheesecake cupcakes for the event.
 
Yet Woodroof doesn’t want the evening to totally be about her.  She has billed local Poet Angela Carter as special guest.  Carter will be on hand to read some of her published poetry from her book, Memory Chose a Woman’s Body:  A Poetry Memoir.
 
The new fiction author has also extended her generosity to Massanutten Regional Library.  She plans to “pass the hat” so that the library can “stock the stacks” with more books.  She says without hesitation that the library is one of her favorite places.  She’s ecstatic to hold her book launch party there.
 
Woodroof indicates her novel’s title, Small Blessings, is demonstrative of her own view on life and with the theme of her novel.  “I am always interested in how people change or refuse to change.  We are all comfortable with ourselves.  It takes self-knowledge to face the world and take a risk for happiness,” says the gregarious author.   “I am intrigued with this business.”
 
Woodroof says the book took her two years to write and about nine months to revise.  She loves all her characters in Small Blessings and based her book on many aspects of her own background.  One of the protagonists in the novel works in a college bookstore, a place where Woodroof herself once worked.  She is grateful for her tenure at National Public radio as “it taught me how to drive a story” and that helped with her fiction writing.
 
Small Blessings is a gift for me,” says Woodroof.
 
Meet the author personally on August 21 at the meeting rooms of the Main Library.  The event is free and open to the public.

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