Calabash gallery offers talk by popular local author Jack DeGroot on April 9

Jacqueline Degroot Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash, N.C. will present Sunset Beach, N.C. author Jacqueline “Jack” DeGroot as part of its Coffee With the Authors series on Thursday, April 9 from 10 to 11 a.m. The event is free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. DeGroot is the author of 21 novels and local interest books. The catalyst for her writing career was driving her daughter to school in Wilmington, 50-plus miles awayß. Rather than make the trip twice a day or spend her time and money shopping, DeGroot bought a used laptop from a friend and went to work on a story that had been building in her head for over 20 years. Two years later, she finished her first novel, “Climax.” Submitting it to agents proved futile (too racy, too long), so she began the process of self-publishing. She has been her own publisher, publicist and marketing department ever since. In 2004, DeGroot, along with several other students from a creative writing class at Brunswick Community College, founded a writers critique group called Writers Bloc. This past December, they celebrated ten years of fun, fellowship and fine writing. Currently, Jack is working on four projects: a local history book with Miller Pope on Ocean Isle Beach compiled from interviews with locals; the third in her Cemetery Kids series; a follow-up on her latest historical, “The Earl’s Wet Nurse,” and a contemporary in the style of “Flash Drive, “ which has become known as Fifty Shades of Brunswick County. CBS News came to interview her in both her home and on Bird Island in connection with her six-year secret undertaking of helping to collect and replace journals for The Kindred Spirit Mailbox on Bird Island in Sunset Beach. This year two of her books became “audibles” when Alex Hyde-White of Punch Audio out of Santa Monica, California, saw her on the show and asked her to allow his company to produce a few of her books for Amazon.com During the Sunset River Marketplace event, DeGroot will speak about her Cemetery Kids series as well as her experiences as an author and her involvement with the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. For reservations or more information about the gallery, call 910.575.5999. Since opening in 2002, Sunset River Marketplace has been an active supporter of performing, literary and visual arts in the area. The 10,000 square-foot gallery features work by over 200 North and South Carolina artists. Its on-site pottery studio has two kilns and three wheels for use by students. Ongoing oil, pastel and watercolor classes are also provided, in addition to workshops by nationally known artists. The gallery’s complimentary Coffee With the Authors programs feature presentations by local and regional authors. A Paint & Party series provides a fun after-work experience for those with no previous art background. The gallery’s framing department offers full-service, on-site custom frame design for artwork, family heirlooms and other memorabilia.

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