Spotlight – By Amy Ammons Garza
Author Barbara Taylor Woodall – Writes About Inside Experiences in Foxfire Book Series
In June this year, Barbara Woodall’s book It’s Not My Mountain Anymore, was published by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia. By the second week of July, she had sold almost 1000 books! It was an overnight sensation in her home county of Rabun, Georgia. Since then, she has been to book signings all over North Georgia, Atlanta, and also in nearby states, almost doubling the sales of the book.
So, what makes this book so popular?
First of all, Barbara is a down-to-earth seventh generation Appalachian, who tells it like it is. Born and raised in the mountains of North Georgia, she graduated from Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in 1973 and was active in the Foxfire programs. With nearly 9 million copies in print, The Foxfire Book and its eleven companion volumes stand memorial to the people and the vanishing culture of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, brought to life for readers through the words of those who were born, lived their lives, and passed away there—words collected by high school students who wanted to be a part of their community and preserve their heritage. Barbara was one of those original high school students who interviewed the local mountain people for the Foxfire Book series, giving details of a time that not only documented the era, but changed her life as a teenager. In It’s Not My Mounatin Anymore, the behind-the-scenes viewpoint of the concept, the reasoning, the operation, and the success of the Foxfire books is insightful and informative, plus filled with personal, touching, glimpses of the whole endeavor.
Barbara’s book also touches in almost equal measure to all stages of Barbara’s life- it’s balanced and satisfying. Her absolute authentic voice merges with moving stories that will moisten eyes and bring laughter, as she offers first hand accounts of profound experiences and mountain living.
There is a message in Barbara’s book, a message she expresses in the statement, “The mountains I once knew are not the same. Inevitable changes both to the landscape and its inhabitants clash dramatically with cherished memories of a passing era.”
As a speaker, Barbara’s deep sense of humor transcends the underlying drama of her message. She speaks with the sincerity of one who totally believes in her appeal to the audience to take note of the drastic changes being brought to the landscape of the Appalachians. Woven into her performance are stories told that only one who grew up in the mountains listening to the storytellers of old would know.
A trip to her website, itsnotmymountainanymore.com, will acquaint you with the personality of this crusader— Mountain hospitality needs no formal invitation, so drag up a chair, cock up your feet and feel free to help yourself to a tall, ice-cold glass of sweet tea as I share mountain experiences and the many colorful people who have shaped my life. Taste the harsh realities of change. It’s a journey filled with appreciation, humor, love and loss. Take what you want and spit out the bones.”
Visit a while on the website with Barbara, and consider reading her book, and / or purchase her book for that special someone for Christmas.
With nearly 9 million copies in print, The Foxfire Book and its eleven companion volumes stand memorial to the people and the vanishing culture of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, brought to life for readers through the words of those who were born, lived their lives, and passed away there – words collected by high school students who wanted to be a part of their community and preserve their heritage.
Barbara Woodall is a 7th generation Appalachian and a Foxfire Book veteran still living in the North Georgia Mountains. It's Not My Mountain Anymore is her first book. It's about a place and a people who lived by faith between the sun and the soil. It's about hearts knitted to The Appalachian Mountains with golden threads and the things that really matter.