James Patterson Emphasizes Storytelling, Motivating Young Readers Ahead of Book Festival Visit

On this West Virginia Morning, the best-selling author of all time will be at the West Virginia Book Festival this weekend. James Patterson has sold more than 100 million books. He told Eric Douglas by phone he will be telling stories, but he also has a greater purpose.

Also on today’s show, what do you think of when you hear the word “Possum”? They’re sometimes called scavenger. Trash animal. Road kill. Chicken killer. These are some of the things that people in central Appalachia said they associate with possums. Yet, others consider them heroes.

The debate around possums heated up earlier this year, when the town of Harlan, in Kentucky, decided to feature a possum on a downtown mural.

Inside Appalachia Folkways Corps member Nicole Musgrave reports on why the painting of a possum caused such a stir in this Appalachian community, and why other artists in eastern Kentucky are now including possums in their artwork.

You can hear more stories about how Appalachians are represented, and misrepresented, in the latest Inside Appalachia podcast.

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Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.