BANGOR, Maine — As a young girl, Susan Lubner spent a lot of time reading at the Bangor Public Library, first looking at picture books and eventually moving on to the Nancy Drew detective series.
Now that Lubner is a writer of children’s books, she enjoys returning to the place she first found her inspiration.
Lubner read from her three published children’s books Saturday afternoon during the third Bangor Book Festival, which was held at the library.
It was her first time participating in the festival, although she has read her work at the library. Her three books are in the library’s collection.
“Even though it’s a little different from how I remember it growing up, I did spend a lot of time here reading my favorite books,” Lubner, a 1983 Bangor High School graduate now living in Southborough, Mass., told a group of adults and children. “It’s great to be back.”
Lubner was one of about 30 writers and book authors who read from their work Saturday as part of the festival, which opened Friday at the Bangor Opera House with a keynote address from Douglas Preston, author of the best-selling “The Monster of Florence.”
Lubner read her latest book, “A Horse’s Tale,” which is set in Colonial Williamsburg and sold in the gift hops there. It was the first time she wrote a book set in a historical location.
“This experience was very different for me as a writer, because I had to take a lot of facts and make it into a fiction story,” she said.
She also read “Ruthie Bon Bair: Do Not Go to Bed with Wringing Wet Hair,” a 2006 Mom’s Choice Award winner. Lubner donned a wild and colorful wig to go along with the story of a little girl who sprouts plants from her hair after a night of sleeping with a wet head.
“I love to connect with kids and I hope I’m able to touch somebody in some way,” Lubner said after her presentation. “Reading is such an important part of everybody’s life, no matter what you choose to do. Reading is a foundation, and I hope it inspires people to get into the books.”
Earlier Saturday, University of Maine at Machias associate professor of English Marcus LiBrizzi took a small group of audience members back to both shameful and inspirational events that occurred in Machias at the time of the Revolutionary and Civil wars.
LiBrizzi’s book “Lost Atusville: A Black Settlement from the American Revolution” details his research into the small settlement on the outskirts of Machias.
LiBrizzi read some of the tales he uncovered in his research into the settlement, which he said was founded near the time of the Revolutionary War and had its heyday from 1850 to 1870. The settlement, which included homes, a school and a cemetery, no longer exists.
It was LiBrizzi’s first time presenting at the festival, which he wanted to attend in order to share his work.
“I want to preserve the heritage we have in this state,” he said after finishing a question-and-answer session. “So often when we think of Maine historical periods it’s just a few types of periods that are talked about. But the more we dig the richer it is, so I wanted to share that rich heritage with the community, get the word out.”