Copeland to sign novel at festival

Published 3:00 am Friday, October 24, 2014

Nicole Kilpatrick Copeland will be a featured writer in the author’s section of the Peanut Butter Festival in Brundidge on Saturday.

This will be the first book signing for her recently released book for teens, “Ragamuffin,” which is the first in a series of four.

Copeland is a graduate of the Pike County High School Class of 1992. Although she lives “out in the county,” Brundidge holds a special place in her heart.

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“My grandmother lived in Brundidge and I spent a lot of time with her,” Copeland said. “We would walk up town, and that’s when I really became aware of the people and things around me. We talked about the people and the places, and my interest in people just grew.”

Copeland said her interest in writing was encouraged by her high school English teacher, Nellie Sue Helms.

“Mrs. Helms saw something in me – that maybe I had the ability to write – and she encouraged me to be creative in my writing and to keep going.”

Copeland chose the Peanut Butter Festival to introduce her book, “Ragamuffin,” to the public because the book signing will bring her full circle back to where it all began – Brundidge.

She earned an undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing and a master’s degree in post-secondary education at Troy University but her desire is to write and to write words that will make a difference in the lives of others.

Her first book, “Ragamuffin,” is for ages 14 and older and her belief is that, through the characters in the book, the words can make a difference.

“A ragamuffin is a thrown away child,” Copeland said. “Too many young people in today’s world feel like ragamuffins.”

For that reason, Copeland chose “Ragamuffin” as the title of her book about four young women who found reason and purpose in their lives through the bonds of friendship.

“‘Ragamuffin is the story of the struggles of young women from four different worlds,” Copeland said. “It’s the first in a series of four books that deal with issues relevant to teens today – from eating disorders to drugs and suicide.

“The teens were, at first, alone and afraid of having to face life, but circumstances bring them together and together they learn to trust each other and life. They become like family and together they are able to find their way in life.”

“Ragamuffin” is basically the story of one of the girls, Delilah. Each of the other books in the series will feature one of the other girls.

“Each girl has her own story and the other books will feature the stories of the other three teens,” Copeland said. “My hope is to continue writing books that focus on issues in the world of teens and, from there, I’m not sure. I just know that I want to write.”