By Morgan Bryce
Alabama’s favorite weatherman James Spann will be signing copies of his autobiography “Weathering Life” Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at Opelika’s Lewis Cooper Memorial Library.
Released June 29 by Crest Publishers, the autobiography chronicles Spann’s life growing up in a single-mother household in Tuscaloosa, his journey to becoming one of Alabama’s and the Southeast’s most beloved and well-known meteorologists, and the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak that ultimately motivated him to write this memoir.
Though Spann has a considerable wealth of writing experience through his blog posts, he said the book-writing process is far different.
“I can write about weather in my sleep, but telling important stories about historic weather events and my childhood experiences is very time consuming. And, for a guy that has very little time, you have to write bits and pieces of the book when you can,” Spann said.
Following his mother’s passing last year, Spann said looking through old photos brought back memories that inspired him to complete the project that he had started nearly a decade ago.
“I have never considered my life that interesting, but I now know many people come from similar struggles, and deal with the same issues and ghosts from life events, both current and past. I hope people are encouraged when they read the book, and understand you can live out your dream despite challenging circumstances,” Spann said.
Spann currently serves as the head meteorologist for WBMA in Birmingham, an ABC affiliate. He has received a multitude of recognitions, including an Emmy Award in 2001 for his weather coverage.
The event is being presented by the Opelika Bulletin Board, Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library and the Opelika Observer. In addition to the book signing, representatives from the Lee County Emergency Management Agency will set up a preparedness table and have a giveaway of NOAA weather radios.
“Lee County EMA is delighted to be able to come to this event. We have a great working relationship with Mr. Spann, and we are excited to see him come back to our community,” said Lee County EMA’s Public Information Officer Rita Smith.
Library Director Rosanna McGinnis said hosting someone as well-known as Spann is a monumental occasion for her and her staff.
“We love hosting authors and book signings, but when the author is a personality like James Spann, it adds a layer of excitement,” McGinnis said in a statement.
Copies of the book will cost $20 each and are available at Bubba’s Medicine Shop, the library or online at www.jamesspannbook.com or on the day of the event.
For more information, call 334-705-5380. The library is located at 200 S. 6th St.