I was fortunate to be included in an authors and illustrators signing at the local library, Manske Library, on Saturday. About 20 local authors and illustrators were present from 3 to 5 p.m. to sell and sign books and meet with the public. Belinda Jacks, Library Director, was very hospitable.

I was there to promote my book, The Minutes of Salem Baptist Church, the story of a pioneer church north of Chattanooga, Tennessee in the 1800s and early 1900s. I was also promoting my upcoming poetry book, Timepieces, Contrasts, and Memories, and other upcoming projects. It is comforting to converse with other members of a profession that is largely a lonely one.

An author signing is an interesting event. Readers have a chance to meet authors and illustrators who have a chance to tell their stories. Illustrators such as Pat Kochan, a professional artist at the Artisan’s Studio-Gallery in Farmers Branch, with her book of watercolor paintings that capture the history of downtown Dallas. The book is titled Once Upon a Time in Dallas.

Authors like Tracey Richardson, originally from New Orleans, with her book, Florestine, telling the story of her ancestor about whom little is known. Taking the known facts and stories, Richardson used fiction to fill in Florestine’s back story. Or Lynette Norris Wilkinson, who grew up in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Living in Dallas by the time of Hurricane Katrina, she found herself with 16 family members and friends on her doorstep who had lost everything – except what was in their cars – during the hurricane. Which led her to write the book, UNTOLD: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew, and create the corresponding website with stories of the survivors. Proceeds from the book benefit New Orleans charities.

Martha Trevino Castilleja talked about her children’s book, The Courage of Little Alex, a story of doing wonders with faith and courage. Castilleja’s other book, Something to Remember, is a story about families surviving the devastating flood of 1954 in Acuna, Mexico, and the bordering town of Del Rio, Texas. In Dr. Grace Allman Burke’s book, The Stranger’s Son, the reader sees what it might have been like to witness the events from the Bible’s book of Exodus through twelve year old Gershom’s eyes. After reading the book, they will have a “whole new appreciation for what it meant to be Moses child.

Stay tuned – as they say – for more authors’ stories.

Peace be with you.

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