There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. — Maya Angelou
Tonight, I had the opportunity to be a part of an event that was very special to me as an author. I was invited by a teacher who was present at my reading at the Breezeway Cafe’ in Dunn, NC, to be a part of Arts Night at Buies Creek Elementary, which is near Campbell University. I really enjoyed discussing my books and my writing, as well as reading excerpts from my books. I met some awesome folks, and of course, had some of my books on hand. It was a lot of fun involving the kids, asking them questions, etc, and making it fun for them. Being that I have worked as a substitute teacher for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, it made it a lot easier, and I am finding that I am more comfortable with them. I am also a grandmother of three little boys, so, being a “Mamaw”, I have learned to have fun with them. The best thing of it is, I sold a few books, but I came away with something more valuable than that even. I told my husband on the way home, “you know, maybe I am writing for the wrong age groups (Adult so far, although “River of Secrets, Summer of the Rose” is also a coming of age story so it is unique in that it can be enjoyed by young and old alike, as “Anna”, who is now 87 years old, is reflecting back on the story as it happened through her childhood/early teen years).” I really got to thinking about that, and, well, who knows? Maybe I will try my hand at writing for the younger group. I didn’t realize until this experience, what a huge opportunity exists here. There is a need for good books for school age children. So, I left inspired myself, and hopefully inspired some future authors as well. Of course, I told them that if they wanted to maybe write their own books one day, to pay attention in spelling, grammer, etc, and make good grades. Who knows? Perhaps there might be a future novelist among them. I certainly took away some much needed inspiration myself, and that, to me, is priceless.
What I can say is, never, ever, underestimate your audience, or be discouraged if it is but only a few. There were only a handful of people that showed up for the reading at the Breezeway Cafe’ in Dunn, NC, beside the Library. One of them just happened to be a teacher, who invited me to share my writing and my aspirations with the wonderful teachers, parents, and students I met tonight. It is often the smaller doors that lead to the greatest opportunities. After all, what greater privilege is there, than having a part in inspiring young minds?
Also, I am pleased to announce that “Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind” has a new cover. If you visited my page earlier and tried to click on the Amazon link and found it “unavailable”, sorry about that, I just had to wait for them to approve the new cover, but it is up now. You will see the (old) new cover for a while, just until it has time to update in their system, but if you order it, you should receive the newer copy.
Here is the new cover for the book:
Just a note to parents on this one (“Return to Freedom, Voices in the Wind”): This one is on an adult level, although I tried to keep it family oriented, however, there are a couple of “suggestive” scenes. I do not go into detail with these, as that is not my focus, but in these instances, it was for the addition of a new, or future character in the story. You will see how they all connect at the end of the book. Also, in my books, any mention of these instances will only be with “married” couples. For the most part, I tried to maintain a sense of family values, and in the latter half of the story, as teachers and as parents of our future leaders, musicians, authors, etc., I hope you will be pleasantly inspired as you follow Bryan and Stephanie on their path to maturity as their parents seek to create that “path for learning” for them, and that in the process, you will be inspired as you strive to create that path for your own children. It is with this main focus that I wrote this part, and I hope you enjoy following the Wilkersons on a journey they will never forget. With that in mind, it is more for you, the parents and the teachers, that I have written this one. There are chapters within the book that could probably be enjoyed as stand alone scenes in themselves. To those of you who are teachers, I feel you will particularly enjoy the latter part of the story with the Wilkerson family. I hope you enjoy the journey! The book is dedicated in loving memory of my late Native American friend and mentor, “Gray Eagle”, without whom this book would not have been written.
“River of Secrets, Summer of the Rose”, (Click the title/link for my “Interview with Anna”.) on the other hand, has been written more with the younger generation in mind, although I feel that due to the nature of the story, as it involves time travel, and the older “Anna” reflecting on the events as they happened in her early years, I think it could be enjoyed by young and old alike. However, it does have romantic elements in it, as part of the story is Anna’s reflecting on meeting her true love, which is part of the story. So, I leave it to you to preview it as you see fit. It was inspired partly by a movie which my son introduced me to called “Tuck Everlasting”, which was adapted from a children’s book, so for the most part, that is the level I strived to write it on. As for me, I gained inspiration and encouragement from this experience with you all that just may bring about more books written especially for the younger generation in the near future. Again, thank you!
To Joseph Felice, the teacher (and very talented musician, I might add) who invited me, and the teachers, students, and the Principal, I sincerely thank you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful event. I wish you all and each and every student at Buies Creek Elementary all the best as you pursue your goals, and may your journeys be enlightened with good books as you prepare our leaders, writers, and musicians of tomorrow!