At the end of the summer, an impressive crowd of folks surged into the upstairs function space at The Unlikely Story Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Plainville Massachusetts. The draw? Eleven local, or sort of local authors who write in various genres, were there to talk about the books they’ve written, why they wanted to write, and the publishing process of getting books into print.
Several authors have published the conventional route, some have agents, others have worked with very small presses, and others of us have stuck to the self-publishing route. Each person’s story was different, but each of the speakers, including me, has ended up writing about what we love.
What a joy to look out into the audience and see so many folks who have helped me on this strange trip I have been on.
Co-authors of my latest, Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed book,
along with other watershed members who helped with the publishing and marketing challenges, smiled broadly throughout the program.
What a joy to have them all stand at the end of my presentation, reminding the audience that none of us does this work alone.
The writing group that Amy Bartelloni and I started over a year ago had a whole row of members sitting in the audience. Each member of this writing group brings their own gifts, hopes, fears and passion to the group. They beamed at Amy and me like proud parents at a school concert, as if to say, “Those are our girls!”
Besides the book sales, which are always nice, the best part of an event like this is the connections made. I found people who are ready to help with the upcoming plans for next years’ Massachusetts Walking Tour.
Don’t look now, but if you live in the towns the tour will be visiting next summer, I will be tracking you down to write letters of support for grants we will be writing this fall, to help fund the free concerts coming to your towns next June.
It’s all part of the challenge, and the fun, of getting the word out about books we’ve worked so hard to create. For what good is a book if no one reads and/or uses it?
Special thanks to nature photographer Mark Paine, who spends lots of time outdoors, hiking and tracking down interesting wildlife to photograph. Mark gave an afternoon of his time to attend the author’s panel, and took some really nice photos, which I’ve shared here. Thanks, Mark, for your practiced eye, skill in using the correct filters in challenging lighting conditions, and for sharing the pictures with me. And now, I share them with everyone else.
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed three guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,” “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts,” and edited “Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! Marjorie is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com