Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Boom for Our Local Library

My vantage point
 I arrived about forty minutes early for the talk by Beverly Lewis, a New York Times best seller of Amish Romance. The upper level parking lot full, so I drove around the block to the parking garage. I slipped in the back, as ladies waited in seats near the front. I flipped open my lap top, excited.
The staff twitter around the middle area. Book table freshened. Cookies spread out on another table. The tall man on staff beams. Having Beverly Lewis, not only here, but to kick off her newest book, The Love Letter, at our Sharon Library is monumental. Never has anyone of this popularity talked here.
I chatted with the woman next to me. She wants to write, well, she admited she has written some children's stories. I excitedly show her Rhonda Paglia's site and the Western PA Author page. I give her my business card. The first rule of writing, be generous and give support and advice.
Beverly Lewis came out as more chairs were added to the common area. She's petite. I looked up her age and find she is twelve years older than I. She's pleasant and has always written (sounds like me.) Only I gave away the Betty Crocker cook book with my drawings, and many of the early "books" I made. Her mother kept her writings.
Question and answer time arrived where anything can happen. I asked the second question- Is she planning a book on this area's Amish since she kicked off her book launch here? and follow up, Does she need a collaborator? Graciously, she laughed that this was a whirlwind book tour and she gets plenty of e-mails for ideas and plot lines. I stay away from the Sam Mullet(Renegade Amish) story. I really wish, though, I could have at least taken her to Mercer and New Castle and show her our beautiful Amish Country- different than many other areas.
Of course, I can't help but think of Bert and Barbara, my Amish friends from Ohio. Longing for warmer weather to visit them. I always joke, I could do their Amish life with running water and phones. Their home on a ridge with windows facing East and West in the midst of farm fields, peaceful and restful and beaming with joy. I love my time there.
I waited for the line to die by posting on Facebook, and checking my e-mail. After, again, welcoming and thanking Mrs. Lewis for coming to Sharon, she is to be whisked off to Mercer, PA's library. The Bethany House driver stated, "No time for back roads this trip." I do hope she comes back to our area for research on another book.
I finished up my article for The Way It Was- "Only Rock and Roll," at the library. This article is an interview with Frank Secich of Blue Ash, a local band that made some waves nationally. Frank broke the mold of bands in the late sixties of performing cover songs by starting to write their own songs. Western Pennsylvania has a local sound and we talked about that as well. He also still performs in Deadbeat Poets after retirement age. I love Deadbeat Poets local name songs, "The Green Man," and "Jennyburg Hill." The paper comes out Wednesday, April 1.
I commenced the published author career later than Mrs. Lewis, but I hope some day, I, too, can speak to a room full of my readers in my library. Key, keep writing. I fight myself all the time for seat time. I need to give myself permission. I think it is also called discipline.
Meeting the audience

The line

Katie's friend, Dawn, has loved Beverly Lewis for many years

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