The Jonesboro Authors Fair was something that I will always remember. I have never been to a book signing before this event. When I saw my name on the table it was such a special moment. Many of the people were already there and it was time to begin.
You could glance around the room and not only see the excitement on the faces of the authors but feel it in the room. The authors had their books displayed, smiles all around and were ready to begin.
One of my friends was there and seeing the happy expression on her face made me smile even more. I began to notice the names of some of the others and realized I knew several of these people. I had never met them or heard their voices, but they were and are my friends.
So many times we talk and comment or click on the like button on a page on Facebook. I have the Linda Nance Fan Page and the personal page. When I first published the first book it was so helpful as one or the other of the friends offered advice or answered my many questions. When the time neared for the surgery the comments of hope and love, prayers and support poured in. I saw messages to inspire and comfort. I saw messages from so many and it did and does make a difference to know that somewhere someone cares.
As the weeks and months have passed I began to feel as if I do know these friends. Some people may laugh and say these are not real friends. They are just people on line. What is a real friend? Is a friend a person who cares about you? Is a friend someone who offers encouragement, or takes the time to say things showing that they care? Does a friend listen when you speak words from your heart? If those are signs of a friend then I was looking around the room reading the names and seeing the faces of friends. Many of the people at the book signing I recognized from the internet and they were gathered together in person with smiling cheerful faces. They looked real to me.
There was no time to be nervous. The library staff made every effort to make things as easy as possible and helped in any way they could. The room was beautifully ready and the event began.
I do not know how many people attended but there was no time to be bored or even suffer nervous tension. I loved to see the expressions on the faces of the people as they looked at the books and then talking to the authors. Every author seemed to almost glow. The passion and enthusiasm was real.
I have worked so long and hard on this project and been thrilled with every book bought but here were people in person I could talk to, sign the book and answer any questions.
One woman looked puzzled as she examined the cover of the children’s book. She told me that she had seen it before. I mentioned it was on many different sites and she said “No. I have seen this book with this cover. This is the same pumpkin. I know it is.”
When I asked her where she had seen it, she said she was visiting a friend on vacation and it was on their table. That was a strange and wonderful feeling to know that on a table far from here someone was enjoying and sharing something I had created.
All of the children…oh, the children….they were such a delight. Some were shy and some excited but they were all filled with enthusiasm. I had such a wonderful time with them. It brought back many memories of reading the story to so many children. They always ask to hear it again and again. They cheerfully begin to tell what they think of would do. They ask, they tell, they laugh and share everytime I read it. It was wonderful.
I was able to meet people interested in the art work it took to create the illustrations and covers. It was like a world of magic.
The room filled with people coming and going when I noticed some very familuar people. A small crowd had gathered in front of my table and we all chatted about this and that with the books. I warmed my heart hearing such positive feed back when a little head bobbed through the crowd toward me. As a man was saying how beautiful he thought the cover was on one of the novels I had done from one of my paintings, the little observer cheerfully told the man he was an author too. People smiled down at him and he went on to explain that he had written several books and even did all of his own pictures. He pointed at me and proudly exclaimed “That’s my Mamaw. I am writing my next book with her and then I can get my picture on the back with her too!”
We all laughed and smiled and he was so proud and enthusiastic. He also was telling the truth. We often do projects and when he is done he has me staple it together and he has his books. We had been talking about the Pumpkin Field one day and he started to use his little imagination and the ideas flowed. His ideas are good, really good and I think if I help and write and do the illustration we can make his story for the next book one to remember as much as this first one that has survived through generations hearing it and passing it on to their own children. I could think of no greater compliment than hearing that little voice saying he was going to be just like his Mamaw.
The different authors went around greeting one another. I did not try to walk around the room but loved getting to shake the hand, hear the voice and see the smiling faces.
I will try to post more photos soon.
I thank the Jonesboro Public Library for the delightful event of the Author’s Fair on Saturday. It will live forever in my memory. The library does so many wonderful things for the whole community with programs, classes, and a staff willing to help and provide assistance. This special event unites people and was an amazing and exciting opportunity to meet and visit with authors and for authors to be able to reach out beyond the pages of their books.
The library does so much year round offering a full calander of special things of interest. Anytime and anyday that you stop by you can be met by cheerful, helpful and professional people enabeling you to find worlds beyond and open a full range of interests for you and your families. They are like a family at the library that helps one another and share the many things that they have. They are like a good neighbor looking to the needs of those that stop by. They are a door to the future if we take the time to open it and find out all within.