Libraries: Past to Future
When I was a young girl in southeast London (England), my favorite place to spend time was in the library. After school, I’d hurry up and eat dinner and rush down Thorpewood Avenue to search the bookshelves in Forest Hill Library which is in the photo. I think I read every book about horses that they had. I longed to do dressage, but no way could my family afford horses, let alone expensive lessons. In my mid-forties, I got to buy my first horse: my middlegrade novel MudMare is about a horse I was loaned by a neighbor as company for my mare. And the girl in the story is, well, based on my yearning!
In that library, I also remember finding and reading a novel by Victor Hugo. I rapidly realized that I was reading something special. I never imagined I’d ever become a writer, let alone get to be on a writers' panel but I was fortunate to be one of the authors invited to an Indie Author Day panel at the Midland Branch of the Boyd County Public Library (6686 US Route 60, Ashland, KY 41102). I very much enjoyed talking with and learning from the other authors: Dale Queen (and his wife); Robyn Chapman; Raymond G. Newsome; Thomas A. Dearing; Jodi Renfro; Tim Calllahan: Hollyn Parsons; Loni Burchett; Coy Hall.
Awesome librarians, Amanda Elswick and Sara Baier, along with their supervisor Ben Nunley, hosted the event. In a spacious meeting room, they set up tables for each author and gave us all a gift bag of goodies that included a thumb drive and earbuds and many other useful things. They generously supplied a wonderful lunch of fruit, sandwiches, and other goodies, including cookies, water and soda.
The facilitators, Amanda and Sara, showed us several brief helpful videos about Indie publishing: The Cost of Self-Publishing, How an ISBN Helps You Sell More Books, Pressbooks, Marketing, YouTube for Authors, and Wattpad.
We had plenty of discussion and shared the struggles and fun of self-publishing. It is a lot of work to write a book and requires not only an initial draft but much revision and copy-editing before publishing. I was impressed by the diversity of my fellow authors' “voices” that included a gothic western, a devotional, a horror story, local Kentucky non-fiction, general Kentucky fiction, and my historical fiction novel.
I learned from Hollyn Parsons who writes horror that Wattpad is another social media site that mainly gives teens a place to read books they can’t otherwise afford. I signed up to offer three YA fantasy novels. I try to limit my social media to Facebook, but I am hoping this will be fun and I’ll get to interact with young people.
Stop by your local library and bring your children to take advantage of all the wonderful books, videos and events they offer.