As a writer and an author, one of the best things I get to do, is to go back home to do book signings. For me, home is Elkhart, Indiana, the city of my birth and where I grew up. Many of the places that shaped my writing and the settings for my stories, are in Elkhart. This week, I will have the privilege of doing three book signings in and around my hometown.
The Elkhart Public Library at 300 South Second Street, was a place where I spent a lot of time during my formative years and I also did a lot of writing there. I regularly checked out stacks of books and discovered many of the stories that remain my favorites to this day…Charlotte’s Webb, Black Beauty, Heidi, Little Women, Wuthering Heights, Gone With The Wind, Rebecca, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Old Man and the Sea, and anything by William Faulkner.
Since I grew up before the days of personal computers, all of my research for papers and articles was done at either my school library, or at the Elkhart Public Library. To this day, I still remember how kind and helpful the librarian always was to me. When I lived in Elkhart, there was only the one public library location. Today, there are multiple locations and they all have my books in their collections.
Because books played such a huge role in shaping my young mind and world view, it’s very important for me to promote reading and the love of books. I want children to love stories and books as much as I did and to understand that books can take them places where they may never be able to physically go. To that end, I often donate both my time and books to libraries and literacy programs across the country.
The house where I grew up and first discovered the buttons in my family’s button box is still there. It’s on Country Road 17 and isn’t nearly as rural as it was when I was young. Another family lives there and is filling it with memories now. Perhaps they have a button box like the one that inspired my first book, The Button Box.
My grandparent’s farm, which is the setting for my second book, Which Came First?, is located just outside of Elkhart. The old farmhouse and the barn are gone now, but the overgrown apple orchard and the lane that led to the back pasture, are still visible. I hope to visit the old farm while I’m in town.
If you’re in the area and have time, I’d love for you to stop by one of the signings and let me tell you about my books. I’ll be in town on Friday, October 5th and Saturday, October 6th. Here are the places you can find me:
*Friday, October 5th from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.-private reading and signing at the Village at Arborwood Retirement Community in Granger
*Friday, October 5th from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.-book signing at B on the River, 333 Nibco Pkwy in Elkhart
*Saturday, October 6th from 9:00 a.m. to noon-book signing at the Das Dutchman Essenhaus Gift Shop in Middlebury
And while I’m in Indiana, I will have the pleasure of meeting this little love who joined our family on September 15, 2018! Hallie Corinne Sever is two weeks old. I’m excited to meet her for the first time and to get to visit with her big brother, Graham, and their mom and dad!