Tag Archive for James Preller photo

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Author Meets Reader: A Photo and a Thank You

Book store signings strike me as things of the past, except for the isolated few big names in our business who don’t seem to need the boost at all. Lives are busy, schedules conflict, and most of the public’s attention goes only to the best & the biggest who sit atop the cultural pyramid. Who seriously has time to be at a bookstore at 1:00 on a Saturday?

I mean to say: they can be depressing if you aren’t prepared for the inevitable disappointment. 

For punishment, I was forced to stare at a prominent, centrally-located, in-store display of the new children’s book by by literary lion Matthew McConaughey.

I mean to say: This is Gemma and she traveled a good distance to meet me at a bookstore in Schenectady. It’s not nothing. In fact, it’s a lot more than nothing.

She first encountered me on a Zoom thing that Scholastic created around Jigsaw Jones: The Case from Outer Space. She came hoping to buy more Jigsaw Jones titles — there are 14 currently available — but alas, there were none in the store. Sigh, oh sigh. Gemma rallied, however, and grabbed Exit 13: The Whispering Pines. She would not be denied and her mom, from what I could gather, was constitutionally unable to say “no” to a book. 

Thank you, Gemma!

The Author in 7th Grade

I’m wearing my favorite “Wantagh Grapplers” sweatshirt with the sweet cut-off sleeves and Incredible Hunk visuals. 

Do I look tough? I might have thought so at the time.

I wrestled for one year at 92 pounds, did okay, and that was that. 

Yes, a lot of hair.

I’m exactly twice that kid’s size today.

Authors in Support of Ronald McDonald House Charities

I had the privilege of participating in an event at the Little Book House in support of the important work performed by Ronald McDonald House in the Capital Region. Having long been on the receiving end of their generous giving, I was only too glad to be there.

Five other local writers — all new to me — were very, very impressive: debut author Emma Kress (Dangerous Play); debut author E.L. Shen (The Comeback); YA debut author Jennifer Dugan (Hot Dog Girl); Janine Cammarata (The Puzzle Quest series); and Michael Burns (Nervous Rex). There’s something about a debut author that touches my heart, all the talent and innocence and excitement right at the moment before the publishing industry grinds them down to dust! Local teachers & librarians, please look out for those books.

Special thanks to Nancy Damato for spearheading this lovely event. Also, thank you to Susan Novotny of The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, for hosting us with charm and grace. 

Photo: Hey, It Was the 70s

A classic photo from 1974. I am 13 years old, wearing borrowed clothes for my brother John’s wedding. 

The wallpaper, the lamp, the hair, the lapels, the wide tie, it’s all there. 

I sometimes show this photo on middle school visits in support of my somewhat dubious claim that I’m an ex-kid myself.