… and I didn’t do anything wrong.
The small town in southern Illinois where I lived as a youth supported a weekly newspaper. The Kinmundy Express. There were only a few reasons to have your picture in the paper. One might be when you got married, but that wasn’t a certainty. Another would be when you passed away and that was more likely. I know I haven’t passed away because my wife checks the obituaries for me. She promised to tell me if she read mine. Another reason to have your photo in the paper was if you did something wrong like getting arrested. I have never been arrested, so that would not be a reason for my photo to be published.
My mother-in-law was visiting with my wife Saturday and casually mentioned she saw my picture in the Herald-News again. I wasn’t sure if she meant recently or a while ago. I usually know in advance if I’m going to be in the paper. At church Sunday one of the ladies handed me an article she had cut out from the paper. She knows I don’t subscribe and rarely see a printed paper. I thanked her and looked at the article. I saw the photo I use on my website and read the article. I was completely surprised. My friend, Denise Baran-Unland, is going to ‘review’ one of my books. I was thrilled. She never reviews books without reading them first. This meant she had actually read one of my books. She is one of the busiest people I know, so for her to take the time to read my book means a lot.
I don’t know what she will write in her review, but I can’t wait to read it. My books are not going to appeal to everyone. I don’t write about superheroes or vampires or fantastical creatures. My granddaughter, who is the reason I began writing in the first place, would rather read her Harry Potter books, but that’s okay. My stories are about real life even though they are fiction. Even my main characters are ‘real people.’ Rock stars do get married (many of them multiple times) and miracles do happen even today. My books usually have happy endings (unless they end on a cliffhanger) and situations get resolved. I know I am a better writer today than when my first book came out. (Insert plug for WriteOn Joliet here) I hate reading my first book now.
Thank you, Denise, for sharing your expertise over the years. Without your persuasiveness, I would still be tweaking my manuscripts. It feels good to have a bookcase shelf lined with books with my name on the spine. I appreciate the many times you have found space in the Herald-News to squeeze in an article about me (and all the other local authors) I’m anxiously awaiting what you have to say about Emmy and her friends. Maybe I would interest more readers if I reveal that the ‘Kenny’ character is actually a vampire from another planet who has magical superpowers and Emmy is an undercover agent for the CIA… Nah! They’re just regular people living in a Midwestern city trying to raise a family. Hey! Maybe Kevin Michael could be a superhero…