Promising to tell my blog readers about my journey as a writer, I have the privilege today of telling you about last week’s arrival of my new book, Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 2.
My first copies of the local history book arrived on Sunday. That evening, I also finished drawing in black ink two maps of 1900s Harrisburg, NC on 11×17-inch paper. I’d drawn the maps in pencil years ago based on my memory and the recollections of Mr. Ira Lee Taylor. Mr. Taylor was born in the early 1920s and lived to be in his mid-nineties. He was a great resource for me when I was writing the local history column from 2006 through 2012.
Mr. Taylor’s memory of stores and other businesses such as the livery stable made it possible for me to include many buildings that were long gone by the time I was born in the 1950s.
Since the town experienced several road closures and the addition of a four-lane bridge over the railroad tracks due to the high-speed rail improvements about a decade ago, it’s important to have a record in the form of a map so the town’s earlier layout won’t be forgotten.
Monday morning, I took the two maps to have photocopies made. Since the owner of the local bookstore had told me that several people who purchased my first local history book had said they wished they had a map of the way the town used to look, I thought she’d be happy to have my two 11×17-inch maps to sell for maybe $2.50. That didn’t work out, which was disappointing.
On Monday and Tuesday, I got to give copies of my new book to several people who have been instrumental in helping me with details of local history. I mailed several of those to people who live out-of-town, but I got to deliver others in person.
I designed and had bookmarks printed to give away with each book. One side of the bookmark has pictures of both of the Harrisburg local history books and the other side has a photo of my “Slip Sliding Away” short story along with my website and QR code so people will know how to get a downloadable copy of my short story by subscribing to my newsletter.
I also delivered copies of my first and second local history books to a local bookstore which already had two people on the waitlist for Book 2. After taking the books to the store, I posted announcements on three Facebook pages so people would know that my new book was available locally and on Amazon. I’ve enjoyed getting comments and replying to comments – some from people I know and some from people I’ve never met. It’s gratifying to know that people are enjoying both my books.
Wednesday gave me a break from all the book activity, as a cousin visited from New York with her two-year-old son. It was great to sit and visit and watch a very active toddler investigate parts of our house and yard.
On Thursday, I got to have lunch with three local people to talk about local history. It was interesting, and I learned some things I hadn’t known before. Don’t jump to any conclusions, though; I don’t have a third local history book in me!
Early in the week, I made the decision to give myself Thursday and Friday off from hawking my book. Being a native and lifelong North Carolinian, the “March Madness” of the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball is something I’ve always blocked out time for on my calendar. Both of my NC State University teams got knocked out in the first round, but I’ll continue to watch the games the next three weekends.
On Saturday, I delivered more copies of Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 2 to the bookstore in Harrisburg, so the shop is well-stocked for this week.
When not hawking books or watching basketball, I spent a good bit of time pouring over old deeds, plats, and maps as I tried to figure out exactly where I live in relation to the land purchased by my ancestors in the 1760s. I enjoy activities like that.
Until my next blog post
I’ll continue to publicize my books, and I’ll keep spreading the word that I now publish an electronic newsletter every other month for people who subscribe to it on my website: https://www.janetmorrisonbooks.com. I also give away a downloadable short story to subscribers. I appreciate those of you who have taken advantage of this opportunity.
I hope you have a good book to read. The right of people to read is under attack in some states within the United States, and that’s a frightening situation. It’s more important than ever for freedom-loving people everywhere to read, read, read. Support your local public library and your local bookstore! Don’t let anyone dictate what you can and cannot read!
I plan to get back to work on the book of family recipes I started compiling a few months ago before the history books demanded my time. That’s my next project, but I’m eager to also get back to writing my first historical novel.
Take care of each other.
Don’t forget the people of Ukraine. In particular, remember the 16,000 children who have been forced by the Russians to go to Russia in the last 14 months. Only 300 of the 16,000 have been able to get back to their homeland of Ukraine.