Franklin County Libraries Director Melody Gault and I go back -- way back -- to our childhoods growing up in Union County. This local- author journey of mine connects the dots with past and present. That happened again Wednesday when I visited the Brookville and Laurel libraries with presentations. Here, Melody sets up a display of the Brookville Library's books about self-publishing. Librarians ROCK! Brookville is a photogenic town. See more photos at the end of this blog.
When Brookville, Indiana, is mentioned, you may immediately think of its reservoir that offers water recreation to the region. Much more significant than boating, fishing and swimming, of course, is that the reservoir protects the town from flooding – something Brookville experienced in earlier days and was an ever-present danger before the reservoir.
The town, with a population under 3,000, sits deep in a valley with the two forks of the Whitewater River running through it. I think of Brookville as the first “southern” town on the east side of the state. The landscape is drastically different there from land north of the county – as hilly and beautiful as anything Brown County can offer – and the homes have a historic, old feel, older, it seems than those farther north.
I grew up the next county north, and when I fictionally mention the reservoir in both my books, Brookville is the one I’m thinking of, inspired by. It was talk of the town when I was a small kid as people anticipated what kind of change in lifestyle and traffic the reservoir would bring. Back then, you sometimes went for Sunday drives and I was fascinated when Dad took us to the greater Brookville area where he said, “See this place? Soon it will be under a lake.” It was strange to consider. But it happened.
Brookville is the Franklin County seat, and is filled with an abundance of elegant, antique homes, not the least of which is The Hermitage, where I have had the pleasure of staying twice. An 1835 house with a more-than-century-old stuffed peacock at the top of the stairs, the home was also the studio of Hoosier artist John Ottis Adams. Many of his books and furnishings are there today!
Did you know that Brookville produced five state governors? The sixth governor of Indiana was David Wallace. You might know of his son: Lew, author of Ben-Hur. That’s right, Lew was born in Brookville. I had no idea, either, until I Googled Brookville. His name is trending lately with a remake of the classic book due out as a motion picture.
I visited Brookville Wednesday, stopping in Liberty first to pick up my high school pal, Beth. It was something of a business trip, as I had presentations at the Brookville and Laurel libraries. The libraries’ director is Melody Gault. I’ve known Melody most of my life as she grew up in the same church I did in Brownsville, and like me, graduated from Union County High School.
Several folks turned out to hear my first run-through of a new program, “So You Want to Publish A Book.” This presentation is a “take notes and hold on” overview of what to expect in the self-publishing process. I share some lessons learned and leave those attending with their own questions – ones they didn’t know they even had. It was a good group, and an attending retired biology professor from Miami University in nearby Oxford, Ohio, told me the presentation was helpful.
After lunch catching up with Melody, we booked it to Laurel (time had gotten away from us) and there, a smaller group awaited the talk. Instead of speaking about self-publishing, I switched gears and winged it, talking about my books instead of the publishing process. Flexibility is part of this season of life.
It was fun to be back in Brookville again, to share some information, take in the lush summer-scape of the rolling, almost breath-taking scenery in and around Brookville.
Melody told me on Facebook, “It was great to have you at our libraries today. I highly recommend your talk on self publishing. Glad you tried it out on us first. Had many good comments from our patrons.”
I appreciate her kind words and hope to share what I’ve learned about self-publishing – one woman’s perspective – to help others get their work out there and enjoy this ride as a local author. Meanwhile, here are some scenes from the day.