Monday, May 18, 2015


This past Saturday was the day I look forward to all year long. In case you are new to my blog, every year in May my city gets together at World's Fair Park for the Children's Festival of Reading. Usually more than 15,000 people show up each year and this past weekend was no different.

I arrived bright and early at 8:15 am and there were already people starting to set up. The event didn't start until 10 but you could already feel the excitement and anticipation in the air.

Over by the regular playground there were people setting up a special obstacle course for the kiddies as well as areas for chalk drawing and face painting.

I didn't have to worry about whether I would be safe among all those people...these superheroes had my back!

Kids visiting my front booth got a chance to create beautiful pictures and then we would turn them into butterflies. I brought material to make 1000 butterflies...and hoped I would have enough...

The back booth had information about my book, my fan club, and specials running at my martial arts school. It was a two ring circus and I was very grateful my sister was there to help.

Children's authors are invited from all around the country to come to this event. There a performance stage, the main stage, a music stage, a signing booth, and different genre book panels.

My booth was across from the book signing tent and down the way from the main stage. All in all a good real estate in terms of festival traffic...

There's a parade of books, complete with 10 foot tall stilt walkers and circus performers. I tried to count how many of those wonderful authors I've read before and how many I needed to add to my "to read" list...;~)

I had a great time hanging out with everyone but there were a few things I missed out on:

1. My booth was so slammed all day long I never got to visit with Dan Santat...;~(

2. The public library was selling discontinued books for 50 cents to 1 dollar each and I couldn't get away long enough to check them out. I just know there were books over there calling my name...begging me to take them home with me...and I was too busy to answer the call.

3. I missed out on lunch as well but was reminded of it all day long as I was caught in the cross winds of barbeque, funnel cakes, hot dogs, and nachos.

But despite some of the minor disappointments of the day, there were some incredibly touching moments that I will cherish forever...

1. The young lady on the right, along with her sister, stopped by my booth to make their butterflies. Mom signed them up for my FREE STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB when I noticed one of the sisters started to draw another picture but when I asked her if she wanted me to make it into another butterfly, she just shook her head and turned the picture towards me so I could see it. She had drawn a pretty butterfly down one side and across the top wrote the word "autograph". I realized she wanted to have my autograph but was too shy to ask. That was a request I certainly had to fullfil.

2. Mrs. Williams from the Knox County Public Library system stopped by my booth to say hi and confirm she ordered a number of copies of my book so children will be able to read it in the local branches in the near future. When I thanked her for her kindness in voting for my book's inclusion in the system's inventory, her reply was, "It was a good book and you are one of our own." That was very sweet to hear and validated my hard work at this writing thing.

3. A young man was brought to my booth by his mom because she was told she HAD to look me up. Thanks, Lisa Wade, for your kindness in helping spread the word about my book!

4. But by far, the sweetest thing to happen to me this past weekend was when an older lady stopped by my booth to chat with me about THE STORY CATCHER. She mentioned she had many stories crowding her brain and asked me many questions about writing and publishing in general. At one point she took out a large flip pad notebook and started taking notes of our conversation. I gave her one of my postcards and mentioned that she will be able to check out my book from the public library. She said the Ebook was already available because my book was REQUIRED READING at some course she was taking. I was stunned! Required reading? I was almost overwhelmed with emotion and managed to tell her how she made my day telling me that. Who knew? Her reply? "No, YOU made MY day by talking to me."

I may never make a penny off THE STORY CATCHER. I may never sell another book. But I can sleep well tonight with the knowledge that at least one of my stories have touched the hearts of some people...maybe helping to make them feel less alone with their particular struggles...and it doesn't get better than that!

Five fun-filled hours later, it was almost as if we had never even been there but I will always remember...


Addie comes from a long line of readers or "story catchers" as her family likes to call themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own the wiggly words play tricks on her. She tries different ways to make those words sit still but it will take a little faith for Addie to become the next STORY CATCHER.

Buy Links:
Amazon Kindle ¦ Paperback ¦ B&N ¦ Smashwords


Membership includes:

Membership Certificate

Bi-montly Newsletter full of mazes, puzzles, games, news, and other goodies
Reading Log for earning STORY CATCHER AWARD
Short story starring YOU!


  1. It is always a blast getting to interact with readers. It sounds like you had a fantastic day :-)

    1. Hi Angela! It really WAS a great day...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  2. What?! Somebody was selling books? I missed it again! One year I will go to this festival with you and NOT get my face sunburned. And buy a book!

    1. Lol, Janet...the book selling was going on behind us...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  3. That's what it's really all about, isn't it? So glad you had such a rewarding day, Donna!

  4. Hi Debora and welcome to my blog!. It was an incredible day and it continued to rock on when I visited my one of my local schools yesterday. Look for my post next week about it...;~)

    Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  5. Hi Donna - congratulations ... sounds like you helped many out, while having fun yourself ... it's great you're doing so well and Story Catcher is proving catching!! Cheers and so well done - Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary! It's amazing to me how my little story affects some people. The children like the catchy illustrations while adults relate to the storyline...

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!