Well, They Met the Authors!

Jaine Toth

When Robson Ranch advertises itself as a community for active adults, it is right on the mark. For many of us retired folks, our days are so full we sometimes wonder how we ever fit a full-time job into our schedules. Thus, the Write On . . . writers’ workshop was unsure how many people would manage to find time on a Tuesday afternoon to attend our Meet the Authors event. We decided to print 40 programs, then at the last minute printed another 10. It was a delightful surprise to run out of programs early. The Ranch Office kindly printed another 10 for us, and when emcee Bill Meyer began, we had run out again with just a few folks who didn’t get a copy.

Six authors were scheduled to speak, and two more had signed on once the slots were filled. They were each allotted a table to display their books and be available to speak with people afterwards. After the last presenter, we saw that we’d finished about seven minutes early, so one of our “extras,” Pam Witt, was invited up for a quick introduction to her book.

Susanne Perry opened the presentations with her City Streets series: Runaway, Veteran, and Gutter Punk, a gritty trilogy of murder mysteries set within homeless communities in the Pacific Northwest. The readers of the first book are responsible for the following two because they clamored for more. They came to care about the characters and wanted to follow their journeys.

Next, Judiann Lewinski introduced her first children’s book, The Red Wagon Heroes, which opens young minds to virtues that make them heroes through their everyday behavior and interactions with each other. Judiann also did the book’s illustrations.

Bridget Dwyer followed with The Abundant Teacher, to help instructors navigate their financial interests, which is something rarely addressed in other books for educators or by school districts, and thus is frequently neglected by teachers.

Bob Kehoe spoke of his passion, which began as a toddler, for cars and racing and shared an exciting life of driving and writing about a wide variety of vehicles. In retirement, he began writing biographies of racing personalities Art Pollard, Billy Foster, and the Earl Pollard family.

Since Suzanne Williams’ is a storyteller, and she’s memorized her book, she recited it rather than reading to us. It All Started in Africa takes children (and adults) with her on a journey through various generations of a family, from freedom in Africa to being enslaved in the U.S. We follow one couple who escape their enslavement and finally meet the present generation of descendants who thrive today.

The last scheduled presenter, Jaine Toth, shared two selections from her collection of anecdotal stories, Dizzy Izzy & The Red Witch, which paints a sometimes humorous and sometimes sad picture of her unconventional parents.

Since time allowed, Pam Witt, aka Z3 Mom, spoke of her love and passionate dedication to the wild animal kingdom, and her first book, the title of which comes from her education talks, Take a Walk on the Wild Side, this time—with Giraffes. Full of scientific facts, given in an entertaining fashion, it should delight and educate young and old readers alike.

Though she didn’t make a presentation, Sharon Horton’s two family history books drew many people to her table. Her genealogical research and the artistic presentation of her findings may encourage others to attempt similar projects.

All the authors enjoyed many visitors, and we imagine there will be books under Christmas trees, given as Chanukah presents, or as gifts for other occasions, as purchases were made.

Comments from attendees included:

“We enjoyed listening to all the authors yesterday telling us about the books they have had published. Thank you for putting this event together and allowing the RR community to enjoy a delightful afternoon.”

“It was a wonderful two hours that went quickly by.”

“Thank you for putting on a great program today! It was both interesting and a lot of fun.”

Besides those who found it interesting, and those who were moved to purchase books, some people asked if we’d put on a writing workshop for beginners who don’t know how to get started. We are looking to offer one in January. Details will be announced. But in the meantime, pick up a pencil, grab a sheet of paper, and don’t even think—just write. You may surprise yourself!

If you didn’t get to Meet the Authors, and you’re interested in purchasing books, you can look the authors up in the Robson Directory or on the website. Alternatively, contact Jaine Toth and she will provide contact information.

Susanne and Jaine and the entire Write On . . . writers’ workshop group give thanks to everyone who made this event so successful: the staff at the Ranch House who were so helpful and accommodating, the authors, our volunteer emcee, and all the folks who turned out for this event.