SEDONA BOOK FESTIVAL by Gene K. Garrison

Do you see those photos of my book covers over to the right? I’ll be pushing them from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sedona Book Festival at Yavapai College, 4215 Arts Village Drive, Sedona, Arizona. That address is perfect if you happen to have a GPS, which I do, and love. If you do not have one the best thing is to go to the intersection of Cultural Park and route 89A and follow the cars in to the parking lot. I’ll be in Room 34, on the left as you go up the steps or ramp, Table 13.

I wrote several of my books when I lived in Cave Creek where I interviewed almost everyone in sight for more than 20 years. My favorites were the old-timers, and that’s whom I concentrated on in my book “There’s Something About Cave Creek (It’s The People).” They lived there in the 30s and 40s when the road to Phoenix was dirt, and taking a prisoner to jail was an all-day task. No wonder it was difficult to hire anyone for the job of sheriff. There was one man who took it on simply because no one else would do it. Actually, he was a musician. Sometimes on Saturday nights there was need for both a musician could play “all the pluck instruments” AND an officer of the law.

The book “From Thunder to Breakfast” had nothing to do with cooking. It was about Hube Yates who, at age eleven, moved from Oklahoma to Phoenix, Arizona by covered wagon. The family were pioneers, Westerners to the core. When I met Hube, he and his wife, Patsy, lived in Cave Creek, Arizona. He had retired from the Phoenix Fire Department
after an illustrious career which included heroism, and ran a riding stable. I absolutely loved listening to him tell stories. He was good at it, so it made our book a breeze to write. He had a special vernacular, such as “It was spittin’ rain.” And there was “from thunder to breakfast.” He used that every once in a while, so that’s where the title comes from. It means “all over the place.” For instance, once when he was driving the family’s Model-T Ford to get his younger brother and sister to catch a train, it tipped over in a mountainous area and suitcases and boxes popped open and the contents scattered from thunder to breakfast. It made perfect sense to me once, but
now I think the title might be confusing. The first edition sold out in record time. It continues on the market because it’s historic in a fun sort of way.

The next book was a departure in subject matter. “Widowhood Happens” was first published by a company in California, Burning Gate Press, under the title “Widow . . . Or Widow-To-Be?” After the publisher decided that there must be an easier way to make a living than publishing, the book lay dormant until I read about Print-On-Demand. This was my chance to get it out there in front of the public again. It was also my chance to change the title. I also corrected an oversight. I had written this book, that shows by example that it’s wise to prepare for this event, only for widows. I should have written it for men too, so I did that. Then I thought, my gosh, I forgot to mention Hospice. It is so important! So I did that — went to quite a lot of trouble to make it right. It’s written in a narrative style and imparts much knowledge — not by me, but by the widowed people and professionals I interviewed.

After all that, it was time for a children’s book. I had taken many photos of javelinas, wild pig-like (but not REALLY pigs) animals that roam our desert washes. What else could I do with them but write a book? It’s a charming children’s non-fiction book with photos of javelinas from both Cave Creek and Sedona. A neighbor, Al Brown, added some photos he took of javelinas in his yard.

So that covers the books I will have at the Sedona Book Festival on October 5, 2013. Please stop by. If you can’t do that, they’re available at amazon.com or can be ordered from your favorite bookstore.

I’m in the process of writing another one titled “Artists of Sedona.” You’ll never hear the end of it.

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