Joey’s sleepover went really well over the weekend! Local author Samantha Douglas had a reading for her first book Joey’s Sleepover on Aug. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. outdoors at the Carlow Mayo Library and the event was a great success with more kids and their families attending than expected. Everyone involved was really pleased with how it all went. All COVID-19 protocols were observed to keep everybody safe.
It was a clear sunny morning for Douglas’ reading of her first book Joey’s Sleepover at the Carlow Mayo Library in Hermon. Carrie McKenzie, the head librarian, even found a great place in front of the building that provided a bit of shade from the sunlight, for the kids and their families to sit on the assembled chairs and blankets to hear Douglas’ recitation.
Shirley was there, who is the Nana to youngsters Fran and Jocelyn.
“We’re looking forward to it. It should be lots of fun,” she says.
Rick Cassidy was in attendance with Mary Ann Pierce, who is on the library board.
“We always come to support the library. It’s so important to our community. I guess every community is the same but for us I’m so happy that we’ve been able to keep the library. Carrie does an amazing job and for a small building there’s a really good selection. And especially with the pandemic going on for the past 18 months too,” he says.
McKenzie then thanked everyone gathered to the reading and introduced Douglas, who began to read from a copy of her book, to the rapt attention of the kids and adults.
After Douglas finished her reading, to much applause, she took some questions. She was asked how she’d come up with the idea for Joey’s Sleepover. She replied that she thought of kangaroo babies living in their mother’s pouch, what if their best friend was an elephant, how that would all work out and then she just went with that and started brainstorming.
In response to another query, Douglas said that this was her first published work, but she has many others on the go, including an adult novel and a sequel to Joey’s Sleepover called Joey’s Christmas due out soon. She told another inquisitive attendee that this book took her about four months to write, which was the fastest she’s ever written a book. She said she had also done all the illustrations too.
Douglas told the audience that she has been writing for as long as she can remember, from when she first learned how to use a pencil, she was writing stories. She usually writes on her IPad, but sometimes she writes out her stories longhand.
As for the process she liked best from writing Joey’s Sleepover, she said it was getting the illustrations ready for print.
“So, after I sent off the original images to my publisher, it was super exciting getting emails showing me the image to see how I’d like them within the context of the finished book. I remember getting my IPad and thinking ‘did I get an email yet?’ she says.
As for how she’s distributing the book, Douglas says she used a self publishing company in Vancouver called Tellwell Talent Inc. She has also distributed the book at Niffer’s Clothing and Ashlie’s Books in Bancroft, and the book is available on Amazon.ca, Barnes and Noble and hopefully soon at Chapters/Indigo.
With no further questions from the audience, Douglas thanked everyone for coming out.
“I’m thrilled I was able to be here today to read to you all,” she says.
McKenzie also thanked everyone, and told them that Douglas would be selling copies of her book for $23 and signing them. Several folks took advantage of that opportunity and acquired their very own signed copies for their excited children.
In addition to the reading and the chance to get their own copy of Joey’s Sleepover, McKenzie sent the kids home with painting kits, so they could continue having fun and being creative all day long.
Nana Shirley, with Jocelyn and Fran, thought the reading had gone pretty well.
“Yeah, I think we’re going to get the book. It would be nice and then we get to read it over and over again,” she says.
McKenzie says she was very excited about how it all went.
“You never know exactly how many people are going to come, but I’m very happy with the turnout. It’s nice to see some community members come out to it. It’s exciting. I think it was a great turnout and a beautiful day,” she says.
Douglas agreed with McKenzie’s sentiment.
“I think it went very well. I’m very happy about today!”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times