Someone Likes My Book!

So I wrote the letter which became the book. Having published a family history a few years ago, I kind of sort of knew the process involved in turning a story on my computer into a book that I am proud to show my friends and family.

I would be lying to state that I would not be thrilled to have the book become a best seller and then the best seller become a film directed by Spielberg or Ron Howard or Ben Affleck. As proof of this, I already have the music for the closing credits chosen. (We’ll Meet Again)

What is most important to me is having my father’s story read, so I sent a copy to the historical society in the small New Jersey town where my father’s life began and the library in the town where it ended.

I spent many happy hours in that tiny library, particularly during the year when my dad built a tree platform—not a treehouse. That summer, I tried to build up my frequent reader points starting with authors whose names began with the letter “A”, trying to see how many books I could read before Labor Day. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were read on that platform in my backyard. (“B” for Bronte) When I moved to the “C” authors, I fell in love with Agatha Christie’s detective novels, so I did not get much further down the alphabet.

When someone in my hometown—someone I had babysat for many, many years ago—learned of my book, she told me about the local author’s corner. I contacted the library and offered to send them a copy.

I tracked the shipment of the book, so I knew when it had been delivered. However, I got no official verification from a living, breathing person. Would they just catalog it and put it on the shelf, or would it quietly disappear if they did not feel it was worthy to share a room with the Bronte sisters and Ms. Christie? (I have doubts regarding my writing, which is why I joined the Insecure Writer’s Support Group)

I stalked the library’s online catalog and was recently rewarded when my book appeared. My daughter lives nearby, so I sent her on a field trip to take a photo of my book at my childhood reading stomping ground. (Geeky I know, but very cool to me.)

Oh no! It was not there, she informed me! I knew it! It’s not good enough! Wait, she told me! It was not there because someone had already found it and checked it out. This is even more exciting because I had told no one, which may mean that it is being read by a stranger—even better. What is even more encouraging is that there is already a hold on my book. A second person wants to read it. Hip, Hip Hooray!!

I never dreamed I would write a book, so having someone up there choosing my book to read really made my day. Thank you mystery person in Boonton, New Jersey!

Holmes Library

Do Svidanya Dad- Tracing the Story of an American Family Trapped in the USSR




About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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