October three years ago…

How can it be a mere three years since I first became a published author? Remember back to those seemingly delicious times prior to 2020? A friend recently shared that the futuristic movie Soylent Green was placed in the year 2020. (When I fact-checked this I found it to be set in 2022, oh no!) The previews and descriptions of the flick were so terrifying to me I never watched it.

Yet it is true: it has only been three years – 36 months – since October 2017 when my memoir My Music Man was released by Bedazzled Ink Publishing. This anticipated release amplified a celebration-packed favorite month – my birthday, our wedding anniversary and a daughter’s birthday. I planned my book launch party in Historic Willamette at a coffee shop no longer in business and I was nervous whether my box of books would arrive from my publisher on time. I was excited, a bit apprehensive and – yes – clueless.

Clueless about what it means to launch a book into the world. (Hint, marketing is a whole lot harder than you ever imagined.) I didn’t expect to make any real money, but I did not recognize how many authors release new books each day. Honestly – it truly is fabulous, except when you want others (besides your closest family members and friends) to notice. And yet, the best lesson I have learned about getting books into the world is not how many buy them but instead the meaningful feedback I have received from readers who were touched by my books.

Writing has become such a major part of my life I can’t honestly believe it has only been such a short time since my memoir was released, closely followed by Beyond the Ripples and Then, Now and Then, Now and In-Between: Place, Memories and Loss in Oregon. I hope to be able to share news about my next work sometime in early 2021.

Curious but haven’t read it yet? Learn more about My Music Man. Yes, authors appreciate it when you buy their books, but honestly, I adore libraries even more than bookstores and happy to share the tip that many libraries – Oregon’s Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Marion and Union Counties, Olympia and Spokane Public Libraries, and probably others – carry copies of this book, and although closed, allow patrons to pick up books on hold. If you live in West Linn a few copies are hanging out in some of our Little Free Libraries – let me know if you spot one!

And for now, since it is the three year anniversary of the release of My Music Man, let me remember and celebrate my most special moments through a tour of photos.

This was my pose when I learned Bedazzled Ink wanted to publish My Music Man, recovering from surgery for my Lisfranc fractures caused during the old fashioned baseball game at the 2016 West Linn Old Fashioned Fair.
The box arrived on time!
During my research for the book I was thrilled to meet my great great great grandmother Chloe Clark (okay, the woman who impersonated her at Salem’s Willamette Heritage Center) as well as librarians at Willamette University Research Archives where Chloe Clark Willson was the first teacher for its predecessor The Oregon Institute. (Nice knee scooter, eh?)
Book Launch 2017: What an incredible feeling when your kind friends and loved ones show up to support your book release!
Yes, thanks Danny for this bit of a photo opp!
I often think about how my grandfather – author of The White Headed Eagle, Young Northwest and Pechuck, and grandson of J.K. Gill would have been so proud to know I “turned into” an author.
I was invited by the fabulous Shelly Parini to be filmed for the Willamette Falls Story Telling Project. Watch the 10 minute film on Clackamas County’s YouTube platform.
Feeling like a rock star as I shared stories about my great great great grandmother to kids attending her namesake school, Chloe Clark Elementary in Dupont, Washington. Learn more: Returning to Place.
The Oregon Legislature was in session the day I was invited to speak about my book on Oregon’s birthday, Feb. 14, 2019. As I was introduced in the House Chamber (nope, I didn’t speak in there but I did get to hear Kim Stafford share his poem for the day) the significance of looking across at the mural containing the image of my great great great grandfather William Willson was remarkable. Learn more about Chloe and William’s ties to Salem and early Oregon days by watching the video as hosted by Oregon State Capitol Foundation.
Although I enjoyed all of the book talks I have given, the one aboard the Oregon Maritime Museum, Steamer Portland, was the most meaningful.
In the end, this is the guy I would most like to be able to read the book to. Love you Dad! Forever and ever. Richard Gill Montgomery – March 2, 1930 – July 13, 2014.

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