Book of Poems Finds Common Thread
by tom hannah
(cincinnati ohio usa)
The Endless String
I began writing poems over 20 years ago. My wife and I were always big fans of Shel Silverstein. My poems for children and adults were a labor of love for me as we raised our 4 children. The poems were put under the couch and taken out many times.
My wife Tess stayed home with our 4 children for 17 years and went back to teaching as we were faced with college expenses. Tess has a great gift for drawing so I asked her through the years to do a few illustrations for certain poems. I knew that the only way to make our book live was to have some clever drawings.
We have now put 3 children through college; the last one is a freshman at U.C here in Cincinnati.
One year ago my wife and I took a walk and I told her that I was going to publish our book and needed her help. She agreed and edited my poems, adding some of her own. She spent most of her summer making corrections and deciding which of our many poems were worthy of inclusion. We clashed on a few occasions but found enough common ground to proceed.
The cover design was our choice. My youngest son was a great help in sending our content to Outskirts Press, since Tess and I are not tech wizards. (Yet Tess did design our website.) This really was a family affair as our oldest son Mark helped us launch our site. I knew that we had to have a website to promote our book.
Outskirts has provided us with the chance to have our book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The internet has allowed me to find several people to review our book and leave some nice comments at Amazon. Recently, I found a great children's store here that agreed to sell our book, which for me was very exciting. Our local paper did an article about our book.
Book sales have not been tremendous, but each book sold has been a thrill, knowing that we had a chance to share our voice with others and bring a smile to a child or a parent. My wife has lesson plans for teachers to use our book in a classroom setting on our website, and the icons on our site are drawings from our book. Sure, I would love the chance to sell a million books, but publishing our book has been worth a mmilion bucks to me.
I have enough poems for a second book and already have a very snappy title. My next dream is to someday do Book 2.
Someone said to me that the journey has always been the destination, and I now realize how true this is.
Sorry for any typos or grammatical errors as my editor has just gone to bed and did not proof read this. (Webmaster's note: Don't worry! I took care of them!) I told my wife that I did not want to die and have our book under the couch, and now our book lives every day.
Our Best to you,
Tom and Tess
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