More than a dozen Arizona authors gathered at the Barnaby Street Shoppes in Surprise this weekend.
The AZ Authors Weekend Community Event gave the authors the chance not only to sell their books, which ranged from mystery, crime, romance, self help, poetry, autobiography and western works, but also to meet with readers and other authors.
Pinetop authors Carol Sletten and Eric Kramer showcased their book “Story of the American West” and were two of several authors at the event whose works have been selected to be an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project by the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission.
“Many important things from all over the world touched this area,” Sletten said of the White Mountain towns their book focuses on. “This was one of the last areas in the American West.”
Sletten, who also illustrated the book, said the “Story of the American West” gives the history of the area from its geological beginnings through World War II, including many stories of heroes and outlaws that either were the inspiration for movies and novels, like those by Zane Grey, or should have been.
Tammy Fraser, who planned the event for Gifts To Go at the Barnaby Street Shoppes, said many of the authors were pleased with the event, although the turnout was low, both because of the heat and the absentee Snowbirds in the area. Fraser hopes to do more such events in the future.
“We’re hoping we’d be able to balance children’s and adult authors, and we really did,” Fraser said.
One of Conrad Storad’s children’s books was also selected as a legacy project for the Arizona Centennial, and while that book is still in the works, he also had many other books to highlight at the event.
“We’ve been planning for a while,” Storad said of the centennial book, which will be an interactive wildlife book. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Toby Heathcotte was not only one of the authors present at the event, she also helped Fraser plan it.
“It’s been a lot of work,” Heathcotte said. “I think it’s a great thing, especially to collaborate with the merchants.”
Such events offer authors the chance to sell their books in more locations, Heathcotte said, explaining that while she has a license to sell her books in Glendale where she lives, readers could buy books from the merchants at Barnaby Street, which could increase exposure for both the store and the authors.
The Barnaby Street Shoppes are in Surprise at 11340 W. Bell Road, Suite 128.