Two local children’s authors, Cathy Handley and Catherine Weiser will read some of their work at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at the public library.
Library director Barbara Rowell and Kimberly Megill of the children’s department said the library set aside that day to give everyone a chance to meet these authors who write especially for children.
“The After School Special will feature a story time for all ages and, afterward, children will get a chance to use their artistic skills in creating a special craft for their own favorite reads,” said Megill.
There will be a book signing, and the authors will speak with the children, she said.
Handley is a temporary staff assistant at the library. She has six diplomas in creative writing. Handley said she hasn’t decided if she’ll read her poetry or read excerpts from the short stories she’s written.
Handley said she’s been writing since she was 11. She and her husband, Lee, assistant director in the physical plant at Jacksonville State University, have two sons. Ben, 22, is in the Navy stationed in Charleston, S. C. He and his wife, Brianna are expecting their first child in March. Haston, 18, is attending the Memphis School of Preaching.
Handley said she’s looking forwarding to writing a special book for her grandchild when he or she gets here.
“We’ll know in October if we’ll have a boy or girl,” she said. “I going to put some of my writings in a collection for him. I love books. I have a big imagination, and I love writing.”
Weiser will read from her second book, “What Color is a Ladybug.”
“The reason I wrote it was because one day my great-great-niece, Jackie, 4, was reading to her brother, Johnny, who was 2,” said Weiser. “At that time, she was reading on a third grade level. I decided I wanted to write a book that she could read to him. On the drive to Anniston later that week, I wrote the text in my head, came home that afternoon to sketch out what I wanted to say, and then added a rough sketch of the illustrations that I wanted on each page. The reason I wrote about ladybugs is because I like them.”
Jackie is now 6, and Johnny is 3. The book is dedicated to them and her seven other great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.
Weiser said her book is about an immature ladybug named Girl. Her favorite drawing in the book is the illustration of the ladybug’s house. There is a lightening bug lamp hanging from the leaf of a plant to light her house.
Randy Young of Anniston, who is a paraprofessional at White Plains Elementary School, illustrated the book. He’s also her publisher at Sleepytown Press. Randy drew “Elvis” curls on the heads of some of the male ladybug’s heads. He also hid a “z” somewhere on one of the drawings in honor of his grandchildren, Zander and Zoe.
“I knew exactly what I wanted on each page, and he did it,” said Weiser. “I’ve known Randy a long time and he is extremely talented. He did a pen and ink drawing for me of the Choccolocco bridge over 35 years ago,” said Weiser.
Weiser’s first book was “Searching for Rainey Hill.” She’s working on her third book, which is going to be a love/mystery story.
“I just think it’s so strange that I don’t stay in one genre,” said Weiser. “I’m very eclectic in my writings.”
Weiser, a teacher, retired from Kitty Stone Elementary School in 2011. She and her husband, William, have two children. Denise Weiser lives in Gulf Shores, and Bill Weiser lives in Anniston. They have six granddaughters.