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Book Readings

One of my greatest joys is to go into the classroom to do book readings. During the past several years I have been the visiting author for “Read Across America” week at Pittston Elementary School, the Helen Thompson School in West Gardiner, and the Hall-Dale Elementary School (Hallowell), as well as doing numerous book readings in other schools.

A surprise bonus edition

How did there come to be two editions of the same story?  The author is the same.  The text is the same with the exception of some minor edits.  But the illustrations and the publishers are different.

I originally wrote the text for the Tennis Ball Tree story in 2000, but I did not pursue getting it published until 2013 when I learned of Maine Authors Publishing, a self-publishing company in Rockland, Maine.  I conceived a secret project to publish the book as a surprise early Christmas present to give to my four grown children and eight grandchildren when we would be together on Thanksgiving Day.

Unbeknownst to me, during the same time period in which I was working with Maine Authors Publishing, my son Joel had secretly decided to get The Tennis Ball Tree published on my behalf as a surprise present for me.  He had the text in a Word document I had given him a couple of years earlier.  Since I hadn’t moved forward on publishing the story I had written in 2000, Joel thought this would be a special gift.  He used a self-publishing website and lined up an illustrator.  His timetable was virtually identical to mine – he planned to present me with this surprise gift at Thanksgiving dinner.

As one might imagine, Thanksgiving Day was very full of surprises for our family.  Either way we look at it, we now have a “surprise bonus edition” of the Tennis Ball Tree book.


About the Author

CHRISTOPHER LOCKWOOD’s writing is his artistic outlet. For years his writing was primarily in conjunction with his professional career as Executive Director of the Maine Municipal Association (1979 – 2015). In 2013, he published The Tennis Ball Trees, a whimsical children’s book about his chocolate Labrador Retriever’s love of tennis balls. Upon his retirement in 2015, Lockwood decided to pursue his writing on a part-time basis. His next book, Why the Cane?, is scheduled to be released in early 2019. The book relates his personal story of regaining a level of activity he thought would not be possible after a devastating accident.
Lockwood is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington. He lives in Hallowell, Maine. His books are available through Maine Authors Publishing, 12 High Street, Thomaston, ME 04861 {}

About the Illustrator

KATHLEEN FOX is an artist, writer, and professor living and working in coastal Maine.

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