Local Beacon Hill Authors Connect – Beacon Hill Times

Self-publishing Weightlifting

Special to Times

Three local authors convened to discuss their works, and to support each other by sharing helpful information and the challenges that all new writers face. Writing a book is hard, finding a publisher is harder, finding a bookstore to carry your book is harder still, and finding an individual who would love your story enough to purchase it is left to self-promotion, networking door to door and the fates.

Each of the authors brought their books to be signed and then gifted to each other.

Allison Carroll, owner of Rainbows Pottery Studio at 15R Charles St. has combined with her daughter, Maggie, to write, illustrate and self-publish a debut story called “Without You-There Would Be No Me…” 

Allison grew up in southern New Hampshire and now resides in Boston. She is a gifted artist and public speaker and a bundle of energy and spirit dedicated to bringing out the best in others artistically and personally. 

Rainbows Pottery Studio began in 2016 in an effort to provide the community, all ages, with a place to explore art by creating and painting your own pottery.

Allison is the mother of four children that she loves dearly. She is also the daughter and granddaughter of an extraordinary and loving mother and grandmother.  This became the basis of her story, to honor those who came before. 

When she became a mother herself is when she truly realized none of her own children would’ve have been possible without her own mother and her mother’s mother which the book title so nicely states, “Without You-There Would Be No Me.”  With this thought in mind, Allison felt it necessary to pay homage and express gratitude to mothers and grandmothers.

Allison and her daughter, Maggie, sat down every night for weeks and wrote and illustrated this wonderful tale of love to all who bring life to others. Their book can be purchased at Rainbows Pottery Studio. They are already working on a new book that will concentrate on fathers and grandfathers.

Katherine Picarde, a Greater Boston native and an elementary school teacher has written two books.  Her first, “The Little Ouch,” and her more recent, Twin Time,” are wonderful stories that capture and identify youthful experiences young and old can share equally.

“The Little Ouch,” published by Orange Hat Publishing, is a picture book intended for children ages 4-8, which speaks to kids who struggle with anxiety and discomfort when it comes to getting shots.

In this quirky tale, Penelope’s dramatic, anxious antics are what young readers have found both relatable and entertaining, especially with flu shot season and Covid vaccines upon us!         This story is based on the author’s childhood fear of getting shots. She sees firsthand just how common this fear is with her first graders, which ultimately motivated her to create a sweet story to help children overcome this specific fear.

“Twin Time,” also published by Orange Hat Publishing Company, is a picture book intended for children ages 4-8. In this fun, sibling-based tale, when the twins exchange that sly, telepathic smirk, it means only one thing: Twin Time.

Under the watchful eyes of their older siblings, Katherine and Christopher are cooking up belly-laughing pranks against Nick and Lauren! With a trip to the candy store on the line and strict orders from their parents to behave, the twins must learn to use their double brain power for good instead of goof.

Katherine Picarde grew up in Medford, alongside her twin brother, Christopher; siblings, Lauren and Nicholas; and two wonderful parents. Kat’s childhood antics with Christopher developed into the fun-loving memories that are portrayed in Twin Time, her second book. She enjoys creating stories with narratives that are not often seen, as she did with her first popular book, “The Little Ouch.”

As an elementary school teacher, Kat experiences firsthand how common families with multiples are in today’s world. She hopes that twins, triplets, and their families can relate to the exceptional bond and playful dynamic woven into her picture book.

During the Pandemic, Katherine donated hundreds of copies to the very brave pediatric patients and child-life specialists at all major Boston Hospitals, as well as to Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute in New York.

Every day, she receives the most heartwarming stories of how “The Little Ouch” has supported children all over the world- reading it before their medical appointments, chemotherapy session, or just before their flu shot.

“The Little Ouch” was at one point ranked #4 on Amazon for Children’s Health Books, has received a five-star Reader’s Favorite Seal, and was awarded the Story Monsters Approved Award under the category of Fiction Picture Books.

“We read this book for a week before we go to any doctor’s appointment, and I swear it helps ease my son’s mind while also encouraging him to be as brave as he can be!” Don’t hesitate, buy it!” said one reader.

Both “The Little Ouch” and “Twin Time” can be purchased through www.thelittleouch.com, where you will find a list of bookstores that carry it on their shelves, as well as links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart!

Mark Duffield is a long time Beacon Hill resident and has recently published his third book, “As I Recall: Wings of Remembrance.” There are not many memoir stories written that actually take place on Beacon Hill and in places residents and visitors alike will fondly recognize.

From Caroline, a former Beacon Hill resident: “‘As I Recall: Wings of Remembrance’ is such a lovely book! A simple story about a little bird becomes a meditation on an outstanding dad and the ties that nurture us. This wonderful book invites us to slow down and appreciate the world around us.  Can’t wait to read it to my grandkids, with them snuggled up beside me. Beautiful pictures too.  This sweet book will put a smile on your face.”

Mark’s other books included “The Last Shepard and Tales of the Tenth Ornament: A Wee Yarn of Wonder at Christmastime” and “As I Recall: Fireflies in the Night.”

           Many thousands of books were sold and many thousands of dollars raised for charity to benefit pediatric cancer research and care at MassGeneral Hospital for Children Cancer Center. Mark’s book can be found at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Blackstones of Beacon Hill, Buteo Books.com., an independent family owned bookstore in Arrington, Va., carrying the largest selections of birding books in the world and now at Sherman’s Maine Coast Bookstore, the largest and oldest chain of bookstores in Maine, where he has been invited for a book signing.

Soon Mark will be interviewed on Jordan Rich’s radio podcast and is on a short list to be part of a winter 2023 book lecture at L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine, where previously he had given a lecture on his youthful  experiences traveling 3,000 miles on the Amazon River.

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