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Mailbox: Halloween Costumes and Holiday Cheer

Another Exciting Email in the Inbox

Last week I got another email that absolutely made my week! For the sake of privacy, let's call her E. She's a young reader of mine, who I actually remember selling a book to at the Corn Hill Art's Festival. Well, it's clear Isabel made quite the impact on E. Because she decided to dress as her for Halloween!

How cute is that?!

A young reader dressed as Isabel for Halloween. I'm so honored!!

I've actually heard from E before. On Goodreads she left this review, actually stating her intention to dress as Isabel:

"I enjoyed this book so much! As an 11 year old, and as my first "chapter book", this was the best choice, I think, now that I'm reading some more chapter books. I am totally dressing up for Halloween as Isabel!!! I loved the different adventures, not just running the apothecary and I found it very interesting. I had a hard time stopping to go to sleep! I am hoping so badly for the next book, and I think my little sister will like it a lot too, and I'm suggesting it to all my friends!!!"

It was such a kind review, and her words made me really happy at the time. I asked her to share a photo if she actually went through with the costume, but to think she actually would? By the time I received the picture, I had actually kind of forgotten about it in the first place. So it was a very sweet surprise!

Really, it means so much to me. In the first place, Isabel isn't some commercial character. While a witch hat might be easy enough to find during Halloween, the rest she and her mom had to come up with on their own. There are no pre-made costumes available at Spirit (yet). Basically, it was a labor of love. And look how accurate it is! I shared the photo with my illustrator, and he was just as excited as I was.

I'm seriously so impressed!!

A friend joked with me, "you've reached cosplay levels of success." And while a Halloween costume doesn't make it any less of a cosplay, why it really means a lot to me is because of the connection E must have found in Isabel and Wis' Apothecary. For characters I created, a world that at first only existed in my mind… this is proof Wis' Apothecary now exists in the hearts of others as well.

A Matter of Connection

I may have said this before, but it's true: I told myself at the onset of this passion project that if my book could mean something to just a single reader, that would be enough. And if this Halloween photo is any indication, I've already met my quota. But I'm blessed because, thanks to the numerous reviews, interactions with readers and other emails I've received, I know my book is making connections elsewhere too. And that's an indescribable feeling.

To E, thanks for making my entire week. I hope you're looking forward to book two, and just know I'll be looking forward to your continued readership! Please stay in touch. To everyone else that has taken the time to write me a review or email, thank you as well! Your feedback means the world to me, and I'm so glad something within the pages of volume one resonated with you.

Whether it's Isabel's compassion or the plights of the colorful characters she meets, I truly believe there's a character for everyone - though I know I'm biased for saying so. And with volume two just around the corner, there are many more fun and interesting characters to meet. And potentially many more Halloween costumes?

Finally: This Thursday

I'll close this week's blog post by plugging an event I'll be attending later this week at GO ART! in Batavia. It's local authors night, where the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council will be showcasing local authors; including myself, retired pastor and superintendent Greg Van Dussen, Coven and Under the Moon author David Neth, The History of Seven Springs author Mary Ellen Reardon and Sammy DiSalvo, whose book The Infinite Void Between Goodbye and Hello releases this month. Readings from all the authors start at 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A with the authors at 8. We'll all also have books for sale, in case you're still looking for a good holiday gift for a loved one!

So if you're in the area or want the chance to hear from me or any of these other wonderful, local authors, I definitely encourage you to come check it out! I promise it'll be a lot of fun.

Finally, speaking of the holidays, I'll be traveling home to Texas later this week and I'll be there through Christmas. I'll try to share some photos on my social media, but otherwise I'll be taking a break from my musings for a few weeks. So happy holidays everyone! I look forward to connecting with you all again.

Until next year, thanks for reading!

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