Formerly a church and later a recording studio, NYC Providence hosted the eighteenth annual Independent Book Publisher Awards. The whole experience was overwhelming and surreal – everything from meeting publishers, authors and celebrities from around the world to soaking in the lavish and historic décor of the building. Wall after wall boasted albums of artists who had used the studio; everyone from Sinatra to Hendrix. A publisher from New Orleans, representing two of her award winning authors and I are photographed in front of Meatloaf albums. And did I mention the food?! Editor and Director Jim Barnes and his crew went above and beyond in organizing a spectaclar event where writers, publicists and publishers had the unique opportunity of networking and getting to know each other, in addition to participating in an award ceremony that everyone will long remember. I am so grateful to have been a part of it all.
with Jim Barnes – Director of the IPPYs
with Veronica Shoffstall
My husband, Garry, and I stayed on an extra day to see the sights and then experience a dream that I have had for 40 years. We had lunch with Veronica Shoffstall, the woman who wrote the poem, After a While. Published in at least thirty – five books (including Wounded), her poem has served as inspiration to people all over the world since its publication in 1971. My mom put it on our fridge to serve as a source of strength during times of great difficulty and loss. Since then it has been passed down to two, and soon to be three generations of Joyce women.
Kindly, quiet – spoken and humble, Veronica recounted stories of feedback she has received over the years for her poem and how it has helped many people weather the storms of their lives. One scientist conducting research in Antartica found herself in a situation where she required an emergency surgical procedure, but with no one around, she was forced to do it herself. Upon her safe return home, she contacted Veronica to thank her for her poem, stating that she recited the lyrics over and over while she did what was necessary to ensure her survival. To this day Veronica expresses incredulity at the response to her poem, stating that she guesses it was “magic” of some kind.