Glenn Dromgoole moves on to a new chapter

A special thanks to you faithful readers who have encouraged me over the years with your comments. I hope you will join me as this book guy moves on to a new chapter.

 

For twenty years, I’ve been writing books or writing about books.

 

My first book, What Dogs Teach Us, came out in the fall of 1999 and is still in print. It was a surprising New York Times best-seller and led to such other literary gems as What Cats Teach Us, What Horses Teach Us, and even something along the lines of What Aggies Teach Us.  All in all, I have been privileged to have more than thirty books published, with most (but not all) of them still in print.

 

Since March 2002 I’ve also written a weekly column about Texas books and authors called “Texas Reads.” It has run in Lone Star Literary Life from pretty much the beginning of this wonderful on-line literary newspaper.

 

I have enjoyed writing about Texas books and have gotten to know many of the authors whose books I’ve reviewed. Texas is blessed to have a talented stable of dedicated and prolific writers, some of whom have attained best-seller status although most labor in relative obscurity. Over the years, I have tried to give them some public recognition.

 

I had been writing the column for more than two years when my wife Carol and I decided to start a Texas book and gift store, Texas Star Trading Company, in downtown Abilene in 2004. The column and the book store have been a good fit. I often get preview copies of books by Texas writers, and if they look promising we order books to sell. We’ve been able to invite many authors to come to Abilene for library programs, the book festival, or book signings at our store.

 

One of our favorites was Elmer Kelton. From the time we opened in 2004 until he passed away in 2009, Elmer would come for book signings once or twice a year. He had a strong following in Abilene and was always so gracious, taking time to visit with his many fans. He even dedicated his novel Other Men’s Horses to me.

 

Another favorite has been Lisa Wingate. I’ve written about nearly every one of Lisa’s novels  in my column, and Carol and I were excited when Lisa’s latest novel, Before We Were Yours, hit the New York Time Best Sellers list and stayed there for more than a year, then made the list again when the paperback edition came out.

 

We’ve enjoyed getting to know novelists Jodi Thomas, Leila Meacham, Diane Kelly, Sandra Brown and many others. John Erickson, author of the Hank the Cowdog books, became a friend, as did best-selling authors Jeff Guinn and Carlton Stowers and children’s authors Kathi Appelt, the late David Davis and Penny Klostermann.

 

After nearly eighteen years, “Texas Reads” is retiring. I’m going to continue writing about Texas books and authors, but no more weekly deadlines. Instead, we will publish the pieces on our store’s website – TexasStarTrading.com/blog. You can click on the blog or bookmark it on your computer – and, of course, we’ll continue promoting and selling Texas books in our store. I may submit an article to Lone Star Literary Life from time to time as well.

 

A special thanks to you faithful readers who have encouraged me over the years with your comments. I hope you will join me as this book guy moves on to a new chapter.

Glenn Dromgoole’s latest book is “Book Guy: One Author’s Adventures in Publishing.” Contact him  at g.dromgoole@suddenlink.net.