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Book signing event held for Preston author

Fri, Aug 16th, 2013
Posted in Preston Arts & Culture

By Jade Sexton

Tom Driscoll of Lanesboro, Minn. decided to start a publishing company, and he wanted to launch his business with a book written by Nancy Overcott. Shipwrekt Books published “Living in a Dream,” and a book signing was held on August 11 at the Lost Lake Folk Art Storytelling Center in Lanesboro.

Nancy Overcott started writing journals and poetry in the late 1980s, and has done a lot more since then. Poetry of hers has been published in regional journals, and in 1998, she won first place in a short story contest sponsored by the Fillmore County Journal. She then went on to write a column for the Fillmore County Journal for several years that was called At Home in the Big Woods, in which she spoke of her life living the Big Woods with her husband Arthur. She wrote a book with the same title that was published in 2002.

Most people know of Overcott’s love of birds because of her books, Common Birds of the Upper Midwest and Uncommon Birds of the Upper Midwest, both published by the University of Iowa Press. The books were illustrated by Dana Gardener, a well-known illustrator of birds. Gardner has illustrated Overcott’s most recent book as well.

“I’m really honored that he wants to illustrate my books,” shared Overcott. She and Gardner have remained friends for several years. She loves how his illustrations add to her stories.

Overcott and her husband moved to Preston in 2008. They loved their time in the Big Woods, but they knew it was time to leave. According to Overcott, they sold the land to the DNR, so they are happy knowing the natural beauty of the land will be maintained.

“Living in a Dream” is similar to what she wrote in her newspaper column. She took some of those essays and revised them, and added new ones as well.

Overcott was pleased with the success of the book signing. “There were quite a few people,” she said. “What surprised me is that they would talk, and get a book, and then they stayed. It was nice, and kind of lively.”

She describes the shop as pleasant, and said it was set up to be really comfortable, with couches and books. It’s a great setting for book clubs, writing groups, or writing workshops.

“Self-publishing has become more and more common, and more respectable,” said Overcott. She explained a person can go halfway with self-publishing, which is what she did with her book. The author pays someone to publish the book, but they assist with editing, formatting, and marketing.

Overcott doesn’t have any large projects in mind for the near future, but she does plan to write for another one of Driscoll’s publications, Lost Lake Folk Opera Magazine. She would like to write more poetry, as well as help Driscoll with editing or ghostwriting if he needs it.

“Living a Dream” can be purchased online at www.shipwrektbooks.com. They are also sold on Amazon, and will be available in local libraries and retail shops in the future.

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