Friday, September 23, 2022

Book-signing event a success for newspaper columnist

By Ed Pierce

Columnist Andy Young of The Windham Eagle had little idea what to expect when he agreed to appear at a book-signing event at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in Windham last weekend, but says he was pleasantly surprised to meet readers there while promoting his new book “Work(s) in Progress.”

Andy Young, a columnist for The Windham Eagle newspaper,
autographs a copy of his new book 'Work(s) in Progress'
for Windham High School student Lillian O'Brion during a
meet the author and book-signing event at Sherman's Maine
Coast Book Shop on Sept. 17. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE 
Young, a Kennebunk High School English teacher and a columnist for The Windham Eagle newspaper, penned the collection of essays contained in “Works(s) in Progress” over the span of 17 years and derived them from columns that he’s written for newspapers in Maine. His first book was called “Young Ideas” and came out in 2014.

He wanted to have his new book, issued by Jackanapes Publishing of Cumberland, available sooner, but circumstances and the global pandemic postponed its publication until this year.

“I wanted to have it for Christmas two years ago,” Young said. “Fortunately, someone put me in touch with a woman in Portland, Lori Harley, who puts together books and she was very helpful with all the layout stuff and even helped proofread it.”

Young’s column focusing on humorous observances about life has appeared in The Windham Eagle since May 2020 and he formerly wrote for the now-closed Maine newspapers Falmouth Community Leader, Yarmouth Notes and Biddeford Journal-Tribune.

According to Young, his favorite subject to write about is something all readers can relate to.

“I like to write about life and what life does,” he said.

His least favorite thing to write about, Young says, are “things everyone else writes about.”

He said for him, the best time to write his selected observations about life is before 7 a.m.

“Let me specifically say I do my best work between 4 and 8 a.m.,” Young said.

Among his personal favorite authors, Young says he enjoys the writing of novelist and newspaper columnist Carl Hiaasen and esteemed author and Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam.

“When it comes to non-fiction there is nobody better than Halberstam,” he said. “I could read his work all day.”

His appearance at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop was a success for several reasons, Young said.

“I sold some books and two of which were to people I hadn't previously known,” he said. “All copies were suitably inscribed, so everyone got 6.3 percent off the cover price.”

He said the exposure at Sherman’s was fantastic, he enjoyed meeting people there that day and for readers who couldn’t make it there, Sherman’s has a supply of “Works(s) in Progress” available for purchase.

Plans for yet another book are already in development, Young says.

“Yes, I’ve got one more and I’m already picturing what the cover will look like,” he said.

And for readers who seemingly can’t wait for the publication of his next book, Young said he hopes to continue to write his column for The Windham Eagle newspaper for as long as he can.

“I’m truly grateful to The Windham Eagle for including my column in the paper and I’m thankful so many readers like it,” he said. <

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