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Edward’s first book signing brings unexpected reunions

While her expectations were already high for first book signing, Amy Edwards said the event, held March 1 at the Col. J.F. Toney Memorial Library, proved to be much more than writing her signature inside books. Rather, the event was more like a reward for several years of hard work.
Edwards, a town of Unicoi native and English Department Head at Unicoi County High School, released her first young adult novel, Seeker of the Rose, at the beginning of March.
Greeted by school teachers from years past, family members, friends, students, fellow teachers and administrators, Edwards said the book signing could actually be called a reunion.
“I was a little nervous at first,” she admitted, “but then it became this most amazing thing. It was like a reunion. I had teachers I hadn’t seen in years come up to me to congratulate me. My niece was super excited about it. I gave her a little staff badge to wear. There were lots of smiles, lots of ‘I’m proud of you.’ “
For Edwards, the signing was also the culmination of thorough research, chapter after chapter of writing and page after page of editing–a dream that took a decade to come true. She started the novel, set in Nazi-run Germany, in 2001 on a trip to that country sponsored by East Tennessee State University.
“I’ve been working on this a long time, and I finally got to see it come to fruition,” she said. “I’m proud of it myself. (The book signing) was a really nice moment of warm, fuzzy feelings.”
Seeker of the Rose, which highlights Nazi-run fortress Burg Hoheneck in Germany, chronicles the complicated struggles of a boy named Matthias, who is forced to grow up during a tumultuous World War II-ravaged era. While the novel is written for young adult audiences, Edwards said the story is one that will appeal to readers of all ages. She added that her ultimate goal is that Seeker of the Rose will draw attention from major publishing houses.
“My ultimate goal is getting (the book) really big,” she said.
While Edwards’ current focus is on promoting Seeker of the Rose, she is also planning a sequel to the novel, for which she is planning another research trip–this time to Virginia. In this sequel, already anticipated by fans of Seeker of the Rose, one of the characters travels to the United States and winds up in Virginia, where Edwards’ own family has roots.
“There’s a two-fold purpose,” Edwards said of her future travels. “I hope to do some research about my family and work it into my fiction, as well. I like to get a feel for what I’m writing about.”
Edwards hopes to hold more book-signing events in the future and is currently working on making Seeker of the Rose available on Amazon.com and in local bookstores. The title is currently available on Edwards’ website, http://amynedwards.webs.com., as well as on Lulu.com in hardback, paperback and electronic versions.