Harris will be at Trish Ann's from 8:30-10:30 a.m., Dec. 7, signing his second book, which is a children's book titled Inky Pinky. He should be finished up at Trish Ann's in time to make his 11 a.m. book signing at Kema's Hobby Bookstore, located in downtown Gray.
His final book signing of the day is at Agave Azul Mexican Restaurant from 3-5 p.m.
Harris' first book The Treasure Hound was released in 2007. It is a mystery set in Macon and Jones County. The author said his motivation for writing Inky Pinky was quite different than for his first book.
Harris said a friend's 4-year-old daughter, Gloria, had a fear of the dark and he witnessed the young mother as she anxiously worked to relieve her daughter of that fear.
“She fashioned a doll from an old sock and put a pink cape on its back. Then she put some of the Gloria's daddy's after shave on it,” he said. “She gave Gloria the sock puppet at bedtime and told her the story of Inky Pinky who fought evil ghosts and monsters so children will no longer need to be afraid of them.”
Harris said that night the little girl slept without waking up and is no longer afraid of the dark.
“I went home and wrote the story,” he said.
The author said the little girl's fear hit home with him because he remembers being afraid of the dark as a small boy.
“Even if this book doesn't make any money, if I help one child get over their fear of the dark, that would be satisfying for me,” he said.
Harris enjoys writing but his full-time job is as an E & I technician at a local paper mill where he has been employed for 38 years. He said he has always loved to write and was encouraged by his 12th grade literature teacher, Mrs. Chapman, to write a book or to write poetry. He did not pursue writing at all until the 1980s when he started his manuscript that would eventually become the Treasure Hound.
Harris was born in Bibb County and spent his early childhood in Lizella. He graduated from Southwest High School and moved to Jones County in 1976.
He lived in Gray for 19 years and now lives in Haddock.
His first book was published by Publish America but he switched to Trafford Publishing for Inky Pinky. Harris said the Trafford Publishing also provided the illustrations for his book.
The author said he is working on a proto-type of the Inky Pinky sock puppet and he hopes to eventually market the book and puppet together. He said the full day of book signings just came together because of his relationships with the business owners.
“I'm friends with Manuel at Agave's and I am a regular customer at Trish Ann's. I already had the signing set up at Kema's and the rest seemed to just work out,” he said.
Harris said his signing at Trish Ann's is at the same time as the annual Breakfasts with Santa and Agave Azul is having a car show and fundraiser in partnership with the Jones County Cruisers.
He said he is already working on another children's book titled the Adventures of Lulu and Ruru, which would hopefully be the first of a series about the friendship of a little pig and dog.