Cincinnati Art Museum
When I first contacted all the museums that house one of the Ambassador Dolls that are in my upcoming book, Blue-Eyed Doll, she was one of the first to reply. I learned their doll would be on display this summer until August 30, and I just had to see it.
My facebook friends have seen the origami doll bookmarks I’m making to announce the book. I took one to the museum today and gave it to Cynthia. The final thirty pages of the manuscript is in editing and my Power Point presentation is nearly finished, so it all seems pretty “official” at this point.
The book is a YA historical fiction. The historical event took place in 1929 when 13,000 blue-eyed American dolls were sent to Japan by America’s children hoping for world peace. Japan reciprocated by sending 58 Ambassador dolls, all works of art, to America. My story is about Ruth Mary Bradley from San Francisco who wants to be part of her class project with the friendship dolls. Her bigoted father is against all things Japanese. Ruth Mary and the doll Isabella manage to soften his heart.
The story of the blue-eyed friendship dolls is an amazing tidbit of history. It was told to me by a Japanese lady from Roanoke, Virginia, who teaches haiku at the college there. I was in Buchanan, Virginia, selling my books at a Civil War reenactment when I met her. Her story excited me and I began research as soon as I got home. The more I read and the more I learned I knew it was a story that needed to be told. It took a year to write it; it went to contract in 2013 and will be released in 2016.
It was a cold, rainy day in Buchanan, and the event was poorly attended. But one thing I’ve learned about selling books is that one thing leads to another. The number of books sold at any event is only part of the success story for the day. At this event I was given a treasure.