MCC hosts Autumn’s Living Library with local authors

By Adela Crandell Durkee For Chronicle Media

Kimberley Schumacher, the organizer of the event began writing her first non-fiction book, “My Letters to Amy,” when she left the corporate world to help care for her grandchild born with a cleft palette.

Avallon’s Voice Inc. will showcase 35 local published authors at McHenry Community College, 8900 NW Hwy, Crystal Lake, from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 5.

The event, “Autumn’s Living Library,” gives readers and writers an opportunity to come together to raise scholarship money for the Northern Illinois Chapter of Girls on the Run.

Authors will be available to answer questions, sign books, and will have their latest works on display.

Kimberley Schumacher, the organizer of the event began writing her first non-fiction book, “My Letters to Amy,” when she left the corporate world to help care for her grandchild born with a cleft palette. She has since written a six-week guided study book, “Yesterday’s Tomorrow.” Both books explore the importance of family culture, beliefs, tradition, and the legacy family creates.

Schumacher parlayed her love of writing and reading into a mission with the intention of connection.

“Everybody’s got a story,” she said. “It’s our responsibility to share the good that we know and the good that we have.”

Schumacher launched her first event, “Wine, Women, and Words,” in March 2016, showcasing 16 local authors. Said Nan Samson, one of the authors “the vibe in the room was so welcoming, I didn’t want to leave.”

Schumacher partnered with “Girls on the Run” and eight local authors to create “Autumn’s Living Library.”

Dwight DeRamus Dwight is an author of poetry and nonfiction from the faith-based realm. He’ll Share “Disappearing Dads,” a life giving book that leads readers on a journey from brokenness to restoration. Examine how weak or absent fathers cripple both sons’ and

daughters’ ability to reach their own identity and define their roles in healthy relationships. His website is

Georgann Prochaska is a retired teacher and caregiver. Prochaska will share her book series “Snoopypus Mysteries,” and other works. Her unique brand of fiction includes women sleuths, secrets, and even a helpful hound! Find out more about Prochaska at

Alicia Marcos Birong, is the founder of the program, “ChatterGirls.” Birong writes, councils and coaches on the topic of empowerment. Her book, Changing the Chatter, is about celebrating happy, aspiring, truthful, esteem, responsible girls. She encourages mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and anyone hoping to build up young women to read her book. Her website is

Friends of the Old Courthouse, will discuss “A Week in the Life of McHenry County.” It’s a photo-book that incorporates the works of area photographers; showcasing the beauty, diversity, history and fun that is found around McHenry County. The photo book’s sales will go toward supporting restoration of this pre-Civil War treasure on the Woodstock Square. For more about the Friends, visit

Patricia M McClure wrote, “Losing a Hero to Alzheimer’s;” the story of Pearl. This book is about a woman who was the rock of her family, but came to be afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Having walked this path herself, the author encourages others on the journey of taking care of a loved one. Her website is

Elizabeth Harmon writes romance with a dash of difference When Harmon couldn’t find a book with a specific and unusual plot line, she set out to write her own. She’s written five novels with “Shining Through” due to be released in October.

Nan Sampson is the author of the “Coffee & Crime,” a paranormal cozy mystery series. She’s been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a crayon. A fan of all types of fiction, and a student of archaeology, history, and linguistics, she usually has her nose in a book. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can frequently be found in her garden or watching old mystery shows on TV. Sampson’s fourth book in the “Coffee & Crime” series, features amateur sleuth and hereditary Wiccan Ellie Gooden, will be released in October! Her website is

Besides “putting family first,” bringing authors and readers together, Schumacher conducts workshops with Bowen Center for Family Research and works at, a company that prints books for authors.

“I’m a firm believer in the Bowen’s philosophy: ‘People are born and die, but a family’s past lives in the present,’” she says.

Schumacher is working on two new books, one a novel, and another non-fiction book.

“I work on the principles of Humility, Respect, Understanding, Grace, and Acceptance.”

With that in mind, she plans to include one of these themes in each of her books. Find out more about Schumacher at

Autumn’s Living Library offers gift bags to the first 50 guests. Books will be on sale by the authors. In addition, there will be a Book Shelf and a Raffle with proceeds going to Girls on the Run.

Editor’s note: Adela Crandell Durkee will be there to discuss her novel, “A Ship of Pearl,” and her read-to-me book, “The Fable of Little Tzurie. A Ship of Pearl” is set in 1933 at the time of the Great Depression, when a bank failure piles calamity on top of disaster for boy and his family. Durkee writes about people, places and things. She says she likes to laugh and she knows the value of tears. Because both of her books deal with homelessness, she shares her profits to help the hungry and the homeless. More about this author is at http:/




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