Author has successful book signing at library

Derik Vanderford Staff Writer

August 27, 2013

UNION — A successful book signing allowed local children the opportunity to meet the author and acquire a copy of a book months before it is released.

Gastonia, N.C. resident and Union native Julie Ramsey Murphy — author of children’s book “What If We Were All Gray?” — held her first official book signing Saturday at Union County Carnegie Library.

“It went really well,” Murphy said. “I am so grateful to Union County Carnegie Library for allowing me to do my first official book signing in my hometown.”

For the past 13 years, Murphy has worked with an after-school program for children with behavioral challenges, helping them with character education and development of social skills. Murphy has also worked with children in the home with their parents, where she said her focus is on helping parents develop new skills for managing the child’s behaviors in the home, avoiding placement in foster care or a group home.

Through conversations with the children, Murphy learned that many children unknowingly place limits on themselves at a young age. After a conversation with a girl who equated socio-economic status with race, Murphy began to ask herself questions about why diversity is important if it creates such social gaps.

“Through the process I realized that diversity brings beauty to the world,” Murphy said. “So, I went home and wrote ‘What If We Were All Gray’ out of my desire to help young people — and adults — understand that our uniqueness and differences make this world a better place.”

“What If We Were All Gray?” follows a little girl named Harmony, who lives in a town called Quarrellsalot. Harmony is saddened by all of the arguing in her town regarding various differences, and she suggests that all the townspeople paint themselves gray. While it seemed like a great idea at first, Harmony and the towns people soon discover that being all the same is simply not the answer.

For those who missed Saturday’s book signing event, “What If We Were All Gray?” will be available on bookstore shelves and on www.amazon.com on Oct. 15.