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Zionsville chaplain featured at IHS author fair

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More than 70 Indiana authors sold their books and spoke with attendees during the  Indiana Historical Society’s 16th annual Holiday Author Fair. The Dec. 1 event was at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in Indianapolis.

Ron May, a Carmel resident who works as the chaplain of Hoosier Village in Zionsville, displayed his book “Our Service, Our Stories: Indiana Veterans Recall Their World War II Experiences (Vol. 2)” at the fair.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to be with 69 other authors, greet people and share in the love of books,” May said.

According to Rachel Hill Ponko, director of public relations for the Indiana Historical Society, this year’s Holiday Author Fair was one of the largest in the history of the event with 70 authors attending. Authors must have a recently published book to be considered for the fair. Topics ranged from sports and biography to youth historical fiction, politics and more.

“For the first time, IHS held a storytime with Santa for the younger attendees and families,” Ponko said. “The Circle City Chamber Choir also had a more prominent role, performing for guests in Eli Lilly Hall.”

Book sales were up compared to last year. The event made $18,500 in book sales, compared to  $14,000 last year. In total, 1,594 guests attended, just beating last year’s figure of 1,558.

“I sold close to one dozen books between volumes one and two,” May said. “Almost as important is handing out literature and speaking to people so they can put a face to the name.”

May’s most recent book is the second volume in an anthology of stories from World War II veterans. The first volume was published in 2015 and contained 36 stories. The second volume was published in May and contains 26 stories, with a new section called “On the Homefront,” featuring women’s perspectives. All persons interviewed in the books have a connection to Indiana. Because the interviewees are often in their 80s and 90s, May said he made a decision early on to be the recorder of the story as it was shared and accept some minor inaccuracies.

“When you add 70-plus years to a memory, that’s going to create a little bit of haziness,” May said. “I think the reader of these types of books understands that. They have a more forgiving perspective.”


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