By MaryAnn Kromer
Tiffin Tomorrow has invited Tiffin native Diane Ranker Riesen to do a book signing 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday at Signatures of Seneca County, 207 S. Washington St.
Riesen's first book, "Rainbows in the Dark," was released in January 2012, and her latest effort, "Smiles for Sherman," became available to the public Monday through her publisher, Tate Publishing.
"I'll have both of my books with me at the signing," Riesen said.
"Smiles for Sherman" is the inspirational story of Beth, who initially meets an old gentleman, Sherman, in the woods and forms an unlikely friendship with him. In a grandfatherly manner, the man shares stories and wisdom with the young girl and helps her to establish a relationship with God.
The author said "there's some of me in there," but her dad inspired the character of Sherman.
"He was my role model I think when I was a baby, when I opened my eyes, stars sort of lit up around his head," Riesen said.
Although he was not overly religious, her father appreciated the wonders of nature and was spiritual in other ways. Riesen said faith plays a "500 percent" role in her life. As she grows older, her faith grows stronger. Her poems and other writings are an offshoot of her faith. Riesen calls her relationship with God "everything I am." Although a relationship with God is not complicated, Riesen said one must seek him out. It's a journey.
"He'll come to you," she said. "It doesn't happen overnight or anything, but he's just waiting," she said.
On New Year's Eve, Riesen got a puppy and named him "Sherman" after her main character. The dog will only be 4 pounds when full-grown. She plans to bring him to the book signing. Her husband will be along to keep an eye on Sherman. The Riesens' two grandsons, ages 9 and 6, also plan to be at the signing.
"Smiles for Sherman" is to be for sale nationally at $10.99 for the soft cover. Riesen will have both of her books available at $10 for the soft-cover and $15 for hard-cover copies. The first 20 hard cover copies of "Rainbows in the Dark" are to be sold at $10 each. Both can be purchased through Tate Publishing's online bookstore, Amazon and other sources. The Cross in Tiffin also will have copies of both books available.
Readers have responded positively to Rainbows. Riesen had eight or nine book signings for that book, and a few of the stores want her to come back this year. Sales have been slow but steady.
"I'm not in it to make money I've had people e-mail me and ask about it and order it," Riesen said. "I'm just overwhelmed by the response I get from people who write me about it. I have a nurse that asked to take some to nursing homes because some nursing home employees wanted to read 'Rainbows.' That was pretty neat."
"No Road Too Long" is Riesen's third book. The story is complete, but the author wants to add more
dialogue and interaction before submitting it to the publisher.
The main character is a little girl who has a disease. Riesen said the character is based on a child she mentored in junior high school.
"I continued our friendship from 11 to 19 and she died a few years ago. It was really hard," Riesen said.
The story is written from the viewpoint of an old woman, remembering the child. Riesen was able to incorporate her poems at the ends of the chapters. She expects to have the novel released in 2014.