January 18, 2000, I opened the first Hair Salon/Bookstore, Beauty and the Book! After I was downsized from my book publishing rep job I just pulled myself up by the bootstraps and took my two passions, talking books and doing hair, and made it into a business. Made sense to me! That is what I have been doing my whole life so why not get paid for it!
March 2000, I started a book club the way I thought a book club should be run. Not literary and pretentious, not homework, but a book club that’s sole mission was to promote literacy, get the world reading, and have some BIG TIME FUN while we were at it! I had no idea that after my first meeting the second Tuesday of the month, that six total strangers and I would go on to run the largest “meeting and discussing” book club in the world, The Pulpwood Queens, “where tiaras are mandatory and reading good books is the RULE!”
We went on to being featured shortly thereafter on Oprah Winfrey’s OXYGEN NETWORK, featured in fact with a little unknown singing group called “Destiny’s Child”. So Beyonce” and I got started together, ha ha ha! Then on to Good Morning America, helping Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson kick off their “READ THIS” Book Club. From there we got featured in everything from the Los Angeles Times, three full pages in the Sunday Calendar section called “The Tastemakers” to features in The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and then a centerfold in Newsweek. Then back with Oprah for a brief feature on The Oprah Winfrey Show that tied in with Queen Latifah’s debut film “Beauty Shop”. The news media has continued ever since and we welcome them with open arms as they are helping us get the word out in a big way that reading is important!
Then I got a book deal with Grand Central Publishing, formerly Warner Books, to write, “The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life”, my life story of how books saved me, how I am on a mission to tell everyone from the mountain tops that all of this has only happened because I am a reader. I thank God for my literary agent, Marly Rusoff for making that happen. I may not have made any bestseller’s list but everyday I get a letter or two from someone whose life has been enriched by reading my book. For that I thank God and am thankful, he has given me a gift for gab when it comes to promoting authors, books, and beauty! And I am considerably thankful for my family, friends, and authors who have supported me big time through the years. No one gets to the top of the mountain alone and if they do, how lonely is that! I take all of them with me in all I do if not physically then in my heart and soul!
I have been blessed but it has not been without hardships, hard work, and determination that one person could make a difference. Yes, one person can make a difference and I have seen these with my own eyes.
Has this changed me? Oh, I am sure it has but as always, I hope for the better. For one thing, I am no longer that shy, small town
But one thing that has not changed is my belief that we are all created equal in this world regardless of race, color, religion, economic background or the fact that we have had cosmetic enhancements or color treated hair. God made each and everyone of us with a purpose. I know that for me that purpose is to promote literacy and I would rather do that with a REAL book.
Now I am writing to you today because I do not like what I am reading of this world, war, poverty, hard economic times, and at our big book convention I read a story that everything regarding books is going digital. Enough, I shout. I have decided to create my own book loving world and let me tell you this begins with my adopting Dolly Parton as our leader for this new kingdom.
You see I admire Dolly Parton to pieces. First of all, she did everything she did her own way. She stayed true to herself and after hearing her commencement speech sent to me by my friend, author, and adopted brother, (I never had a brother so I adopted him as he’s perfect), Michael Morris, I knew she was the real deal!
Check out her commencement speech to the
And for my NEW Official theme song check out Dolly singing her song “TRY” to the graduating seniors at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndEsn9gorKc&feature=related
And if that is not enough, check out Dolly’s pre-school literacy initiative at www.imaginationlibrary.com. For years, I have been trying to get this started here in Marian County, Texas. It was not until I became President of the Rotary Club of Jefferson and the fact that Rotary International has now endorsed this reading program that I was able to do so but not without the help of some literacy promoting friends, individuals, and civic organizations with Jefferson Rotary initiating the program. I would like to encourage everybody to endorse this program because if you can teach a child to read and read well, they will have the whole word in their hands. They may not have grown up with proper parenting, food or shelter but they will then have the tools to educate themselves and help make this world a better more peaceful kingdom.
In the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, they send out each month a REAL book to a child from the time it is born until the time they start Kindergarten. Imagine that, sixty books, a REAL library for every child before they start school. All we have to do is help fund this program and it only costs about $30 per child per year. We can do that, we can do that!
And if that is not enough, check out this link to a documentary made on Dolly, The Book Lady also sent to me by Michael Morris:
The Book Lady, a half-hour Canadian documentary film about Dolly’s campaign for children’s literacy, has been invited to screen at the 40th Nashville Film Festival (April 16 to 23, 2009)...
Now I learned along time ago there was no need to reinvent the wheel since I am creating this NEW book loving world! I am looking for those individuals who always think positive, work hard at what they do, and promote reading of REAL books. I have over 200 individuals, now Head Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys who have stepped forward to run chapters of the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys from
We have even started book clubs, for me, The Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys of Newgate Mission, a homeless shelter in Longview, Texas where I teach a life writing class. We read REAL books. I just got back from visiting the Hiland Meadows Women's Correctional Facility where Queen Mary of The Pulpwood Queens of Anchorage, Alaska have started a book club using REAL books. Then there is Queen Kay of The Pulpwood Queens of Southwest Louisiana who have provided REAL textbooks for a whole school in Nicaragua. These are just a few of my literacy leaders who are making a REAL difference using REAL books!
I also am a firm believer in the power of holding and reading a world of art, yes, I call it a book! A REAL book with ink printed pages, one to hold, smell, read, and educate and enlighten my soul. Thus, I will be carrying REAL books in my Hair Salon/Book Store! Ones that may not be on the bestseller’s list but deserve to be so as it is also my mission to help the yet undiscovered author get discovered in a BIG WAY! All books may become antiques in the future so my guess is I will become one of the dozens of antique stores in my historic town,
You may call my move BOLD, doomed for failure, in this digital age but I call my move one profound in the belief that yes, one person can make a difference only if you are reading REAL books!
I welcome your comments. I hope you will come and grace my doors. I have found that what began with six complete strangers can change the world, one author, one book, one person, one book club chapter at a time. Welcome to the Wonderful NEW Book Loving World of The Pulpwood Queens and yes, Timber Guys Book Clubs where reading RULES and if it’s not FUN we aren’t doing it! But do note, we are only reading REAL books!
Tiara wearing and Book sharing,
Kathy L. Patrick
Founder of the Pulpwood
Beauty and the Book
www.beautyandthebook.com and click on Pulpwood Queens to learn how to become a member of this NEW World Order!
www.pulpwoodqueen.com for my daily literary musings with PHOTOS!
P.P.S. For more on my darling adopted brother and author, Michael Morris who’s also a big Dolly Parton fan and a lover of REAL books, go to www.michaelmorrisbooks.com.