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Tue, Aug. 03

A labor of literary love
Kris Williams inspired by a cowboy’s life

Author and teacher Kris Williams will sign copies of her children’s book, “JD’s Boots,” this Saturday at the Java Cycle Cafe.

Author and teacher Kris Williams will sign copies of her children’s book, “JD’s Boots,” this Saturday at the Java Cycle Cafe.

Williams teacher Kris Williams said her "first and only" book was inspired by the life of a cowboy - one who loved his boots. Williams published her book, "JD's Boots," five years ago and while she has written a second book, she is not sure whether it will be ever see the light of publication. Williams currently teaches sixth grade science, math, introduction to Spanish and study skills. She is currently in her second year of teaching at Williams Elementary-Middle School.

"I've done a lot of different things. I taught a bi-lingual Spanish kindergarten class in Los Angeles Chinatown for five years. I've been a fulltime mom for a while, I've been a computer programmer for a while and I've written advertising copy for a while and now I'm back to teaching," Williams said.

She based "JD's Boots" on a real cowboy.

"(He) was a real cowboy and a rodeo performer his whole life and he was one of the most interesting and amazing characters I'd ever met," Williams said. "The inspiration for the story was, when I met him (and) got to know him a little bit, and invited him to come and talk to our horse group. At first he didn't want to do it, but then he got started and you could hardly stop him. He had the most wonderful, exciting, funny, great stories. I kept thinking as I was cleaning my horse stalls every day, 'somebody should write these stories down' and it finally occurred to me that that somebody was me. Like all cowboys, he loved his cowboy boots. That's where the idea came from. He exemplified all the great cowboy characteristics. He was a gentleman and eager to help and just thought he could do anything. He did Roman riding, which is riding standing with one foot on the back of two horses. He did that until he was 78-years-old. He passed away about 10 years ago."

While she has finished a second book about JD, Williams is not sure if she will be able to find a publisher interested in the book.

"I have another one written and I even have the illustrations for it. It's actually the whole story of his life condensed into about 1,000 words," Williams said. "I would love to see that one published, but I don't know if that's going to happen."

Even finding a publisher for her original work proved to be a daunting task.

"It was really a labor of love. I tried to get a publisher to publish it, but for a children's book and an unpublished writer, not a celebrity, it's nearly impossible, so I did it myself," Williams said.

Williams moved to Arizona with her husband on a full- time basis two years ago. They've owned property in the area for about six years.

"Moving here has been a long time dream of ours," Williams said. "We love Williams and we love northern Arizona and are very happy to live here."

Williams, along with authors Linda Kranz, Gary McCarthy, Christine Maxa, Patrick Whitehurst and Carl Bilharz, will take part in an author's book signing event at Java Cycle Café Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Java Cycle Café is located at 326 West Route 66. Authors in the book signing represent a wide variety of topics, including children's books, local legends, western novels, fantasy and hiking.

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