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Boone’s Newest Author, Katie Hagaman, Publishes Her Book “In This Book You Will Find.”

By Sherrie Norris

‘Inside every book you will find stories and tales . . . all different kinds. In each book a treasure awaits behind thin pages like open gates . . .’

So begins a “fanciful journey through poetry and illustration,” as described by Boone’s newest author, Katie Hagaman, in her recently published book, “In This Book You Will Find.”

What started out as a bedtime routine of snuggling and story time for Hagaman’s young daughter has evolved into a published work of art that is quickly becoming a favorite of many other families in the High Country and beyond.

Hagaman’s book is one that she hopes will advocate reading by encouraging children’s personal exploration of the many genres of literature.

Additionally, through the author’s note, she encourages young readers to create their own story and illustrations – and leaves them blank pages on which to do so.

Those who have seen it already agree that it’s a great book to read to children, as well as for new readers to enjoy on their own.

With a love for writing that spans at least two decades, Hagaman said she was earlier inspired by other authors and writers who encourage imagination and teleportation through reading.

However, her daughter, Lilly Bell, now 6, “who likes to create things, too,” she said, was actually the main motivation for her project.

“From the day she was born, my husband and I have always snuggled up and read with her in the evenings,” Hagaman shared. “It’s a time we all enjoy and treasure.”

Admitting that her favorite books have always been “the more fantastical sort with fun and vibrant illustrations,” Hagman said that one day while reading together, the urge hit her to create a story of her own to share with her daughter.

“It became a dream to have in our laps, a tangible book I’d written and illustrated – something really unique to hand down to my little girl,” she shared.

“I started with the idea of wanting each page to express different topics – space, fantasy and exploration,” she described. “And the poem that carries the reader through the book sprang up on its own from there.”

Even then, Hagaman said, she had no thoughts of publishing her work for others to see. “Originally, it was just a personal book for my family to enjoy.”

That is, until her family, and later her closest friends, began to encourage her to take it to the next step. The rest is history, or at least history in the making.

Hagaman’s mother encouraged her to share her manuscript with the Watauga County Arts Council, and specifically with the director, Cherry Johnson, whose enthusiasm about the book led her to local author Judith Geary, who “graciously guided me through the process of self-publishing,” Hagaman said.

Boone’s newest published author Katie Hagaman, pictured with her husband, Daniel, and their daughter Lilly Bell.

Today, Hagaman maintains, “I really appreciate these women and the support and encouragement they’ve shown me.”

To see her work in print, safely tucked between the pages of a vibrant cover and full of hope and possibilities, is a dream come true for the young wife and mother who has a sincere love for young children and their opportunities to learn and explore ideas outside the box.

Hagaman’s writing talent perfectly blends with her passion for painting and her ability to illustrate that which she has written.

“I love to paint,” Hagaman said, with noted excitement in her voice. “In fact, my house has run out of room for me to hang all my work!”

She loves it so much, she explained, “That I once painted a giant scene on all four walls of a room. I love color. It’s happy and fun. And it’s just really exciting to create what you long to see.”

A Florida native, Hagaman initially moved with her family to Boone where she attended Hardin Park Elementary School between the ages of 7 and 12 before her family relocated to Alaska. Eight years later, and after graduating from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, she returned to Boone. Now, 12 years later, she couldn’t be happier.

Having worked for five years before the birth of her daughter as a teacher’s assistant at Hardin Park, Hagaman currently cares for children in her home during the week, describing them as “a sweet bunch of 2-year-olds who keep me on my toes.”

Married to Boone native Daniel Hagaman, the author and her family live in Boone, are active in the community and attend church at The Heart.

It is Hagaman’s sincere hope, she said, that, for her readers both young and old, her book will provide “a beautiful representation of some of the places a story can take you.” After all, she added, “Reading is magic.”

Tune into local radio station WATA 1450 AM or 96.5 FM on Friday morning, Jan.19, at 8:45, for Hagaman’s live interview with Cherry Johnson of the Watauga County Art’s Council.

Currently, “In This Book You Will Find,” is available only on Amazon, with local distribution points and book signings coming soon.