Julie Van Camp Launches Book at Writers Read Evening

Julie Van Camp.

Julie Van Camp.

Julie Van Camp donates a copy of her new book to Lou Pray for the Lopez Library.

One page of Ichabod’s diary.

In a twist on the usual Writers Read evening, the Lopez Writers Guild will present Julie Van Camp launching her just-published book on Friday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. at Lopez Center. Titled Searching for Ichabod: His Eighteenth-Century Diary Leads Me Home, Van Camp’s book knits thirty years of historical and family research into the seams of a contemporary journey of discovery. Van Camp will read from her book and talk about her adventures writing it.

“After publishing three articles describing the developing story of my search for Ichabod, my great-great-great-grandfather,” says Van Camp, “my Lopez writing group convinced me I had a book. I took the bait and began the arduous process to writing not 15 but 215 pages. My journalism training had taught me to write in the third person, to tell other people’s stories. When I found myself sitting in the protagonist’s seat with Ichabod, I had to shift to first person, present tense. The hardest part was revealing my emotions as Ichabod’s story unfolded in the pages of his diary written between 1785-1813.”

Other guests at the event include Lopez librarian, Lou Pray, who will describe research tools available in our library and Linda Rose, noted local genealogist, who will tell how she used those resources and others to search the country for her family connections. In addition, Molly Swan-Sheeran will read a poem she wrote especially for the evening.

“I wanted Lou Pray and Linda Rose to join me in this event so we could pass on the genealogy bug,” says Van Camp. “Once bitten, there’s no cure, but it’s never proven fatal, just fun.”

Van Camp, who recently returned from a successful book tour in New England where much of her search takes place, has been writing steadily since moving to Lopez in 1992. Her work has appeared in Ancestry, Western New York Heritage, New England Ancestors and The Christian Science Monitor, among others.