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Estacada's newest author: Julie Ann Hart

Hart will sign copies of 'The Pig Who Wore A Wig' during First Friday

Julie Anne Hart had never thought of herself as a writer. But when her daughter Alicia came home from school wanting to write a story, Hart sat down with her to help. They began crafting a tale about a pig and making up rhymes. Eventually, there were enough words strung together so that Hart saw the makings of a children's book.

That was in 2004. Last spring, the mother of five, whose family moved to Estacada two years ago, finished the book.

'I wrote it for the kids,' she said.

Hart credits Alicia for making her sit down at the dining room table to write. 'She'd say, 'Let's do it!' '

Once the story was complete, the 42-year-old (who 'hated' English composition class) 'just got online and looked up how to publish books,' she said.

She decided to work with Indiana-based AuthorHouse Publishing. The company helped with the cover design and introduced Hart to an artist, who faxed her black and white sketches. Hart signed off on these and finally received color galleys to approve.

At this point, Hart got nervous and wanted another pair of eyes to review the text. She recruited her oldest daughter's high-school English teacher, Leslie Ann Delair, to copy edit.

Several weeks ago, Hart received copies of the completed work, a colorful 20-page picture book titled 'The Pig Who Wore A Wig.'

'It's about a pig born different than his brothers and sisters,' Hart said. 'He wants to look like everyone else, but learns you don't always have to look like everyone else to be liked.'

While reading the book should help children, purchasing it definitely will. At her May 2 book-signing at Just A Little Class in Estacada, Hart will donate 10 percent of every sale to the Estacada Elementary School library.

The busy author is already at work on another children's book, this one about the many responsibilities involved in owning a horse, something she knows first-hand. Her first horse, adopted from HyTyme Equine Rescue in Eagle Creek, recently died, and the new book will be dedicated to 'Miss Molly Mare.'

Last year was the first year that all of Hart's children were in school, and she now devotes mornings off from her job as an operating-room nurse to writing.

So, what's life as a writer like? 'Life hasn't really changed,' Hart said, 'but when I saw the book on the Web site, I didn't believe it.'

Julie Anne Hart will sign copies of 'The Pig Who Wore A Wig' at Just A Little Class, 373 S. Broadway St., Estacada, during First Friday on May 4. The book is also available at www.amazon.com and www.authorhouse.com.